The Bicultural Podcast

"Every culture has got a lot that they can teach" | Interview with Luke Townsend

March 01, 2021 Janina Neumann, Luke Townsend Season 2 Episode 1
The Bicultural Podcast
"Every culture has got a lot that they can teach" | Interview with Luke Townsend
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers
In the first episode of season 2, Janina Neumann interviews Luke Townsend, co-founder of Tendopro.

This episode will give insight into

  • Digital education tools to support underprivileged learners
  • Bringing cultures together in South Africa
Read the podcast transcript here: transcripts.thebiculturalpodcast.com

If you enjoyed this episode, please don't forget to review, subscribe and share with others :).

www.thebiculturalpodcast.com


Janina Neumann (00:00):
Welcome to The Bicultural Podcast. The Bicultural Podcast celebrates bicultural individuals and gives insight into cultural differences, to help you improve business relationships. The podcast is presented by myself, Janina Neumann, a bilingual creative, social entrepreneur, and business owner.

Janina Neumann (00:24):
Welcome to The Bicultural Podcast today. I'm delighted to be joined by Luke Townsend. Co-founder of Tendopro. Hi Luke, how are you?

Luke Townsend (00:34):
Morning Janina. Thank you very much for having me on it's a pleasure to be with you this morning.

Janina Neumann (00:40):
Oh, likewise. I'm so delighted that you're here. I'm really excited to have this conversation with you.

Luke Townsend (00:46):
Well, it's a very interesting topic, so I'm looking forward to sharing some of my thoughts and some of my experiences. Just a little disclaimer, it's my experiences. It's the way I see things. And as we know, there's always sort of two sides to every story, but I'm looking forward to sharing my experiences and my stories with you this morning.

Janina Neumann (01:08):
That's fantastic. Would you like to tell us a little bit about yourself?

Luke Townsend (01:12):
Yeah. So, I'm, as you mentioned, Luke Townsend, the co-founder of Tendopro and Tendopro is essentially a free-to-use educational tool for underprivileged learners to help bridge the gap with home support essentially. So the idea very simplistically is to make sure that there's equitable access to top-quality resources regardless of your socioeconomic situation.

Janina Neumann (01:42):
Oh, that's such a fantastic initiative, and just from previous conversations, there's so much behind that and how you've created that, which we'll get onto later on. So tell us a little bit about for example, where you're based and where you've lived before.

Luke Townsend (02:00):
Yeah. So I have spent the last 50 years of my life in South Africa in Johannesburg, and that is where Tendopro, the company, currently resides out of South Africa in Johannesburg. And I have just recently moved to the UK. I live here in a stunning part of the country and Cheltenham. And the idea of us moving here is to find best practice and import these skills and knowledge and all these wonderful things to our user base back in South Africa. And the UK is also essentially our launching pad for the other markets that we would like to look at, other areas where we can be of support. So the emerging market type places that might have a similar challenge to what South Africa has got when it comes to education, connectivity, all of those sorts of things. So the UK is going to become a hub and we look to export all these beautiful skills and things that we have accessible in the UK back to the emerging markets, South Africa in particular.

Janina Neumann (03:02):
Well, that's really fantastic. Tell us a little bit more about how Tendopro came about.

Luke Townsend (03:09):
Well, myself and a colleague, my other co-founder, his name is Jerome Maggerman. We had a consulting business and we were working in the communication space. And we were just assisting companies with the transformation that had kind of taken place in the digital sphere and how companies were trying to adopt digital and be more digital and be more efficient and all those sorts of things. And Jerome and I were tasked with working with an NGO (non-governmental organisation), as a part of our consultancy business that was the largest NGO in South Africa that relates to education. We were very fortunate to be at that company. It was a company that had been opened, well, the ribbon-cutting had been attended by Nelson Mandela himself, and he had looked at this NGO as an important part of his plan to irradicate poverty through access to education.

