GSB brings young global leaders to Cape Town

19 November 2018 | Story Supplied. Photo Foundations WEF,Flickr. Read time 4 min.
Cape Town is hosting the Young Global Leaders conference, thanks to a partnership between the WEF and UCT’s GSB.
Cape Town is hosting the Young Global Leaders conference, thanks to a partnership between the WEF and UCT’s GSB.

The University of Cape Town (UCT) Graduate School of Business (GSB) has partnered with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to bring the Young Global Leaders (YGL) conference to Cape Town this week, for the first time.

The WEF runs education modules for the YGL community and alumni groups alongside leading universities across the world. The YGL Africa Education module, sponsored by Deloitte and the Liberty Group and titled “Effective Leadership for a Future Africa”, runs until 21 November.

The workshop will explore themes of sustainability, social impact, innovation, enhancing team success and ethical leadership. It brings together YGLs and alumni seeking to make a personal and professional impact in Africa, but also beyond.

Dr Martyn Davies, managing director of Emerging Markets and Africa at Deloitte, who spearheaded this initiative and is himself a YGL alumnus, says Cape Town was an obvious choice as it is at the intersection of both the first and developing worlds.

“Through the module, YGLs will gain deeper insight into how we – through our individual and collective efforts – can strive to drive an inclusive agenda in the often challenging environments in which we live,” he said.


“It is the emerging generation who will be the ones to drive the inclusive development ... that we need to grow and prosper.”

Long-term investment

Young Global Leaders are nominated by the organisationʼs alumni to serve six-year terms and must be younger than 38 at the time of acceptance. They must also be highly accomplished in their field, whether in politics, business, academia or media, and have a proven record of extraordinary achievement.

The GSB is pleased to be hosting the cohort of young global leaders, said Kosheek Sewchurran, the school’s acting director.

“Africa is a young continent, and in a very real way it is the emerging generation who will be the ones to drive the inclusive development and strengthen the democratic governance that we need to grow and prosper. 

“As a business school we are already committed to supporting and enabling future leaders, and our partnership with the WEF’s Young Global Leaders initiative is a natural extension of this, and a long-term investment in the future.”

Dr Francois Bonnici, adjunct professor at the GSB, will address the conference participants on building social innovation into business models in Africa, while senior lecturer Dr Tim London will speak on effective and ethical leadership in rapidly evolving organisations.

Participants will visit the GSB’s Solution Space Philippi hub, which was established in a deliberate effort to deepen the GSBʼs relevance as an African business school and enable it to develop more socially relevant solutions to the challenges of the South African context.

Solution Space manager Sarah-Anne Alman will speak to the YGLs on the topic of “Transforming lives through purpose–people–process–places: Solution Space showcase of African start-ups”.

New perspectives

Klaus Schwab, WEF founder and executive chairman, created the Forum of Young Global Leaders non-profit organisation in 2004 as a way to help the world meet increasingly complex and interdependent challenges.

His vision was to create a multi-stakeholder community of the world’s next-generation leaders to help inform and influence decision-making through the contribution of new ideas, perspectives and energy.­­­

YGL alumni include the likes of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Adern, Alibaba founder Jack Ma and CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper, along with celebrities such as Leonardo di Caprio, Ashton Kutcher and Charlize Theron.

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