Sat | Nov 28, 2020

‘From Hustle to Enterprise’ - INDIGGO Conference goes virtual for 2020 staging

Published:Sunday | October 25, 2020 | 12:11 AMStephanie Lyew - Sunday Gleaner Writer

INDIGGO Conference: Reggae artiste Protoje (centre) and Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Floyd Green (right) speak to a patron at the virtual arthouse exhibition at last year’s staging of the INDIGGO Conference.
INDIGGO Conference: Reggae artiste Protoje (centre) and Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Floyd Green (right) speak to a patron at the virtual arthouse exhibition at last year’s staging of the INDIGGO Conference.
From left: Kerry-Ann Clarke, Corey Mus, Kamila McDonald, and Protoje have fun at the inaugural staging of the INDIGGO Conference in 2018.
From left: Kerry-Ann Clarke, Corey Mus, Kamila McDonald, and Protoje have fun at the inaugural staging of the INDIGGO Conference in 2018.
Jamila Pinto, founder and director of the INDIGGO Conference.
Jamila Pinto, founder and director of the INDIGGO Conference.
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With no set timetable of when live shows and festivals will be resumed, the organisers of the annual INDIGGO Conference are determined not to allow the year to pass without another landmark staging.

The three-year-old conference will go live via the Accelevents virtual event platform on November 28, seven months later than its usual March date, and has been reinvented to be an all-virtual experience.

It will include workshops, discussions, and a virtual arthouse that will feature the work from several local artists and will be accessible to individuals who purchase a ticket online for up to two months. Participants will also be able to visit sponsor booths and have conversations after the one-day event ends.

“By my knowledge, this will be the first fully virtual creatives’ conference Jamaica has ever seen, and even though I am very nervous, I am resolute on getting it right,” said Jamila Pinto, founder and director of the INDIGGO Conference.

The new virtual model removes travel, time, and geography as a barrier for participating in the conference, so “INDIGGO is going to be an international affair”, says Pinto. “It’s the perfect time to take a leap of faith, to try something new, since as a conference, we are still very young, and there’s a lot to learn. But if not now, then when? Taking a step in this direction is a challenge we accept.”

APPROPRIATE THEME

The theme of this year’s conference, ‘From Hustle to Enterprise’, has never been more appropriate, and for Pinto, it is more than just a topic to lead the discussions.

“There is a stigma still attached to the word ‘hustle’, but us millennials consider it a good thing. For me, a hustler is an honest go-getter, determined to achieve his or her goals through hard work and perseverance,” Pinto told The Sunday Gleaner.

“I have always been a hard worker, determined and always trying to make something of myself. Those are traits of a successful hustler. [The] aforementioned traits provided me with a lot of experience and the yearning to bring all of that under one umbrella into an enterprise.”

INDIGGO Conference has featured speakers such as Grammy-nominated reggae artiste Protoje, lifestyle photographer and cinematographer Yannick Reid, certified wellness coach and nutritionist Kamila McDonald, Agent Sasco, and politician Damian Crawford, including a broad spectrum of creatives and professionals in the arts and entertainment industry, as well as business moguls like Honey Bun’s Michelle Chong.

Similar to previous years, the virtual event will have a line-up of speakers in several capacities such as performance, media, legal, corporate, and finances while still allowing creatives to participate in wholesome networking and entertainment within its all-encompassing agenda. These details and more, Pinto notes, are to be announced in the coming weeks.

“Persons can trust me that it won’t be a long, boring lecture. This is one of the most exciting events coming out of Jamaica put on by young creatives who understand the struggle as well as the wins in the industry, so we are packing that to deliver. It is also easier and less expensive because we can connect virtually, network, exchange information, and organise meet-ups. And it’s important to connect more than ever during this time. There is strength and comfort in numbers.”

As a lead-up to the online event, the conference has also launched an interview series with Jamaican creatives who started from the ground up and are now at a place in their careers where they are reaping the rewards of their talents and hard work [and sharing] their stories.

Ashley Miller, a television presenter and co-host of TVJ’s Intense, who has made a business out of her love for DIY as a professional wire bender and abstract artist, was the first to be featured on the series, which may be viewed on the conference’s YouTube channel.

“INDIGGO is a place where influencers and experts can share their journey so people can gain insight and wisdom, if you may. [A] lot of creatives are very talented, but they don’t know how to manage their talents. This series expands on that by providing insight on how to manage that. Following the first episode, we also have business owner and event promoter PJ Wright, and Ruption (Rogen Walker), popular videographer and founder of RD Studios, in the weeks to come. So far, things are coming together well, and I have a great team supporting me,” Pinto said.

stephanie.lyew@gleanerjm.com