Luke Townsend (04:06):
So we were very privileged to be there and we spent a number of years working with us this NGO in trying to assist them with a whole bunch of challenges that they had and Jerome and I just fell completely in love with education. It just started absorbing a full day. We basically moved away from all our other commercial and corporate clients that we were dealing with and focused on the education sector because there was such a huge amount of need, and you know, we were just completely grabbed by it. And I think it got to the point where we felt we either needed to walk away and kind of do something else or just completely take on the challenge and just be absorbed by it. And that was our sense was that we needed to really give everything that we had to being a part of the solution.

Janina Neumann (04:58):
Oh, wow. That's really powerful. And also to think about kind of how you've built your business from there and also the passion behind that. And as you say having such a strong mission behind what you do. Tell us a bit about kind of the barriers underprivileged learners face in South Africa.

Luke Townsend (05:20):
Well, the barriers are immense and there's a complete lack of equal opportunity in South Africa. And, you know, when you have a situation where the vast majority of the population are going into school, exiting school with not much hope of further education or work or all of those sorts of things, it becomes an incredibly difficult thing to ignore. You feel like you have to play some role or be involved in some way. And please let me just put it out there that we believe collaboration is the answer to all these problems, it's certainly not us alone that has a solution that's going to change these things, but we certainly look to play our small part in it. But yeah, the enormity of the challenge that we have with the underprivileged schools in particular because you've got these learners that are coming through into a system, one of the first obstacles and hurdles that a lot of our learners will face is that they don't get to use mother tongue for their exams and tests and schooling past the grade four level. So we've got this really interesting situation where a learner will use sort of their mother tongue for years, one, two, and three. And then when it comes to year four, they've either got to change to English or Afrikaans.

Janina Neumann (06:51):
Oh wow.

Luke Townsend (06:51):
And if you look at the literacy rates in South Africa at that point, which we measure in year four, they are staggeringly low, but that makes sense if you think about somebody going from one language to another language, sort of overnight and expected to catch up. So a lot of our learners start on the back foot, so it can be incredibly difficult for them to catch up in the process. And that was really what we wanted to try and do was to say, how can we give more home support, outside classroom support, that also in a lot of instances would be lacking at home because the parents under the Apartheid regime also never had access to quality education.

Luke Townsend (07:29):
So you've got this generational issue, which is now also cropping up where a parent only wants the best for their child but feels like disempowered to assist with that learning process. And it almost feels sometimes like the learner has this journey that they have to go through all on their own and it's a massive mountain. And then we get these young learners that give everything they've got to try and get to Matric. And they pass Matric, it's a big celebration for the family. Everyone's really, really excited about the prospects and the future. And then there seems to be this lack of ability to move on from that point, because there's either no access to the next level of education or work. And it's incredibly sort of sad situation and the obstacles that our learners face is enormous.

Janina Neumann (08:22):
Oh, wow. That's really astounding to hear. And also, you know, from anyone who can relate to learning a different language and having to take their exams. I mean, personally, I came to the UK when I was nine, and then I had to take my SATs in year six, a year after. And that was quite a challenge because if I didn't do well enough in my SATs, I wouldn't, you know, be placed in the right set, so to speak. The kind of the same education level that was right for me which was just based on my knowledge of English. And luckily I felt like I was in the right set. And then a year after completing my first year of high school, I was then moved up a whole set. So that was really fortunate for me. But I think also it depends on how you learn a language. And also, you know, as you say about all the, you know, support mechanisms that go on behind your learning journey as well.

Luke Townsend (09:32):
Yeah, a hundred percent. I mean, Janina in your experience and going through that challenge. Did you find that there was a lot of support? Was there a lot of access to support? A lot of people that were pulling for you and trying to make sure that these obstacles were overcome?

Janina Neumann (09:48):
I think just on a language level, I mean, I went to a very small primary school. It was a village primary school, we might've had in total, in the whole school, like 30 or 40 kids. So, you know, the time for me to learn English was very one-on-one at times. But I also think it makes you really motivated to learn English. And it's also about how the school is set up, you know, do they have the right resources that they might give you at home? Like I had, like one-on-one support to like read English to someone, you know, not everyone has that opportunity.

