Every month we shine the light on an Event Greening Forum member who is making noteworthy achievements in their event greening efforts. This month we feature Samantha Dube who founded Seeds Events – a company that organises sustainable events, with an emphasis of leaving a positive legacy.
Q. WHAT IS YOUR DAY-TO-DAY ROLE AT SEEDS EVENTS, AND WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT IT?
As the owner of Seeds Events I have a strategic role to guide the direction the company needs to move in. However, due to the fact that I don’t have any full time employees, I am generally also responsible for all the day-to-day running of the business. This ranges from admin to marketing, financial management, meetings with clients or suppliers, and planning of upcoming events.
My days also include drawing up proposals, and researching to stay inspired and informed on latest trends and sourcing.
This obviously varies on days of an actual event. I do deploy additional assistance during an event. My responsibilities would then include co-ordinating teams and seeing to any additional needs the client may have. So my days generally require a lot of juggling.
The most exhilarating part for me is watching an event come together. I’m a creative, and I love coming up with new ideas. It gives me so much satisfaction seeing it all come to life, and exceeding my client’s expectations.
One thing that always stood out to me about my upbringing was the strong sense of community. It taught me UBUNTU. And because of this, I have always felt compelled to make a positive difference in the lives of those around me, in the Spirit of UBUNTU.
Q. YOU ESTABLISHED SEEDS EVENTS IN 2006, WITH A VISION EXPLICITLY FOCUSED ON MAKING A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE. FIRSTLY, PLEASE TELL US WHERE THIS MOTIVATION COMES FROM, WHY IS THIS SO IMPORTANT TO YOU? AND SECONDLY, WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST POSSIBLE OUTCOME THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO ACHIEVE THROUGH YOUR WORK?
I grew up in a township called Eldorado Park in the South of Johannesburg. One thing that always stood out to me about my upbringing was the strong sense of community. It taught me UBUNTU. And because of this, I have always felt compelled to make a positive difference in the lives of those around me, in the Spirit of UBUNTU. I know that I am where I am today, because someone else chose to make an impact on my life in one way or another.
Second part of the question; this may sound clichéd, but I would really like to see a brighter future for our young people. This is why I always go an extra mile to invest in young people through Seeds, be it through legacy projects, skills development and employment or mentoring.
Communication is key. You cannot be a secret agent in your endeavours towards event greening. You need to communicate the message to all stakeholders. This not only makes your green objectives easier to achieve, but It also creates awareness.
Q. CAN YOU SHARE WITH US ONE THING YOU HAVE LEARNT ABOUT EVENT GREENING, WHICH HAS BEEN INVALUABLE TO YOU?
An invaluable lesson I have learnt about event greening is that communication is key. You cannot be a secret agent in your endeavours towards event greening. You need to communicate the message to all stakeholders. This not only makes your green objectives easier to achieve, but It also creates awareness.
Q. TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROUDEST ‘GREEN’ ACHIEVEMENT, WHETHER A WORK PROJECT OR SOMETHING IN YOUR PERSONAL CAPACITY.
My proudest green achievement has been turning my kids into “Trash Talkers”. They will educate anyone who comes into our home on how to separate waste and why it needs to be done.
Q. WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE HAD TO FACE, WHEN PUSHING THE SUSTAINABLE AGENDA?
A challenge that I have faced has been getting buy-in from all stakeholder. Some people simply don’t see the benefit. Others are not willing to put in the extra effort, because it does truly requires a mind shift.
Q. FOOD AND SUSTAINABILITY ARE HOT TOPICS RIGHT NOW, AND PRIOR TO SEEDS EVENTS YOU WERE A CHEF. WHAT DO YOU THINK SA CHEFS MOST URGENTLY NEED TO DO BETTER, TO MAKE EVENT CATERING MORE SUSTAINABLE?
Well the most urgent thing SA chefs could do is create awareness and educate caterers around the subject. Knowledge is power. They could also introduce sustainable food as a category in some of their competitions. This would give the subject even more exposure.
Q. IF YOU COULD WAVE A MAGIC WAND AND CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT THE SA MICE EVENTS INDUSTRY TO MAKE IT MORE SUSTAINABLE (SOCIALLY, ENVIRONMENTALLY OR EVEN ECONOMICALLY), WHAT WOULD THAT ONE THING BE?
I would do more to empower local, black-owned small businesses.
Q. ANY FINAL WORDS YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OUR READERS?
In the words of Dr Seuss…”UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
To learn more about the Seeds Events,
you can view its EGF member profile here.