My ‘The Platform’ experience…my notes

Hey peeps, i thought i should share my notes at the recent Platform conference with you all…it was an amazing 6hours of quality intellectual discourse….happy reading

The Platform is an information-based conference powered by Covenant Christian Centre, under the leadership of one of Nigeria’s most dynamic and unconventional pastors, ‘Poju Oyemade

As an intelligent initiative, The Platform is designed to facilitate growth in the areas of personal capacity & productivity as well as to foster National Development within our Great Nation Nigeria.

Over the last three years, the last eight (8) platform events have been intellectually stimulating gatherings of great minds; and have successfully begun a movement spun to create change and empowerment.

my notes are as follows:

JARED COHEN: the digital disruption

Jared Cohen is the Director of Google Ideas & VP at Google; former member of the US state department and the youngest one in history, serving both under Condoleezza Rice  & Hillary Clinton.

If you are not being disruptive or creating waves, you are not cutting edge

Amazing statistics:

  • 10years ago we had 360million people connected to the internet, today we have 2billion
  • 10years ago we had 970million people with phones, today we have 5billion

There is an “innovation gap”

Today we have got to be ‘techno pragmatic’

Today the walls have been brought down except in North-Korea so instead of brick walls we talk more of firewalls.

Anyone that controls content controls the outcome; e.g. 17years ago in Rwanda, everyone had radios but those controlling the stations, controlled the content hence they generated hate. Today the middle-eastern revolution is by many people controlling content so it is a ‘leaderless’ revolution.

Technology has created space for unlikely leaders…

It is such the situation now that for nations to shut down their internet access just to control a revolution, they have to be attacking their own infrastructure because everything is dependent on the internet now. From payments to business to governance etc

Challenges give the opportunity to innovate

SAM GRAHAM-FELSEN: how we did it-the story of president Obama’s online campaign strategy

Sam Graham-Felsen is a pioneer in the rapidly growing field of emerging media both as strategic advisor and as a key member of President Obama’s online campaign team. He was the campaign’s chief blogger and narrator-in-chief of Obama’s campaign


TV commercials Online videos
Direct mails e-mail
 Press release Blogs
One-way communication Two-way communication
Aimed at the press Aimed at empowering supporters
Getting independent votes Building a movement

All new technology should be about promoting the oldest technology-the voice.

1). AUTHETICITY MATTERS: it is important to talk to people with  honesty. It is a normal situation, that politicians talk to people like children; politicians normally talk in circles.

Obama spoke the truth at all times and with sincerity

2). MAKE IT PERSONAL: make people a part of the process

e.g. you get people to feel like they are a part of the campaign, creating groups that have a local connection to the big picture. E.g. ‘women for Obama’ or ‘Hispanics for Obama’

Content was the glue that held the campaign together


Giving supporters’ access

Treat supporters like high-staffers


Embrace (good) user –generated content; don’t shy away from criticism from within


Some things are viral but most things spread because of a history of relationship

Engage communities everywhere

Social networks are the embassies but the website is the country



Fund raising wasn’t about raising money

“We want one million people involved and we don’t care if you donate $1 or $1000”

Create moments, e.g. dinner with Obama

“money was made from moments that we took advantage of”


Never be so arrogant about your ideas

Built real relationships

We gave people real things to do


  • Raised $500million online
  • 12million e-mail list
  • 2/3 of the total donations to the Obama campaign was raised online


ANAND GIRIDHARADAS: hardship innovation

Anand Giridharadas an Indian-American, is a columnist for the New York times and its global edition-the International Herald Tribune. He introduced the concept of “Hardship Innovation” and “Ghandian Engineering”

My notes

Today we are fighting for a new kind of independence

For the first time in 500years we reach a point where the west won’t be the centre of the world

Is Nigeria ready for this new power/change?

“many nations in the developing regions like India, Africa etc, have democracies on paper-not as a culture”

“In this new age of thinking, modernity isn’t equal to westernization”

Innovation from developing nations is different and should be different-innovation should not be seen as catch-up with the west or anyone else but as a process of self-revelation

What is ‘our’ own interpretation of the modern?

“The future is already here, it is just not evenly distributed” Gibson (a sci-fi writer)

Where is the geography of innovation???

Note that history takes turns, changes happen

There is a move for innovatives in developing nations to take from their communities-their experience to create ease

-ELEMENTS OF THE GHADIAN INNOVATION (the innovation of creative cheapness; achieving monumental results in our local communities which are affordable to the poor)

1). Creative cheapness-its to make things even better not below standard

Scarcity or cheapness is an advantage

2). Irreverent innovation-defy established ways of thinking. Irreverence for established ways of doing things. Innovation in the developing world is very different from how it works in developed nations

“radio is an undervalued technology”

3). Thinking from the bottom up-starting with the people

Innovation in the developing world is from needs rather than desire

More human beings have access to cell phones than to a flush toilet


  • Not focus on creating ‘amazing’ products that don’t solve real problems (be attracted to the problems your nation has)
  • Need to figure a way to balance the innovation of need and the innovation of ‘decadence’. Leaning too much to one or the other would not produce balanced product in the end. Products should be affordable yet also have finesse.
  • Innovation should not excuse government from their responsibility

Where will Nigeria stand in the new innovation frontier?

