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March 16, 2020

iX Teacher Spotlight — Dave Duarte — Digital Marketing 2020

Written by

Dave Duarte

"My career has been shaped by my interest in how to use digital media to bring people together, and along the way have had a project selected by the United Nations for Campaign of the Year; served on several boards; and have been named as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum." – Dave Duarte

Dave Duarte is a digital story-maker with a deep interest in how we innovate towards greater sustainability and social inclusiveness.

As founder of Treeshake, he runs social marketing campaigns that bring people together to influence policy and drive behavioral change.

The World Economic Forum lists him as a Young Global Leader, and has invited him to address world leaders in Davos on the topics of brand building, storytelling, and countering fake news.

He serves as Chairman of the Reach Trust, a non-profit developing mobile apps used by millions of South Africans to improve their literacy, numeracy, and employability. He also serves as a voting member of the academy of the Global Teacher Prize.

Dave currently runs a story-making organization called Treeshake. Previously he was Program Director at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business; headed up Creative Commons South Africa; served on the Board of the Mail & Guardian; and co-founded the pioneering Social Media Agency, Cerebra.

Dave lives and works in Cape Town, and gives talks and workshops around the world via a dedicated telepresence suite and boardroom.


Dave Duarte, iXperience 2020 Digital Marketing Head Instructor

[Audio clip from Dave]: My background, and what to expect from this program


More Q&A with Dave:

What are you working on now?

I’ve just wrapped up a campaign focused on East Antarctica where my client swam in a river under the polar ice-sheet. The point was to demonstrate the effect of rising global temperatures. We picked up coverage from CNN, BBC, Time and many other news publications. My next campaign is focused on transboundary water issues in Central Asia.

What do you enjoy most about the Digital Marketing industry?

Digital Marketing brings together storytelling, design, sociology, behavioral science, technology, and so many other fields I find fascinating. It’s an industry that allows you to practice your craft from anywhere in the world, and reach exactly the right people when you need to.

Why did you decide to get involved with teaching and how do you continue to keep things fresh?

  • The best teachers are lifelong learners too. Teaching is the best way for me to stay connected to the guiding principles and the latest ideas that are shaping my field. Being an active practitioner of marketing, it’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks of how I do things. Teaching forces me to look at the best case studies in the world, and stay up to date with the latest methodologies. I also happen to love it, and get so much energy from learners who are committed to improving themselves and their capabilities. 

What are you most looking forward to about iXperience this summer? 

It’s going to be an intense and rewarding time of learning. I’m really looking forward to the conversations we are going to have as a group, as well as seeing how the students bring their projects to life. Digital Marketing is always changing, and I’m looking forward to engaging with the students as they gain experience and discover the power and magic of this field.

How do you see the Digital Marketing industry changing in the next year to five years? What skills will professionals need to hone?

Digital Marketing is becoming absolutely ubiquitous, and so experience design is emerging as the organizing discipline of the field. It’s becoming both more technical and more creative. So for example, we need amazing design and storytelling that is powered by data. AI is having a massive impact on all of this, as we’ll demonstrate on the course.

What skills will iX students have after graduating from your class?

The main thing is that they will know how to run a digital marketing campaign. They’ll understand the main disciplines - Search, Programmatic, Social, Direct, and UX. And they’ll have hands-on experience in all of these.

What’s one piece of advice that you have for the iX class of 2020?

Just to really enjoy the experience. It’s not just a race to the end and to get the certificate. The process, the friendships, and even the mistakes and frustrations along the way are all really important parts of a life changing learning experience.

What would students be surprised to learn about you?

I appointed my dog “Chief Joyfulness Officer” in my business . Her job is to remind me to get up and run around every few hours, and to help me find playfulness and joy even when work is very pressurized. Her name is Ori, named after one of my favorite games

What are your ‘desert island’ books or movies?

My absolute favorite books the KingKiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss. The Wise Man’s Fear, and the Name of the Wind are the first two books of the trilogy. The third has yet to be released. Rothfuss did something like 200 rewrites on each book, and I think when the third volume in the trilogy comes out the whole series will be an instant classic.

What song do you know all the lyrics to?

The Next Movement by the Roots

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