Luke Townsend (10:34):
And, and that's exactly the point that I wanted to raise and why we'd started this business was because we felt that every success story that I can think about, there's always somebody that got involved or played a role or some support structure that helped somebody achieve something. And it's not a matter of doing the work for them or whatever the case may be, but just the belief or the support or the access to information is so critical. And that's the role that we wanted to play. We wanted to try and be that support and where it was lacking that we could maybe just plug a gap or be there for those individuals because you can imagine in the schooling environment in South Africa when you're talking about small classes and things, we have, and it's an unusual situation, but from time to time, you'd have up to 70 children in a class.

Janina Neumann (11:19):
Oh wow.

Luke Townsend (11:21):
Now, how is the teacher going to possibly be able to give one-on-one attention to all of those learners? And we just felt that a lot of learners are falling through the gaps. Maybe they just need a bit of support. Maybe they just need a bit of love. Maybe they just need a bit of assistance. And that was really what we were about. We were saying, can we maybe look to use digital to kind of bridge that gap and give the support that is missing? Because I can't stress it enough that, you know, in every success story that I've come across, there is somebody that has stood up to play a role, whether it's a direct role or an indirect role. You know, we function as a community and it always takes a community as we know, you know, to get everybody onto the right footing. But, you know, we just wanted to see if we could play that role, that supportive role, and be there for learners when we know that they've got all these mountains and hurdles that are massive challenges to them.

Janina Neumann (12:21):
Yeah, definitely. And I'm just thinking about, you know, all the different languages that are spoken in South Africa. Could you tell us a little bit more about that?

Luke Townsend (12:29):
Yeah. I mean, South Africa is a beautiful place. It's so multi-dimensional, and it's really is the one thing that I've really missed South Africa and not being there for the last few months is that it is so diverse. We've got 11 official languages and a lot of different cultural, almost nuances if I could call it that, between all the different cultures. And we've got this melting pot that tries to come together as a united South Africa. And it's a very interesting place, but if you open yourself up to the things that you can learn through culture because every culture has got a lot that they can teach, it really is quite a fascinating place.

Janina Neumann (13:19):
Oh, wow. That's really interesting how everyone lives together and, you know, in the same kind of identity, but I bet that depending on where you come from, you know, you associate different parts of South Africa with your identity. That's really interesting.

Luke Townsend (13:39):
Yeah. And, you know, absolutely. And then it's about also trying to come together when South Africa, I think is essentially, you could say that there was a civil war that tore us apart for many, many years. And, you know, culture was always at the forefront of the conversation, but, you know, it was such an interesting place to kind of be in and start your own business. There was, I think I was 24 when the ANC (African National Congress) came into power. So Apartheid was officially wrapped up and done and dusted and put away, which was one of the greatest moments in South African history, for sure. But there you are. You're 24 years old. And I started my first business when I was 28. So within a four-year period, you've basically got to get to know a whole new South Africa, a whole new way of doing things, a whole new way of operating. And we had to kind of merge all these different cultural identities and ideas into building a sustainable economy. And it really was quite a fascinating journey to be involved in. You know, my business was a small business, but you still, you had access to all of these different people that you hadn't worked with before, and trying to get to understand and build trust and build relationships, was really an interesting journey.

Janina Neumann (15:04):
Wow. That certainly sounds like it. So what were some of the processes or approaches used to bring these different communities together?

Luke Townsend (15:16):
Yeah, initially you kind of felt that there wasn't a blueprint that you could follow. You know, there wasn't an understanding as to how we were going to collectively overcome this challenge. Now Nelson Mandela was an incredibly strong leader and he had spoken a lot about the rainbow nation and a place for everybody and respect for everybody. So he certainly created this culture that we needed to get on with things. And I think a lot of people kind of heated that call, but one of the interesting things was whilst the kind of negotiations were going on between the ANC and, I guess the national party at the time, around how this transition to freedom was going to take place, the ANC, was their delegation was headed by Cyril Ramaphosa, who's our current president, and Roelf Meyer, who was representing the national party.