How can we become modern by becoming the real fullest expression of ourselves?


LEKE ALDER: tabula rasa (stories from an empty box)

Leke Alder is the founder and principal of Alder Consulting, an ideas and branding corporation with offices in Lagos and London ( Mr. Alder is credited with introducing branding as a discipline in Nigeria and has consulted on policy, politics and business at the higest level.

“I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space” – hamlet

The box is alive to impossibilities

The box distracts

Those who live in box houses must not throw thoughts

Life inside the box is tough because people hardly have space ,so they step on each other

The box tells you there is a height restriction to your dreams

3laws of the box

  • NOTHING IS POSSIBLE-it’s about your concept of yourself; you can’t make anything sensible if you think nothing of yourself
  • SOMETHING IS IMPOSSIBLE-it’s about resourcefulness; if you don’t think through on how to execute, your dream will be impossible
  • NOTHING BRINGS NOTHING-you may think highly of yourself with valuable ideas but if you don’t move to execute anything, you will get nothing

“Begin to find solutions to fantasies”


SARAH LACY: while I left Silicon Valley

Sarah Lacy has a decade experience covering business in the Silicon Valley. She bootstrapped a 2-year, 40-week journey through the Middle-east, Africa, South America, India, China and South-East Asia.  She is a senior editor at, the largest blog on Tech entrepreneurship; before then she was a staff writer for Business Week

The market: China is the home of the greatest migration in the world (rural to urban).

Cultures of innovation:

Silicon Valley was a cultural phenomenon

Israel has more publicly traded tech companies in the world second only to the USA

Innovations Sarah Lacy found

China: innovative modernization

India: innovative delivery

Brazil: innovating the old economy

Rwanda: innovative society

Biggest barrier to innovation is making excuses

The world has been up ended

It’s going to be Africa’s century and the whole world will benefit from it.


Pastor Tony as he is fondly called is a seasoned teacher of the gospel, a business visionary, philanthropist and Shepherd to many, within and outside Nigeria. He is the founder and senior pastor, THIS PRESENT HOUSE, a non-denominational word based church with several ministries impacting lives within Nigeria and around the world.

On the average, we have 75 years to live.

  • 0-25: morning- at this point of our lives, we should be operating in foresight, vision and an appreciation of information
  • 25-50: afternoon-at this point we should be operating in insight. Insight into strategies for executing what you saw in your morning
  • 50-75: evening-at this point we should be resting; passing on our legacies to those in their morning

Most Nigerian are trying to reap what they did not sow-Gen 49:27

“If you spent your morning and afternoon right, your evening will look like morning”

If you discover your purpose at 70, I think you are a bit late

Its only a schizophrenic that does the same thing but expecting change

“…its obsolete, even God has a new testament”

“What Abraham heard at home was the preceding word, what he heard the  mountain was the proceeding word; if not, he  would have killed his Isaac”


There are opportunities for those who have eyes to see

Move from caterpillar to a butterfly

Our change of thought, our change of that frequency will help access the wave already flowing

We are meant to operate in strategic thinking


7 responses to “My ‘The Platform’ experience…my notes

  1. I am impressed and challenged! thanks but there is one problem, people have alot of ideas but execution is the problem. Am tired of hearing stories , i want actions and results. Please how can we move from dreams to reality?

    • ideas are meant to be tested..while you might have ideas, all i will say about that is that it shows you are someone on the move

      action is directly proportional desire or passion…

      if you desire something so much, you will fill the cup of your desire so much unto overflowing, that you will find yourself getting up to do something..

      doing is 1000 times better than just knowing, what conferences like this afford us, is an opportunity to get information on current dimensions of operations in our world so that we may adapt and innovate our ideas so that they are relevant to this age

      what most people complain about is money when it comes to realization of ideas, but i dare say that just like getting an idea comes from exposure to vast amounts of the right knowlegde, so does idea-realization comes from exposure to the right amount of work…

      we must get out there and begin with crumbs if that is what you have..if your desire is right and your work is right, with perseverance, there is nothing that can an idea whose time has come

  2. Yomzie,
    Thanks for walking the path of history to put these here.
    I am yet to recover from the depth of Leke’s presentation at The Platform 8.0. It blew my mind and his words keep resonating within me.
    I am particularly struck by it this afternoon again and I was looking for the full script of the presentation “Tabula Rasa: Stories from an Empty Box” but could not find it. Yet, your wrap up comes handy and timely.
    God bless you brother for sustaining the passion.

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