Brand archaeologist uncovers South Africa’s social record at TEDxSoweto

Managing director of Product of the Year, Preetesh Sewraj, will assume the mantle of “brand archaeologist” at TEDxSoweto to uncover how the products we use will define our society for future generations.


Preetesh Sewraj, managing director of Product of the Year, will be speaking at TEDxSoweto on Saturday 2 November, about the ways in which our choices as consumers shape our society.


For the TEDxSoweto talk, Sewraj assumes the mantle of “brand archaeologist”, as a classical archaeology graduate   who now works at Product of the Year, at the nexus between global innovation and the South African consumer market.


He explains his approach. “We learn about past societies from digging up their artifacts, and it’s the day-to-day items that they used and stored goods in that give us they key to how their societies worked. South Africa has a young democracy, and is young in terms of its archaeological record, so what we are doing right now is defining our identity for future generations, through the products that we use.”


His talk looks at how South Africans use European or American products that solve consumer problems that aren’t necessarily our own. “However, in some instances, we use them in unusual ways that speak to the exact needs of our particular society.”


While there is a strong argument for this kind of innovative use, the argument is stronger for innovation in product creation, and this is the case that Sewraj will present at TEDxSoweto, in line with the theme of: “Creativity – The answer to all questions”.


He is delighted to be speaking at this particular TEDx event, because he believes that Soweto is the ideal location for the birth of revolutionary ideas. “It was the strategic centre of the uprisings in the seventies,” he says. “Now, it is home to ideas worth sharing, ideas that may be controversial now, but will soon become part of mainstream thinking.”


To see Sewraj speak, TEDxSoweto purchase your entry ticket on

For more information on Product of the Year, you can visit or call 011 051 3001.

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