Luke Townsend (16:12):
And the two of them had to face this challenge first, if I could put it that way, they needed to find common ground amongst themselves so that the rest of us knew how to follow it. We could then almost mimic what they'd done. And I think the two gentlemen did not standing job of showing that they needed to build trust and in order to build trust, they needed to understand each other's culture and they needed to see each other as people. And they needed to, you know, find common ground. And, you know, in the process, there was a very sort of famous story of the two of them had gone fly fishing and Roelf Meyer had caught his finger on one of the fly hooks and it was stuck in his finger and Cyril had to take it out for him, and it was, "Well, do you trust me?" And, you know, when it gets down to that level of cooperation and working together and you start seeing each other for people, you see the humanity in each other and their stories of that kind of shared experience, I think was the thing that a lot of people tried to use as their kind of blueprint, as I can call it, in terms of moving forward in business.

Janina Neumann (17:19):
Oh, wow. That's really powerful. And, you know, as you say, stories of shared experiences, we sometimes forget that we all have experienced similar problems to varying degrees and it comes down to, you know, our approaches and perhaps someone else's approach can help you in your own life as well.

Luke Townsend (17:40):
Yeah, definitely. And, and I think, you know, that finding common ground, but when you start seeing people for people and when you understand that everybody is essentially the same in that we all hurt, we all love, we all cry. We're all human and we all have the same insecurities and abilities and, you know, all of these wonderful things, it really does change your approach in terms of how you deal with, even with culture. And, you know, I always feel that the first and most important thing is to connect to a person as a human. And if you're connecting to a person as a heart-to-heart connection, culture can play a massive role in assisting you to get there. And what I mean by that is if I express a genuine interest in your culture, who you are, how you do things, how you operate, that is often an indicator of an ability to find trust and common ground, because there's, you know, that shows the willingness to collaborate and to understand, and to involve yourself because it's extremely unlikely that you'd be able to do.

Luke Townsend (18:59):
Again, if I go back to my story of earlier, you know, four years after the South African landscape had changed, you're running a business, to understand all of those 11 cultures and languages, and it's not doable, it's not practical. So you've got to try and connect on a human level, but I always found that the ability to connect on a human level also meant that we needed to connect on a cultural level or at least show the willingness to understand the culture, to understand where a person is coming from. And I always felt that was one of the best ways to connect to people was by asking questions, listening to the answers, and observing as to why they do certain things, certain ways, and reflecting an understanding of that. And I think when you start reflecting an understanding of a person's culture, it does go a long way to enhancing the trust and fostering a good business relationship at the end of the day.

Janina Neumann (19:52):
Yeah, certainly. And, you know, the heart-to-heart connection reminds me of some research that I came across about how people integrate and the success of integration into a new culture actually depends very much also on the, you know, on the culture that they're now living in. I mean, if the culture basically tries to change them and kind of abandon their roots, then the integration isn't going to be very successful. Whereas if there's a genuine kind of approach to saying, actually you have your home culture and you have your new culture, so you kind of become bicultural, then that's a much better model for integration as well. So I can really relate to the heart-to-heart connection there.

Luke Townsend (20:44):
Yeah. And I think you make a very good point about that bicultural connection because, you know, again, we thought, well, a lot of the world is English, so it's one of our official languages. And we've got a lot of English-speaking South Africans here, so international business is done in English. So maybe we kind of skew towards adopting that as our business culture and you'll end up losing a lot. You'll end up losing a lot of experience and a lot of knowledge and a lot of, you know, ability that a bicultural approach is far stronger because it allows that uniqueness. And it allows that creativity, you know, that I think is so important in any walk of life, but in business, in particular, to have that creativity in your business life is important. And I think a bicultural approach is always going to be the stronger one.

