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 SA hosts key global gathering on sustainability and leadership

2012-11-12 00:00
Issued by MediaVision on behalf of USB-ED

Running from 18 to 21 November, the Africa Leads is focused on addressing the question of developing a new generation of globally responsible leaders.

The four day summit will be 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. The GRLI will also at the same time hold its first general assembly in South Africa. 

Professor of Business in Society at the University of Stellenbosch Business School, Arnold Smit, said: “There has never been a more important time to drive change in the process of leadership development, especially in South Africa and across our continent.”

“In addition to our own particular challenges, we are part of a global socio-economic system which is breaking down and where it’s clear that our traditional approaches to leadership development are not working. At Africa Leads we are bringing together some of the world’s finest minds and practitioners to work on action projects to drive change,” Smit said.

Back in South Africa for the first time since his key behind-the-scenes involvement in the transition from apartheid will be Texan, Dr Don Beck. Beck’s spiral dynamics approach was the basis for the creation of the Peace Committees and subsequent CODESA process in the run up to the first post- apartheid elections in 1994.

Beck will be joined at Africa Leads by ancient wisdom expert Tim “Mac” Macartney whose keynote speaking on leadership and wisdom across the world has inspired many. 

Practical action at Africa Leads will be driven through the creation of a series of collaboratories (collaborative laboratories) where industry groups, regional stakeholders, elders, students, researchers, opinion makers and thought leaders across disciplines will work on viable solutions for the continent’s leadership challenges. On the agenda are both the extractive industries and financial services.

Transformation of business schools, seen by many as the incubators for a ‘vampire squid’ mentality across the global financial services sector, will be firmly on the agenda as Africa Leads collaboratories will work on the implementation of the 50+20 Agenda. This vision of the future of management education was launched at the Rio+20 Earth Summit in June this year and is regarded by many as one of the few success stories of that disastrous event.

Africa Leads will also see students from across the world gathering under the GRLI Ambassadors programme. The students will both work on their own leadership development and engage in the dialogues at the meeting. The previous meeting of GRLI Ambassadors was hosted in Stuttgart, Germany by automotive giant Daimler in September last year.

Africa Leads will also be showcasing local innovation with participants embarking on “Learning Journeys” consisting of short visits to various sites selected to demonstrate innovation, community-based initiatives and sustainable leadership. These have been selected to support the theme of ‘Responsible Leadership for Africa and the World’ and include the Sustainability Institute, Spier and Lynedoch village community, Solms Delta, Capitec Bank, Kayamandi and Villiera Estate's Wine Biodiversity Project.

More than 90 individuals including representatives from PetroSA, Petrobras, SA Chamber of Mines, Anglo American, AngloGold Ashanti, National Treasury, DBSA, Woolworths, Business Connexion, Daimler, EABIS, EFMD and leading scholars and researchers in leadership and sustainability from around the globe have confirmed their participation of Africa Leads 2012.

The programme is available here. For registration and enquiries contact Latoya Feumann at +27 (0)12 3492301 or email                

Editors notes:
The GRLI is an UN-based world-wide partnership of companies and business schools/learning organisations working together in a laboratory of change to develop a next generation of globally responsible leaders. South Africa has a strong presence in the partnership with academic involvement in addition to Stellenbosch and Pretoria, Rhodes and UNISA and business participation from Yellowwoods Capital, Standard Bank, Barloworld and Anglo American.

Additional websites:
Dr Don Beck 
Tim “Mac” Macartney

Issued by MediaVision on behalf of USB-ED

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