Nigeria: Inside SBI Media Tech-Driven Workshop

29 October 2020

In a fast-paced world driven by technology and rapid advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics, tough-to-teach intangible skills, capabilities and attributes such as emotional intelligence, curiosity, creativity, adaptability, resilience and critical thinking are becoming more valued.

According to the founder of SBI Media Workshops, Rotimi Bankole, "The skills required to excel in today's world and the future are curiosity, creativity, taking initiative, multi-disciplinary thinking and empathy.

"These skills find application in the media and creative industries of the 21st centiry, which has been identified as a solid bet to help tackle Nigeria's unemployment situation. They are also some of the skills that SBI Media Workshops is positioned to equip participants with over the course of the program."

Bankole, who launched SBI Media Workshops on his 40th birthday anniversary, is the CEO of SBI Media, a seven-year-old integrated marketing and communications agency that is reputed to be one of the fast-growing agencies of the current decade.

The workshop, which is believed to be the first of its kind workshop, is poised to train participants to be more innovative, creative, and active initiators of new ideas and solutions.

Such skills as writing, speaking, and making videos using just their smartphones are crucial to helping young people unlock opportunities in the media and creative sector.

The Workshops - with its grand array of facilitators - will however also go on to teach fundamental skills of critical thinking, teamwork, dialogue/negotiation, community building and conflict resolution. These powerful skills, along with a mind-set of persistence and resilience constitute a proven recipe for success.

Traditional models for other workshops focus on training people to equate what they do with who they. SBI Media Workshops is rather focusing on training participants to acquire critical thinking and flexible skills and attitudes that fit a rapidly changing world.

In what is also a first, the SBI Media Workshops is offering more than skills and training. As part of the program, 10 participants per session will also be empowered with up to N200,000 in grant money to finance their ideas and solutions.

Over a two-day period and series of masterclasses, young Nigerians between 18 and 35 years will go through the workshops and be trained to identify niche opportunities, create media value, collaborate with colleagues in their field and learn to successfully sell their products and solutions to brands and clients.

Facilitators for the SBI Media Workshops reflect the best of their respective fields. They have been chosen from a pool of digital media entrepreneurs, brand managers, digital media strategists and buyers, editors and publishers from legacy media, lawyers, business managers and futurists.

According to a 2016 Pew Research Centre survey, hard skills such as coding are said to be the easiest to teach, but soft, human skills are agreed to be most crucial for survival in the age of quantum computing. With Nigeria's very unimpressive unemployment rate at 27.1%, it is important that as an economy the country begins to address opportunities of the future and skills required to convert them to currency for the youth and country.

SBI Media, being players in an industry that leverages these human skills, is positioned to identify the gaps, and equipped to determine how to close these gaps.

"There is an increasing economic incentive to develop training and skills that better unlocks value for the industry, especially as mobile and internet penetration continue to unlock new possibilities. We want to tap into these opportunities early enough to train and situate young Nigerians strategically to derive economic value for themselves. I have complete faith in the ability of our workshops to identify job gaps and develop in our participants the right tools to address those gaps," said Bankole.

Bankole and his team have expressed confidence in the program they have designed. "Those looking for a job or hoping to start a business will benefit from learning the concepts and principles taught. SBI Media Workshop is designed to be very interactive, motivating and fun," he said.

The first session of SBI Media Workshop is scheduled to hold on November 14 and 15 in Lagos.

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