Janina Neumann (21:33):
That's so interesting. And I'm just thinking about, you know, some of the grassroot kind of communications that you've seen. How was it approached where communications done in their mother tongue language or in Afrikaans or English?

Luke Townsend (21:53):
It was a fascinating journey because when everyone kind of started off, they were like, okay, we are used to, this is from a media perspective. The media are used to putting messages out in two languages, which is English and Afrikaans. So now the idea is, okay, we've got 11 languages. So do we put out in all 11 languages? Or do we assume that we continue with English and Afrikaans and that people will, you know because it is a highly sort of spoken second language would be either English or Afrikaans. So there was kind of that second language connection. Would that make sense? How would media represent that rainbow nation that the president has spoken about? Would it be, you know, having images of different cultures or maybe a mixed culture? And there were all these kinds of things that were going on.

Luke Townsend (22:46):
And the bottom line is my personal belief is that you're always going to have a stronger connection if you're at least able to reflect an understanding and able to communicate specifically to that audience in a way that they're going to understand, not only understand but associate with. And I think one of the challenges that we'd overcome was to say that there isn't a generic way that we can have a conversation. You need to be able to have multiple channels of communication and make sure that you're not leaving anybody out, because if you do leave somebody out, then that will not be your marketplace. It's as simple as that. So if you're going to ignore Zulu, as an example, in your communications, then you probably going to feel like that particular portion of your marketplace is going to not feel seen or heard or connected to your products in any way, and it's unlikely that you'll have any success in trying to promote those products to, you know, that particular audience.

Luke Townsend (23:46):
And it was important that we felt, we found these cultural connections. I was very fortunate that as a youngster, I'd always been a little bit of a football fanatic, and South Africa, at the time, kind of my culture wasn't really closely associated with local football. It wasn't on TV, for example, at all, all those sorts of things. I used to listen on the radio, and it was very much regarded as a sport for our sort of local, almost I'd say black audience, was really the focus of football. I used to listen on the radio, and all my heroes, I mean, I couldn't have spotted them in a lineup. I'd never seen their faces. I'd only ever heard them on radio.

Luke Townsend (24:37):
And all of my connections with my childhood idols was just listening to a commentator explain to me how beautifully they played this game that I so enjoyed. I mean, it was guys like Teenage Dladla and Ace Ntsolengoe that I still to this day wouldn't know really what they look like, but I used to listen with great enthusiasm. And I found that, like, for example, that type of connection was something that was kind of universal through a lot of the audience. And if you wanted to then try and connect on a broader base, things like sport or identifying other commonalities like music or, you know, those types of things was a way that you could kind of bridge these gaps, these cultural divides, and all these gaps and things.

Luke Townsend (25:23):
And I certainly used football extensively if I was going to meeting, and regardless if they were the person I was meeting was a football lover or not, it was very much a part of the culture. Football was very much a part of the, you know, the culture and the escape and the entertainment, and, you know, these icons and these heroes that were excelling in the worst of times in the toughest of times. So, you know, it was nice to be able to connect on that level. And that, yeah, I was very fortunate that I'd had that experience as a youngster that I understood a little bit more about the culture of the people that I'd be dealing with because we had this commonality and I think the word that I'm trying to express is to find that commonality with somebody because there is always something there. There's always something inherent that you'll be able to find and kind of latch on to, and yeah, have that kind of opportunity to shape around that common interest.

Janina Neumann (26:15):
Yeah. I think that's fascinating, especially when you say radio, because obviously you don't have the visual element, you have the kind of the audio element to your experiences. And I sometimes think audio can create different experiences really. And it's just really interesting that perhaps the people that you met as well also just listened to the radio. You kind of brought your own experience to that experience, but you connected on a common ground.

