Africa needs a new generation of responsible leaders who will be willing to place the public good before self-interest, Stellenbosch University rector and vice-chancellor Prof Russel Botman said at the Africa Leads gala dinner on 20 November 2012.
The four-day Africa Leads Summit was hosted by the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) in partnership with the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative (GRLI) and the Albert Luthuli Centre for Responsible Leadership at the University of Pretoria.
Responsible leadership, innovation and sustainability was the key focus of this global gathering of international and local academics, consultants, business leaders and public sector representatives at the Spier Wine Estate outside Stellenbosch.
The conference organisers set out to put together a summit with a difference, allowing delegates to partake in adapting the conference programme. The conference was also paperless and delegates were encouraged to make use of the online app that provided them with all the information related to the various sessions.
Further to this, the summit hosted the gathering of the GRLI Young Ambassadors. A total of 65 students from all over the world gathered at the Sustainability Institute of Stellenbosch University, where they worked on their personal leadership development and engaged in various dialogues.
Another key innovative element of this conference was the inclusion of ‘Learning Journeys’ consisting of short visits by delegates to various sites selected to demonstrate innovation, community-based initiatives and sustainable leadership. Says Willemien Law, director: Open Enrolment Programmes at USB Executive Development Ltd, who attended one of the learning journeys: “It was an enriching experience to see how community-based initiatives are implemented at the Villiera estate. Ecological, social, cultural and economic activities are all expressed in a practical way in the everyday life on the estate.”
To both organisers and delegates alike the success of the conference was evident and many saw this as the beginning of similar innovative initiatives. “Africa Leads has again proved that leaders need to continue questioning the status quo and that collectively we can, through new innovative ideas, change the future of this continent,” said Frik Landman, chief executive officer of USB Executive Development Ltd.
For more information about Africa Leads visits www.africaleads.org.za