Designing A City From The Bottom Up: Jared Sacks & Nobanzi Dlodlo at TEDxCapeTown City2.0

Jared Sacks: Social Activist
Nobanzi Dlodlo: Mother of three, community leader
Full title: Poor people are the experts of their own oppressive conditions

The philosophy behind TED talks posits that we need professionals; consultants and other experts have the answers to the worlds’ problems. This talk, however, proposes that the key predicaments of modern society such as poverty, inequality and oppression, can only be solved by those who live every single day on the receiving end of this structural violence. Nobanzi and Jared believe strongly in the ability of people to collectively initiate and direct their own solutions rather than them relying on others for leadership and expertise. People are the experts of their own oppression and visitors can only begin to glimpse the possibilities of a new world if they are willing to listen to the words of the poor.

Jared Sacks was born in Johannesburg and went to university at UC-Berkeley. Since 2007, he has been living in Cape Town working directly with communities supporting their efforts to build authentic grassroots social change. He has worked closely with a range of poor people’s social movements including Abahlali baseMjondolo, the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign, and the Landless People’s Movement. He is the compiler and supporting editor of the anthology No Land! No House! No Vote! Voices from Symphony Way which provides unique insight into the views and actions of one of South Africa’s moves significant intentional communities.

Nobanzi Dlodlo is a single mother of three from the Eastern Cape who moved to Cape Town so that she could find a job to support her children. Even though she could not find a job, she remains the only breadwinner for her children by making ends meet through odd jobs and informal business. She volunteered to be an elected member of Sweet Home sack settlement’s committee because this is one of the ways she is able to improve the lives of her children and her neighbours.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)