Ian Bentley




I have never previously added a logo to my profile, because how does one go about choosing it from all the images in one's life? My Ecademy persona reflects a man of many parts, and to select one is to do the others adisservice. So I chose what I consider to be the best painting I have done, to date, as my personal logo. I call it 'Light Refracted 1'. I painted it in 1984 and at the time dedicated it to George Orwell (though I've never really figured out quite why!). Its now in the collection of Ms Jenny Weyer. Who is Ian Bentley? I was trained as an artist, and emerged as a talented and award-winning draughtsman and painter. But, having been brought up with a strong social conscience during the Apartheid era in South Africa, my art took a back seat. Looking back, I realise my life has fitted into 3 fairly rigid segments that eventually merged with each other. The first part was really all about learning to be an artist and graphic designer … then instead of using my given talents to the benefit myself and my 'bewitched audience', I decided instead to concentrate my attentions on battling the Apartheid political establishment ... from my schooldays till the beginning of the Nineteen Nineties; The second part, from 1994 and through the first six years of the new millennium, was to a significant extent dedicated towards assisting in the birthing process of the New South Africa. I worked for the Natioinal Peace Secretariat an later for several prominent NGOs ... solving problems, mediating conflicts, reconciling parties and promoting a safe and harmonious social environment; The thirds part started perhaps three years ago when I finally come to the realisation that I am, at long last, a free agent unconstrained by my physical environment ... a born-again-maverick in an infinitely-connected World. Awakening They say that every dark cloud has a silver lining. Living through the worst excesses of the Apartheid era in South Africa of my youth as a young, liberal and fairly militant white boy had plenty of down-sides … but you certainly learned to innovate! When I reached the point where I felt I had completed my personal mission of service to the Common Good, I suddenly realised I didn't have that much time left to me to release all the pent-up creativity mulling about in my hyper-active brain. If I wanted to leave some sort of lasting footprint on this World of ours, I'd better get my finger out! In the past couple of years (perhaps it is a wisdom that comes with maturity?) I have come to realize that my true calling in life is as an innovator and visionary. I have come to realize that the multitude of problems facing the World, rather than scaring the SH*T out of us, actually presents each and every one of us with a perfectly matching set of opportunities ... to take those innovative ideas of ours and develop them to the benefit of mankind and the planet, and profit in exact proportion to our creative input. Anatomy of a Creative Maverick I'm an 'Ideas' person ... innovation comes easily to me. Unlike most of humanity, who have been swept away by the perceived 'need' for specialisation (and simultaneously shackled by the chains that specialisation places around their creativity) ... I am a generalist. I have an enquiring mind that allows me to source ideas from many quarters, as I have wide span of interests. I'm not locked into the existing paradigms of the many industries and fields I work or have worked in - and consequently find it easy to produce original, often ground-breaking thoughts and ideas. I come at problems with an open mind and ignore preconceived notions of what is or isn't possible. I class myself as a creative maverick. People like me are a numerically small minority group, but are probably responsible for a disproportionately large percentage of the truly innovative thinking that goes on in the world. Unfortunately many, if not most of our ideas never see the light of day ... because it's virtually impossible, in practical terms, for us as originators to realise them. Collectively we face the challenge of somehow linking this creative, 'outside-the-box' thinking of ours to people with the capacity to actually execute our ideas and concepts.... essentially by roping in the assistance of 'specialists' with the capacity to turn our dreams into reality. Have you ever experienced the sensation of having so many different ideas vying for attention in your brain is a problem you don't know where to start? You might find, as I just have, that you are an Attention Deficit Disorder 'sufferer'. If you add ADD to Creative Maverick, what do you get? I only very recently discovered I have ADD. After living my life with the symptoms of the condition, but never understanding the causes, the news initially knocked the wind out of my sails, as you can well imagine. ADD is a strange and wonderful 'condition' that is both a blessing and a curse. The term Attention Deficit Disorder is a misnomer that triggers a misleading picture in most people'd minds. In reality it is that your brain is simply wired differently to the 'mainstream', enabling you to baffle them with your ability to multi-task or 'hyper-focus' on a task … but making it hard for you to delegate and finish tasks. The realization that I was ADD suddenly brought many issues into sharp focus ... and for the first time in my life I understood why I struggle with mundane tasks that others treat as routine. Managing ADD is actually not so difficult once you understand what it's all about. Understanding that ADD was my problem has also helped to provide me with what I honestly believe is a BRILLIANT solution. A New Dawn For a couple of years (and way before I realised I had ADD) I had been battling to find a solution to the problem of how to implement my many extraordinary ideas. I wrestled with various ingenious ways of overcoming my problem ... but there was always 'something' missing. When I ultimately arrived at my answer, it was a rather strange hybrid - a combination