Lauren Gillis, business woman, social entrepreneur and passionate about creating opportunities for others. While studying Social Work at Wits University, she was already instrumental in forming the Down Syndrome Association. She has since developed a number of philanthropic organisations including PADI (People for Awareness on Disability Issues) and The Jardine Joggers (now affiliated to Achilles International based in New York), enabling people with different disabilities to participate in mainstream athletics.
She spent many years in various businesses from textiles to containerised housing and in the field of Rehabilitation of Newly Blinded. She completed the Comrades Marathon and the personal challenge of such a physical test along with training and guiding of blind runners, and preparing and taking physically and mentally challenged athletes through marathons, including the New York Marathon, has been a highlight of her life.
Lauren is the founder of Relate, an amazing social enterprise. It was was founded with the vision to help people in need of an opportunity to better their circumstances, whilst also providing an effective, sustainable and tangible fundraising tool for charitable causes. Lauren’s vision was to find simple creative solutions to creating employment and lessen the economic divide. Since 2010 Relate has raised over R45million, sold over 2.6 million bracelets, supported over 90 causes globally and positively impacted thousands of lives.
In 2012 Lauren’s Tedx Cape Town talk was entitled Redefining Philanthropy. In 2013 she was awarded the Paul Harris award by Rotary for her exceptional service to the community.
Come and be inspired by this extraordinary woman as she shares lessons learned on her life journey
Rhoda Kadalie was a Human Rights Commissioner for three years, appointed by President Mandela, where she conducted investigations into human rights violations in prisons, poverty conditions of farm workers, and children’s places of safety. Many of her investigations received wide media coverage and brought to the attention of government violations occurring within the state.
Prior to that she was an academic, teaching social anthropology and women’s studies, and founder of the Gender Equity Unit at UWC. She was also Amy Biehl’s Professor and became her close confidante and friend. Rhoda has travelled extensively internationally, presenting lectures and papers on human rights and gender politics in South Africa.
She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Liberal Arts from the University of Uppsala, Sweden, an Honorary Doctorate from her alma mater, UWC; and a Doctor of Philosophy Honoris Causa from University of Stellenbosch. Rhoda has served on UCT’s Council for about nine years and on University of Stellenbosch’s Council for two years. She received a Human Rights Award in Toronto Canada and the Rapport/City Press Prestige Award for column writing.
Rhoda has been featured in numerous magazines, newspaper articles and many books and has written many articles and chapters in books about gender politics, liberalism, foreign policy, reproductive rights, and some biographical essays. Her book, In Your Face: Passionate Conversations about People and Politics, was published in 2009. Her second e-booklet, The Politics of Pregnancy, also published in collaboration with her daughter, Julia Bertelsmann, is part of a series called, Kort en Kragtig, To the Point, 2012. Rhoda has been a guest columnist for the Business Day and Die Burger for many years. Currently she writes for The Citizen and Beeld and her column is syndicated to all Afrikaans newspapers. Rhoda is currently Executive Director of the Impumelelo Social Innovations Centre.
Paddling the mighty Amazon river, cycling the continent of Africa and running 1000 km across South Africa, Davey takes us on a wild, entertaining and engaging journey through his adventurous expeditions.
It was during the Amazon expedition,where Davey narrowly escaped his death and from this story he shares the resilience of the human spirit and the power within compassion.
A highly entertaining, thought-provoking and intriguing presentation, sure to leave you inspired to be more and give more.
Tony Leon, ex Member of Parliament for 20 years, thirteen as leader of the Democratic Alliance, is a trained lawyer who actively participated in the critical constitutional negotiations which led to the birth of a democratic South Africa and served as a co-chairman of the Constitutional Assembly’s Theme Committee on Fundamental rights.
After leaving Parliament he became the SA Ambassador to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. He consults to businesses both locally and abroad and has a special interest in risk consulting on Africa and South America and on navigating the intricacies of the booming markets of South America.
He is now Executive Chairman of Resolve Communications (Pty) Ltd, a South African consultancy specialising in crisis communications, reputation management, government relations and advocacy.
South African, Small Business Owner, Family Man and Average Joe.
However his hobby is Ultra Extreme Open Water and Ice swimming, and for deeply personal reasons, he has undertaken some of the world’s most extreme challenges. Pushing his limits and human boundaries in our planet’s most inhospitable places.
Following painful, pioneering training techniques and using what limited resources he can find to put basic safety procedures in place, he challenge himself by pushing personal limits for swimming in ice water, and often set new benchmarks for human endurance.
No wetsuits or protection from the cold water – Speedo’s only. His adventures, world first achievements and the often death-defying circumstances, make for brilliant tales of human spirit and victory.
He takes audiences on a journey with him. Through story telling and strong visuals, he illustrates just how limited and governed we all are, in every aspect of our lives, by believing in our own limitations.
How we under achieve in our comfort zones and how each and everyone of us can push past impossible.
