About last week…#AFSH24

The first week of May proved a big moment for the Contented team. A big moment, largely experienced from a rather small room in the depths of the KICC conference centre in central Nairobi.

Team members from 4 countries, across 2 continents, came together in our mission to drive awareness of and garner meaningful engagement with the 2024 Africa Fertilizer and Soil Health Summit.

The organisers, the African Union, staged a summit that brought together key figures within African governments, top policymakers, scientific experts and private sector players. The aim? To carefully consider how, over the next 10 years, Africa can tangibly move towards the rejuvenation of its soils, the prosperity of its farming communities and the security of its food systems. Not only did we see an impressive meeting of minds and lively conversation throughout no less than 55 in-depth panel discussions, we also witnessed the drafting of the all-important Nairobi Declaration on May 9th.

Add to this a delegate count of over 4,000 people from across the world, more than 20 million content views across digital platforms, plus a deluge of requests for access to the content and positive testimonials about the summit’s achievements, and we think the AU can safely congratulate themselves on a mission accomplished.

Our team is honoured to have worked with the AU and with the incredible crew at the @Mason Africa Group for what proved to be an enormous project. At Contented, we regularly check in on ourselves to ask the all-important question; are we staying true to our values? That is, to work with excellence, honesty, kindness and resilience. The past few weeks of Summit life have placed the importance of each of these values firmly back in the spotlight for us. Projects of this scale serve up the ideal opportunity to check in with our behaviours and practices…are we actually walking the walk?

Excellence is what we strive for – and it’s a bar that was constantly heightened by the organisers and executors of the Summit. There’s nothing quite like being pushed to be the best version of ourselves and it was to be expected with an event, guest list and partnership roster of this calibre.

Resilience is built, in part, by learning. And wow, did we learn. Mainly, about what a small team is capable of achieving in a short amount of time, by leaning into each others’ strengths, communicating constantly and critiquing constructively.

From flying colleagues from the UK and South Africa to Kenya, balancing family commitments, and establishing a robust social media presence in a few short weeks, to ensuring livestream accessibility of all the summit sessions, all parties fully committed to making this event the spearheading moment that it deserved to be. Which meant that honesty and kindness played starring roles too. The ability to be honest with each other – asking questions such as can we do better? Or is this really helpful / necessary / productive? – and to show kindness through a period that was heavily loaded for everyone was paramount to our success as one team.

So, over the month of April and for one hectic week at the start of May, we forged partnerships with organisations that shared the same vision and drive as the Contented team. We thank all of the fantastic organisers, schedulers, builders, creators, writers, speakers and thinkers for being a part of this with us.

Have we learnt a lot? Absolutely. We’re ready to do things even better for the next international summit we work on. We didn’t execute perfectly. But we did strive for excellence – and honestly, we got there. As we always say, we love a challenge, and this was one that we relished.

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