A virtual seat with social entrepreneur, Emer Butler

Emer Butler, TEDxCapeTown, Intersections of Change

On Friday, 5th June 2020, we hosted our first virtual event. Enthusiastic minds took their virtual seats and tuned into the very first conversation of our 10-part digital series: Intersections of Change.

It may have been an unconventional TEDx stage, but the setting couldn’t be more perfect for the unusual times we’re in. As our co-host, Tumi Sineke, eased us into the event with smooth jams in the background, audience members got to share where they were tuning in from and a highlight from their week. With coffee and notebooks ready, we got to hear from Emer Butler, a passionate social entrepreneur and past TEDxYouthCapeTown speaker looking to affect social change.

Emer Butler quote


“I believe technology is a tool to create social equality.” 

Through the conversation, ‘Unmasking Social Impact with Emer Butler’ we quickly learned that Emer is a powerhouse when it comes to problem-solving. Both of her initiatives provide solutions for problems that she has encountered or has seen occurring. Her conversation highlights how we need to leverage technology to create systems of fair access, in order to create social equality.

There comes a point where you have to choose to take responsibility for your citizenship.”

During a time that's shaken many of us, Emer Butler decided to take her fear and anxiety, and transform them into something positive and helpful. While her first project, Ntombi.org was forced to be put on hold, another idea arose in its place: Afika. Through this non-profit umbrella project, she hopes to provide African solutions to African problems. Apart from providing masks to communities in need, and a salary to the women who make those masks, Afika looks to translate current information about COVID-19 to those whose first language is not English. Her aim is to translate this information into the 11 official languages of South Africa so that everyone has fair access to it. 

The energy and insight from our first virtual session was incredible, and we'd love to keep that conversation going. If you'd like to get involved with Afika make sure you check out their website. And if you have an “idea worth spreading”, in the words of our amazing speaker Emer Butler, “open your mouth with your enthusiasm”. We would love to hear from you!

Missed our first conversation? Don't worry, we’ve got you. Check out the video we’ve put together and don’t forget to visit our event page for more details on upcoming events.