62 Robben Island to Mainland crossings
Solo swim across the English Channel
First South African Male to Swim Europe to Africa – Gibraltar Strait
World First swim around the Southern most tip of South America – Cape Horn
World First Official ICE MILE swum north of the ARCTIC CIRCLE – 0C water
Historic Russia to USA relay swim
First Official ICE MILE swum in Antarctica – minus 1C water
World First Double Relay crossing of the North Channel, swimming from Ireland to Scotland and back to Ireland
Luvuyo Rani is both a visionary and an award winning entrepreneur. He is a graduate of the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, plus has a BTech in Business Administration – Business Studies and a B Tech Degree in Commercial Education- Economics. Luvuyo is the director of the award winning Silulo Ulutho Technologies, a Cape Town based IT services company with over twenty branches. He has received many awards which have generated considerable media exposure. For his extraordinary work providing access to technology, Luvuyo was named one of the 2014 JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World recipients in the category of business, economic, and/or entrepreneurial accomplishment. 2016 Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur.
In 1984, at a time when South Africa was beginning to feel the consequences of international isolation and sanctions, and when the tourism and hospitality industries faced bankruptcy and failure, Protea Hotels was launched – without a cent of capital and with just four hotels. Under the leadership of Arthur Gillis, the Protea Hotels Group grew to over 130 hotels operating in 7 African countries, and is today the largest and leading hotel operating company in Africa.
Protea has twice been voted Africa’s Best Hotel Group at the World Travel Awards, won 3 of South Africa’s Top Hotel Brand in the South African Sunday Times/Markinor Top Brands Survey and 6 Coolest Hotel Group awards in the Sunday Times Generation Next Awards.
In 2014 Marriott International purchased Protea Hospitality Holdings’ 3 brands and management company. Protea’s alignment with a global hospitality giant such as Marriott ensures that Protea Hospitality Group can realise its full potential and that Marriott will gain a substantial footprint in sub-Saharan Africa.
Arthur is currently the CEO of Platinum Hospitality Holdings, a leading hotel asset management company with approximately 20 hotels in South Africa, and the Non-Executive Chairman, Africa Development for Marriott International.
As a coach and mentor to some of the greatest players in the history of cricket, Gary Kirsten has needed to understand the dynamics that would see them perform consistently over a period of time and when it mattered most. Creating a winning culture and self-belief in both the Indian and South Africa teams had been his objectives.
The experience and insight gained throughout his tenure as coach of both powerful test playing nations included far more than cricket itself. It is his skill for getting the best out of his players whilst maintaining their respect both on and off the field that has made him an inspirational leader.
Since his return from India and in between his coaching obligations, Gary Kirsten has been engaging with a variety of groups in varying forums around the world. Presenting his views on “Leadership Principles” and giving insights into how Team India were able to transform into a unit and ultimately accomplish their goal of being the number 1 cricket team in the world in all forms of cricket.
Jay was General Secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions. He then served as Minister responsible for the Reconstruction and Development Programme in President Mandela’s office and as Minister of Post, Telecommunications, and Broadcasting. He is the former Chair of the Board of Directors of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition headquartered in Geneva. Jay sits on the Board of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation established to promote African development through a focus on promoting good governance. He serves in an advisory capacity for a number of international organizations including the UN Broadband Commission and the UNSG`s Lead Committee on Nutrition. He is the Patron of ‘Scatterlings of Africa’ a paleontological foundation linking archaeological sites across Africa.
He has gained many honors, including becoming the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, one of France’s highest decorations, received the ‘Drivers for Change Award’ from the Mail & Guardian, The Ellen Kuzwayo Award from the University of Johannesburg, an Honorary Doctorate Technology Degree in Engineering and the Built Environment from the Durban University of Technology. In 2014 Jay was awarded a lifetime achievement award prize in recognition for “Democratic Governance and Development in Africa” by the Millennium Excellence Foundation based in Ghana. Jay has returned full time to serving the communities he is involved in and upliftment of same. He writes a blog at www.jaynaidoo.org
The South African Ubuntu Foundation’s enlightening vision for the new South Africa and its regional neighbours is a world in which all people: embrace peace, one another’s equality; embody the essence and spirit of Ubuntu in their work, family, and community lives; are encouraged and inspired to use their inherent abilities to the fullest, and find their passion for, participate and contribute fully in, and benefit fairly from South Africa’s growing prosperity.
Our organization hosts monthly networking breakfasts and lunches which aim to bring business people together in an effort to foster the spirit of Ubuntu. We encourage you to visit our events page to find out about upcoming opportunities.
What is Ubuntu?
The Cardinal spirit of Ubuntu is expressed in Xhosa as “Umntu ngumntu ngabanye abantu” in English as “people are people thru other people,” or “I am human because I belong to the human community and I view and treat others accordingly.” It is an African word for a universal concept which is fair and compassionate approach to a collective respect for human dignity.
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Be the first to know about our events. We won’t spam you promise!