Past Speakers

Dr. Mamphela Ramphele

A qualified medical doctor and accomplished academic, Mamphela Ramphela, is an international thought leader in the area of sustainable development  and a passionate champion for South Africa’s economic upliftment.

Rudy Giuliani

Rudolph W Giuliani – American lawyer, businessman and politician – is considered to be one of the most successful mayors of New York City, a job many political experts consider the hardest job in the US.

Stephen Dubner

An award-winning author, journalist and TV personality, Stephen J. Dubner is the co-author of the international bestseller Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics.

Nassim N. Taleb

Nassim N. Taleb has led three high profile careers –­  literary, scientific, and financial – around uncertainty, risk, and the fragility of human knowledge.

Johann Rupert

Johann Rupert is known for diversifying his family’s tobacco and alcohol empire – Rembrandt – where he expanded into foreign markets.

Tokyo Sexwale

Tokyo Sexwale is Founder and Executive Chairperson of Mvelaphanda Holdings (Pty) Ltd – primarily a mining and energy house including other strategic investments in hotels, transportation communications, property, construction, health, banking and financial services.

Adrian Gore

Selected as South Africa’s best entrepreneur by Ernst & Young in 1998, Adrian Gore is the founder and CEO of Discovery, South Africa’s largest private health care provider, and a multi-national financial services group. Currently serving over six million customers worldwide, Discovery is a global thought leader in consumer-driven insurance, facilitating the integration of behavioural change with health and life insurance. Recognised as Sunday Times Business Leader of the Year in 2010, Gore also holds a variety of prominent leadership roles, among which include: chairing the South African chapter of Endeavor, a global non-profit organisation providing assistance to high-growth entrepreneurs, and sitting on the World Economic Forum Global Health Advisory Board.

Dr Taddy Blecher

Dr Taddy Blecher is the CEO of the Community and Individual Development Association; CEO of the Maharishi Institute; Chairman of the SA National Government task team on Entrepreneurship, Education, and Job Creation; and a pioneer of the free tertiary education movement in South Africa.

Al Gore

Al Gore served as the forty-fifth Vice President of the United States (1993-2001). Gore was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1976, 1978, 1980 and 1982 and the U.S. Senate in 1984 and 1990.

Graca Machel

Graça Machel is the founder and President of the Graça Machel Trust and is a renowned international advocate for women and children’s rights.

Maria Ramos

Maria Ramos is the Group CEO of Absa Group Ltd. Before joining Absa in March 2009, she was the Group CEO of Transnet Ltd, the state-owned freight transport and logistics service provider, for five years. This was after a seven-year stint as Director-General of the National Treasury.

Ricardo Semler

Ricardo Semler is President of Semco S/A, based in Brazil, and the author of two books, Maverick and The Seven-Day Weekend. He was named a Global Leader of Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.

Chris Anderson

Chris Anderson is the Editor-in-Chief of Wired magazine and one of the most knowledgeable voices at the centre of the new economy. In 2007, Time magazine named him one of the Time 100.

Dr Nouriel Roubini

Dr Nouriel Roubini is Professor of Economics at NYU’s Stern School of Business (USA), and the founder and Chairman of Roubini Global Economics, an innovative economic and geo-strategic information service with 30 economists on staff.

Dan Ariely

Dan Ariely is Professor of Psychology and Behavioural Economics at Duke University (USA), where he holds appointments at the Fuqua School of Business, the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, the School of Medicine, and the Department of Economics.

Professor Tim Noakes

Prof. Tim Noakes was born in Harare, Zimbabwe and studied at the University of Cape Town (UCT) where he obtained an MBChB degree in 1974, an MD in 1981 and a DSc (Med) in Exercise Science in 2002.

Pravin Gordhan

Pravin Gordhan took over as Finance Minister of South Africa in May 2009 having previously served as Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of the South African Revenue Services (SARS) for a total of 11 years.

Stephen Koseff

Stephen Koseff is Chief Executive Officer of the Investec Group which has dual listing on both the London Stock Exchange and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Tony Blair

Tony Blair served as Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from May 1997 to June
2007. He was also the leader of Britain’s Labour Party for 13 years and the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield, England from 1983 to 2007.

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Michael E. Porter

Professor Michael Porter is indisputably the foremost authority on modern competitive strategy. Generally recognised as the father of modern strategy, Porter has been identified in a variety of rankings and surveys as the world’s most influential thinker on management and strategic competitiveness.

Garry Kasparov

Garry Kasparov is a chess grandmaster, writer and political activist.  He is a legend in the international sports arena for his 20-year reign as the world’s number one chess player.  He started playing chess at the age of five and was a child chess prodigy by the age of seven, winning the Soviet Junior Championship when he was 12 years old.

Richard Gnodde

Richard Gnodde is co-chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs International and co-head of the global Investment Banking Division.  During his 25 years at the bank he has held numerous posts in varying parts of the organisation.

Sizwe Nxasana

Sizwe Nxasana is Chief Executive Officer of FirstRand Limited, one of the big four banks in South Africa with a market capitalisation of R157 billion.  Previously, he served as CEO of wholly-owned subsidiary FirstRand Bank since 2006.

Sir Terry Leahy

Sir Terry Leahy is the former Chief Executive of Tesco and is credited with transforming the supermarket industry in Britain and growing Tesco into one of the largest supermarket chains in the country.

Adrian Gore

Selected as South Africa’s best entrepreneur by Ernst & Young in 1998, Adrian Gore is the founder and CEO of Discovery, South Africa’s largest private health care provider, and a multi-national financial services group. Currently serving over six million customers worldwide, Discovery is a global thought leader in consumer-driven insurance, facilitating the integration of behavioural change with health and life insurance. Recognised as Sunday Times Business Leader of the Year in 2010, Gore also holds a variety of prominent leadership roles, among which include: chairing the South African chapter of Endeavor, a global non-profit organisation providing assistance to high-growth entrepreneurs, and sitting on the World Economic Forum Global Health Advisory Board.

Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell has an incomparable gift for interpreting new ideas in the social sciences and making them understandable, practical and valuable to business and general audiences alike.

Wendy Luhabe

Wendy Luhabe, social entrepreneur studied social sciences at Fort Hare from 1976 – 1977, and graduated from the University of Lesotho with a Bachelor of Commerce.

Dr Mathews Phosa

Dr Mathews Phosa was born in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga on 1 September 1952. He was educated at Maripi High School in Acornhoek following which he obtained a B Proc (University of the North) (Turfl oop) in 1977.

Ronnie Apteker

Apteker studied computer science for nine years and co-founded the country’s first Internet service provider in 1993.

Sir Richard Branson

Sir Richard Branson is the founder and president of Virgin Group. Virgin is one of the world’s most recognised and respected brands with more than 200 companies worldwide.

Shaun Tomson

Shaun Tomson is a former World Surfing Champion, best-selling author, inspirational speaker, environmentalist and successful entrepreneur. 

Adrian Gore

Selected as South Africa’s best entrepreneur by Ernst & Young in 1998, Adrian Gore is the founder and CEO of Discovery, South Africa’s largest private health care provider, and a multi-national financial services group. Currently serving over six million customers worldwide, Discovery is a global thought leader in consumer-driven insurance, facilitating the integration of behavioural change with health and life insurance. Recognised as Sunday Times Business Leader of the Year in 2010, Gore also holds a variety of prominent leadership roles, among which include: chairing the South African chapter of Endeavor, a global non-profit organisation providing assistance to high-growth entrepreneurs, and sitting on the World Economic Forum Global Health Advisory Board.