Luke Townsend (26:55):
Yeah, no, absolutely. And that common connection it was really very rewarding because also having this conversation and almost become excited about the prospect of having these conversations and, you know, finding this shared ground, it's amazing how being able to just talk to somebody when you talk about connecting that heart-to-heart connection when you do have that shared commonality of that shared, you know, thing that you can be interested in, it just makes those conversations so much easier. But also found that if there isn't that commonality, if you can't use as I did, football was my big thing to find common ground, but if you couldn't find that, then the common ground for me was always around humanity. And again, the showing an interest or expressing a desire to want to understand somebody's culture and listen and learn and adopt and, you know, do all those sorts of things, I think does reflect very strongly on the person that you're communicating with.

Luke Townsend (27:59):
And if you come across as somebody that has integrity, somebody who has a heart, somebody that, you know, could possibly be trusted. And I was reminded of the time, it was probably one of my first business lunches. I'd taken a big client out for lunch, and I was really quite nervous about this whole engagement. I was still quite a young guy and, you know, hoping that it all went well. There was quite a lot riding on the meeting. I'd selected the restaurant and I was, you know, taking these guys off for lunch and was looking forward to this experience. And we started eating and trying to find these areas, and we'd had a bit of a football chat, but we were trying to find, you know, how to kind of bring things together.

Luke Townsend (28:44):
And then the gentleman said to me, you know, in his culture, the restaurant that I'd taken them to served the food out of a pan and it was a fish restaurant. So the fish camp beautifully displayed in this pan with the sides and all the rest of it. And I thought, well, this is all going really well until he explained in his culture that it was a definite no-no to eat from the pan. And it was, "Oh, my word, what have I done?" You know, it's the first time that I'm taking this person for lunch and I've made like a massive cultural blunder, and I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do now. And all I basically did was to say, "Well, tell me a little bit about that. You know, what is it about the culture?" We'd obviously called the waiter over, we'd changed the pan to a plate.

Luke Townsend (29:28):
And I showed a willingness to understand and to learn and to appreciate where he was coming from. And it became a standing joke between the two of us. It was something that actually started connecting us on a human level, because I was able to then phone him a couple of days later and say, "I want to take you out for lunch again, but this time you choose, I'll go where you want to go". And it just became something that we could kind of bond over, and it did start to bond our relationship going forward.

Janina Neumann (30:01):
That's really interesting. And yeah, I think the key there is the bonding experience, you know, but also for him to open up about that, this is perhaps not the way he would have done things, but also showing that you know, a mutual respect amongst each other, that you can do things differently is really important.

Luke Townsend (30:20):
Yeah. And I think that goes to that the human part of it, you know, is to find that connection and you just need to be open to it. And when you are open to it, the sort the cultural conversations that you have become a lot less scary because you realise that you can't know everything, and it's unrealistic to think that you're going to be able to just know everything and do everything in a short period of time. So it's how you approach those conversations. And it's how the person sees you as a person that becomes critical in the whole process. But that expression of wanting to understand their culture and a genuineness to wanting to understand and grow even yourself as an individual, I think is something that your sort of cultural partner will reflect on very positively.

Janina Neumann (31:13):
Yeah, certainly, especially the part of grow as an individual, you know, the more you meet cultures and the more you open yourself up, the more receptive you'll be to another culture, which is fantastic.

Luke Townsend (31:29):
Yeah. So as an arrogant young guy, there I am, I'm 28. I'm starting my first business. I think I know everything. I'm going to conquer the world and I'm going to go do all these wonderful things. And then you kind of realise very quickly that almost everything you've learned through your entire life is wrong. That there's another way of doing things. And there's another way of looking at things. And, you know, you kind of have to just reboot everything. And I found it to be such a rewarding process because I started challenging all my conventional thinking and saying that I've always done things a certain way because it's maybe experiencing, cultures, whatever the case may be. Is it the only way of doing things? Are there other ways that I can do? Can it help me be more efficient or happier? You know, all of those sorts of things.

