Bayo Akomolafe: An Oriki for the Times

Bayo Akomolafe is a researcher, lecturer and author, as well as Coordinator of the International Alliance for Localization. This is his plenary talk at the Economics of Happiness conference, held in Portland, Oregon, in February 2015. The conference was organized by Local Futures, a non-profit organization that has has been promoting a shift from global to local for nearly 40 years. Bayo draws from his indigenous Yoruba praise-poetry traditions (Oriki), and weaves a nuanced story about beauty, wonder, change, and a different sort of 'activism' that needs to be noticed today - one which transcends logos, slogans, control mechanisms, and data. He reminds us that 'there is a magic afoot' today, and that not-knowing is a resource, not an inconvenience. Bayo urges us, in poetic prose, to move towards the 'unthinkable' - "where a pregnant nothing swirls". Some are calling this one of the most important messages for our times. 

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Bayo Akomolafe: An Oriki for the Times