Transcripts: Interview with the convener of “Innovention Series” and Group CEO of Verdant Zeal Dr. Tunji Olugbodi at the 2018 edition
Can you really tell us what inspired this idea, the Innovention Series?
Well, two things. One is that we want to deepen the discussions about Nigeria, what Nigeria stands for as a nation, and what it’s represented in the comity of nations. So, issues around and about Nigeria. For growth and for development. That’s number one.
Number two is also that we understand the strategic position of Nigeria in Africa. So, by extension, we also talk about Africa because we also have operations in a few countries outside of Nigeria, in West Africa. This helps us to do that.
The third thing (sic) is that if we want to affect conversation of future agendas, the only way to do this is by opening platforms and channels that also encourages the leaders of tomorrow to be part of it. So, that’s why you have active participation by university students. As part of this.
So, that’s what has inspired us essentially to do this.
I can see that your target audience are mostly youths and young ones, right?
It’s everyone. But youths, because they are the engine room of growth and development, were primary focus. But by extension, you can’t just have discussions around those issues done if you don’t have other stakeholders in the room. And that’s why you can see it’s always a broad based coalition of people that we bring together.
What do you think the future holds for Innovention Series? What plans do you have… (cuts in)
Well, the biggest challenge for us is to translate some of the discussions into real actions. Into actionable steps. It’s always a difficult thing to do. ‘Cos we do this entirely as a CSR. So, it takes money, it takes time. But it’s something that we are committed to doing and we hope that in the near future, some of the interventions that we talked about, and that we had experts discussed, become real policies that have clear impacts on the lives of people.
INTERVIEW CONDUCTED BY: BECKY APE
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