Luke Townsend (32:17):
And it really was a very rewarding experience. Once you kind of say to yourself, I'm not going to go in with any preconceived notions. I want to open myself up, open my mind up, understand the person that's talking to me and then filter that information and come up with my own way of doing things. And I think bicultural approach and why the biculture for me is such an important thing is because if you have these multiple cultures and bicultures and things that you can draw for these experiences and these knowledges and things that you can draw, it just makes you a better person. It makes you a stronger person. And it's been an incredibly rewarding journey personally from that perspective. Not that I've learned everything I've got a huge way still to go, but I've really enjoyed being part and parcel of that whole cultural exchange that happened in South Africa.

Janina Neumann (33:08):
No, it's, it's been so fascinating to listen to your story. And, you know, also coming back to the point of, you know, challenge your conventional thinking, I think a lot of people are aware that they have an unconscious bias so to speak. But actually, what they don't realise, it's not something that's inherently wrong with their thinking, that they can never change it, it's about actually changing your environment, and then you open up different ways of thinking and you revise what you initially thought. So there's always room to grow and find out more about cultures. It's not something you're stuck with, so to speak.

Luke Townsend (33:48):
Yeah, I agree, Janina. And even if I go back to being involved in education now, you know, one of the, I suppose, the conventional thinking was the schools are built, the teachers are there, things will happen. You know, we'll find parity, we'll find equality and things through these normal processes. And, you know, a lot of people would say, well, that's it, you know, we've done our bit there's schools, there's teachers and, you know, people have gotten an equitable opportunity to find their road in life or their success. But if you drill down a little bit deeper and you start looking at what lies underneath that, like for example, maybe inexperienced teachers, lack of home support, difficulty in traveling to school, sometimes it's a seven-kilometer walk to school, no food at school or food that's been consumed before school.

Luke Townsend (34:41):
And you start just going a little bit deeper and understanding the challenges and things that people have, suddenly the provision of a school and the teachers seems daft. It seems like it was almost the fourth thing that you should have done. You know, that there were three steps that you should have taken before you'd gotten to that point of understanding what it is that the learner is going to need, and the support that the learner is going to need to make sure that they have an equal opportunity. And I can categorically say that the learners that are coming out of, you know, sort of our education system at the moment in the underprivileged areas will remain disadvantaged because there's just not enough other areas of support to make sure that there is equitable access to opportunity.

Janina Neumann (35:30):
Yeah. That's such a goal and that you also mentioned previously about the importance of collaboration. So I just wonder, how can people connect and work with you if they loved listening to you?

Luke Townsend (35:45):
Well, we are always open to collaboration and connection, you know, as I say, it's such a big beast that needs to be slayed, and then people need to come together to, you know, to solve this problem. And, yeah, I mean, if people want to get in touch with me on my email address, which is [email protected], they're more than welcome to, we'd love to hear from people. We'd love to shake up our ideas and our thinking if people have got things that they've been doing that they've found to be successful. For us, it's a privilege to work with other folks that are like-minded and want to try and, you know, help solve the problem. And I think it also requires, you know, creative thinking because there are different ways in which we can solve different problems. And sometimes I find that the challenges that one industry is facing, another industry has overcome. So even if people aren't necessarily in the education sector, but have had challenges around communicating on a broad base or any of those sorts of things and have had some successes, we'd love to hear from them and definitely be very keen to see if there's points of collaboration.

Janina Neumann (36:57):
Fantastic, Luke. Thank you so much for your time today. It's been fascinating to speak to you and I've learned so much. Thank you.

Luke Townsend (37:05):
Thank you very much. It was an absolute pleasure to be with you this morning. I really enjoyed that.

Janina Neumann (37:10):
Me too, Luke. Thank you.

Janina Neumann (37:15):
So, I hope you've enjoyed this episode. Please don't forget to subscribe to The Bicultural Podcast. Thank you for listening, and bis bald.


Welcome to The Bicultural Podcast
Digital education tools to support underprivileged learners
Bringing cultures together in South Africa
Thank you for listening