of Social Networking, crowdsourcing, and some of the concepts that Malcolm Gladwell brilliantly expounds in his masterpiece, "The Tipping Point". With the realisation that I had ADD, it dawned on me that my solution could also have application for countless other ADD victims around the globe (there are, conservatively, around 50 million ADD people online at this time!). So, to summarise, I have developed a concept that utilises a combination of unconnected elements and techniques to link amazing ideas to outstanding implementation. It is very much focussed on helping ADD people, a potentially massive niche that is largely untouched. American Internet Marketer, Tellman Knudson, is the only one I know who is currently attacking this problem, but from a different (and complementary) direction. I believe my concept has the potential to achieve something incredible - to literally release a tidal wave of as yet unrealised innovation and creativity. An ADD-inspired Social Epidemic My plan is nearing completion. It is a blueprint that spells out what it will take to bring this to reality. I'm going to need assistance to pull it together. I am going to need the collaboration of investors, mentors, IT specialists and web-designers, marketers, connectors ... and salespeople of every kind. Within those broad categories various other exceptional individuals with clearly defined attributes and skills will be crowdsourced, using the power of the Internet to harness the collective brainpower and imagination of the Crowd I see this initiative as a massive, sharply targeted challenge to establishment companies and organisations. An open-source 'throwing down of the gauntlet' to those dinosaurs who still embrace the pernicious ideals of a long out-dated monopoly capitalism whose most recent exploits have dragged the world economy to the mouth of the abyss. People who tend to hold real issues ... like the survival of the planet ... in total disregard. Sorry if I sounded like I was venting there. I was! Like all of us I seek sound guidance for my passage through life. Instead I see the leadership of the World, in almost every field, screwing up in horrendous fashion. I believe the time has come to mobilise a social revolution to change it. Collectively, as a global community, we can shape our world into a REAL GLOBAL VILLAGE where we collaboratively launch innovation and generate wealth for the collective good of the global community as a whole. It's a license that the pioneers of the Internet have bequeathed us … to build a BRAVE NEW WORLD … and this time to do it right. So without getting into the finer details, that's what I'm basically all about. I hope it has sparked your interest. If so, and you'd like to discuss further (or better still, get involved yourself!) please make contact. Lilliput - an old problem and a new opportunity Recently I have started a new business that focuses on an important environmental issue - the treatment of human waste. On this continent, and in many other places around the globe, existing facilities are over-stretched (and often do not exist at all). Thus untreated effluent is seeping into the ground-water table in many areas. Our company Lilliput® Treatment Technologies markets and installs a proprietary South African-registered process that treats sewage in a unique way. There are currently in excess of 700 of our plants in operation around South Africa and to a very limited extent, internationally. With minimal (but regular) operational maintenance, the technology produces truly outstanding results. In a province like the Eastern Cape, where water shortages are the rule rather than the exception, the fact that Lilliput® discharge water is clean, clear and 100% re-usable is a great boon not only for the residents of informal settlements, but also for the tourism industry which is seen as an economic lifeline for the country It provides the ideal solution for golfing estates, game lodges and similar operations. Water saving of between 40 and 60% are commonplace. The Lilliput® Sewage Treatment System offers a vast number of features and benefits, including the following: ° The design is compact, and that frees up valuable land space. ° It has very few moving parts, so mechanical wear and tear is not much of an issue. ° Lilliput is exceptionally reliable and requires very little maintenance ° It requires very little electrical power and can be run from solar panels if necessary. ° The design is modular, so the application can be phased-in, and in addition it can be 'grown' to meet future demand. ° Lilliput can be supplied as an all new system, or alternatively can be retro-fitted onto an existing septic tank. ° Lilliput consistently meets the South African Department of Water Affairs and Forestry's discharge limits ° It can be used almost anywhere and can be installed in any soil or topographic situation. ° Can be handle extreme climatic conditions. ° Due to the unique way the biological media are configured, Lilliput offers one of the most efficient processes available anywhere in the world. ° The system is sealed (thus no foul odours) and virtually silent. ° Most importantly, ongoing monitoring by independent authorities confirms that the discharge is of drinking-water quality and ideal for irrigation or recycling. ° The system is 100% environmentally friendly. ° The system is South African designed and was awarded the SABS Design Award. It was also nominated for the World Habitat Award. To sum up - I am a maverick and lateral thinker who is constantly hatching new ideas, developing original concepts and finding better ways of doing things. I thank you for reading my profile. If you have made it this far, then I suspect you might have decided to invite me into YOUR network. You know some of what I want and a bit of what I offer ... so HOW CAN I HELP YOU? I look forward to helping you build a better World! Contact Ian Bentley at mwibent@mweb.co.za or on Tel. +27-43-735 0855; Fax: +27-43-735 2865; Mobile: +27-82-6023453.