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New platform for creative change brings thinkers and doers together to catalyse a bright future for SA

The UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB) has partnered with Catalyst Africa to bring the first annual Catalyst Africa Conference to Cape Town this October. The event will be a hothouse of networking and knowledge designed to spark new possibilities for people and organisations.

“We are actioning the national conversation around Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies into one of building a growth mindset, igniting positive change and sharing knowledge amongst thinkers and doers,” says Roy Harman, co-founder of Catalyst Africa.

Supported by South African Tourism, The City of Cape Town and Wesgro, the conference aims to ensure that South African companies and individuals have the necessary skills and expertise to harness new opportunities opening up globally through digitisation, automation, big data, artificial intelligence (AI), and the development of social media, among other things.

Multiple sessions will take place, allowing those who attend to “build their own adventure” and choose what interests them most, from themes as diverse as: augmented reality, facial recognition, robotics and drones, the Internet of Things, music, film, photography, entrepreneurship, design thinking, adaptability and behavioural science. Key education partners are the UCT GSB, Amazon Web Services, Academy of Digital Arts and the D-School.

“The most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. Our concern is with the actual doing or use of knowledge rather than with theory to ensure Catalyst Africa attendees are both inspired and equipped to action their ideas,” says Dale Imerman, co-founder of Catalyst Africa.

Speakers include leading world game technology expert, Lars Espeter, international author and GSB faculty member Dr Tim London, marketing gurus like David Duarte, a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, entertainers and Shout SA co-founders Danny K & Kabelo, as well as a host of other dynamic, young entrepreneurs, business consultants, artists, musicians and management and leadership consultants.

“The City of Cape Town is a proud host and supporter of Catalyst Africa. The event will help strengthen and promote Cape Town’s status as an African business hub that supports big ideas. Cape Town was recently named Africa’s leading digital hub because we offer a place for innovation with the necessary infrastructure and tools for growth,” says Cape Town Executive Mayor, Dan Plato.

UCT GSB Interim Director, Kosheek Sewchurran, says Catalyst Africa is precisely the kind of initiative the UCT GSB likes to co-host. Forward thinking, imaginative and practice orientated. The UCT GSB has been advancing business education in Africa for more than five decades and is one of only three business schools in Africa to have triple-crown accreditation.

Professor Sewchurran says, “It is important to us to keep the business school at the cutting edge of business thinking and education in Africa. We are pushing the benchmark in terms of our understanding of the issues pertinent to business success, especially as we enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This includes developing resilience and agility in our leaders. To be successful in the future world of work, you will need a certain amount of practical wisdom that only comes from experience and practice and a mindset that embraces change.”

Catalyst Africa takes place from 30-31 October at the UCT GSB Academic Conference Centre in the V&A Waterfront precinct.

UCT Graduate School of Business
The University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business (GSB) is recognised as one of the best business schools in the world. Its innovative approaches to teaching and learning and commitment to relevance and social impact set it apart from most.

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