Stay tuned, more speakers to be announced soon!
Founder and CEO of MyGrowthFund.
He is a venture capitalist, a renowned global business speaker, the author of The Magna Carta of Exponentiality – a business mogul who has successfully built and transformed businesses in South Africa and abroad.
Vusi doesn’t just talk about business, he lives it. He does more than inspire revolution, he initiates it. He has been a catalyst for change in businesses across the globe through expertise in strategy, leadership and culture. Through his international speaking engagements, more than 21 countries and 350 000 audiences have experienced Vusi. Vusi is a board member of the South African Venture Capitalist Association. In 2017, Thembekwayo was announced by SME South Africa as one of the eight entrepreneurs who had a stellar year.
Bruce Whitfield is best known as the Money Show host on 702 and CapeTalk. He is a multi-award-winning financial journalist recognized as a leading broadcaster, writer, and TV presenter who distills complex business issues to their bare essentials to make them interesting and understandable.
Bruce is also an acclaimed keynote speaker and master-facilitator. Bruce is a witty, creative and engaging presenter who is an authority on the political economy. In addition to presenting the country’s leading business radio show, Bruce hosts Taking Stock on eNCA and is a regular contributor to Business Insider.co.za
He is a sought-after public speaker, MC and conference facilitator.
Dr. Clinton Carter Brown
Energy Centre Manager
Leading the energy research agenda of the CSIR. The CSIR Energy Centre plays a central role in shaping and implementing the organisation’s energy research agenda and provides a knowledge base for the South African energy transition – the move towards a more sustainable and cleaner energy system in which energy is used more efficiently and sustainably.
Clinton has held snr leadership roles in the energy domain in the public and private sectors. He spent 18 years in Eskom, after which he joined the engineering consulting firm Aurecon (with a secondment to the Department of Energy IPP Office) and currently the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). He has extensive experience in energy systems, distribution electrical utility management, power system simulation, expansion planning, generation procurement and grid integration. Clinton has BSc (Cum Laude), MSc and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering. He is a registered professional engineer with the Engineering Council of South Africa, and is the recipient of the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE) Young Achievers Award for 2003, and 2003 Eskom Chairman’s Award for Technical Excellence and Innovation. Clinton was awarded 2012 specialist of the year in the Eskom Technology Group. He is the outgoing South African representative on CIGRE Study Committee C6, Distribution systems and Distributed Generation.
David Richard Nicholls
Former Chief Nuclear Officer
Previously Chief Nuclear Officer at Eskom, accountable for all Eskom’s nuclear activities, including the operation of the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station, the development of the new build nuclear program and the high temperature gas cooled nuclear research and development restart. He was also the General Manager for Nuclear Engineering, accountable for Nuclear Engineering at Koeberg and new build nuclear programme.
David worked as the Senior Manager (Engineering) in the Nuclear Programmes Department. The technical lead for Eskom’s “Nuclear-1” negotiations and led the creation of the new Engineering function. He was ESKOM’s Incident Investigation Manager, responsible for the Investigations into all major technical incidents in Eskom. He was involved in the ESKOM PBMR Programme where he was responsible for the development of the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor. Specifically the establishment of an integrated project development team including both the power plant development and analysis as well as the fuel manufacturing technology. He worked as ESKOM’s Nuclear Safety Manager (Technology Group) responsible for the nuclear safety assurance for the utility, reporting directly to the Management Board. He was Technical Support Manager for ESKOM Koeberg NPS, responsible for Engineering activities at Koeberg ESKOM Nuclear Engineering Department. He joined the Safety and Licensing Section, with leadership of developing Eskom’s competence in Probabilistic Safety Analysis.
Prof Arthur Mutambara
Visiting Full Professor: Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment
University of Johannesburg
Former Deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe.
Professor Arthur Mutambara is the Former Deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe. He is the author of a new trilogy: In Search of the Elusive Zimbabwean Dream: An Autobiography of Thought Leadership. He was one of the three Principals who created and led the Government of National Unity (GNU). The other two were Prime Minister Tsvangirai and President Mugabe. As the DPM, his key functions included assisting the PM in policy formulation and supervision of policy implementation.
He worked on three national efforts: Shared National Vision, Rebranding Zimbabwe, a National Infrastructure Master Plan.
Mutambara is currently a Visiting Full Professor at the University of Johannesburg. He is also an independent technology and strategy consultant, based in SA. He was recently, the President of the African News Agency (ANA). His primary mandate included media technology innovation, digital platform development, and harnessing social media tools. He was driving the use of Artificial Intelligence and deployment of Intelligent Algorithms in media, resulting in the development of new business models
He is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), a Professional Engineer, a Fellow of the Zimbabwe Institute of Engineers (ZIE), a Fellow of the Zimbabwe Academy of Sciences (ZAS), and a Senior Member of IEEE. He was a Research Scientist at NASA, Visiting Professor at MIT, Professor at FAMU-FSU, and a Management Consultant with McKinsey & Company. He has written two electrical engineering books. Prof Mutambara holds a PhD in Robotics and Mechatronics and an MSc in Computer Engineering, both from the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He graduated with a BSc (Honours) in Electrical Engineering from UZ. In 2007, Mutambara was accorded the World Economic Forum (WEF) Young Global Leader status and subsequently attended WEF events, from 2007 to 2013, in Davos, China, India, and Africa.
Robbie van Heerden
Senior Specialist: Energy Systems
Robbie is currently the Senior Specialist on Energy Systems, advising across the CSIR Energy Centre’s several research portfolios. He previously worked as the General Manager of System Operations at Eskom and the National Control Manager of the Eskom Transmission Grid.
Robbie worked as the Grid Manager of the Mpumalanga Transmission area and the Senior, Principal, Chief Engineer Operations and Maintenance for Gauteng & Mpumulanga. He also held other positions such as, Technician, Senior Technician, Principal Technician and Engineer. His achievements include: Executive of the year in 2012; Epri Technology award 2008; IET Membership and Governing Board member of VLPGO. He studied Electrical Engineering from University of KwaZulu-Natal and obtained a degree in Engineering Business Management from Warwick University.
John Lombela is a visionary entrepreneur, a seasoned consultant in deploying enterprise grade solutions to mid-sized and large organizations, an experienced Senior Software Developer, and founder of Innovecs Consulting (an IT Consulting Practice).
John has previously worked for Standard Bank, one of the largest African bank today, as a Senior Project Manager within the Corporate and Investment Banking division and has gained a wealth of expertise when it comes to legal, compliance, and regulatory aspects within the banking sector. Since January 2017, John Lombela founded Cryptovecs Capital, an advisory consulting and
investment firm that focuses on investing in cryptoassets and blockchain related
technologies, as well as educate the people on matters related to cryptocurrencies and blockchain related technologies.
Chief Ecosystem Officer
Jason English claims to be a normal person who feels that chasing down criminals and choices in life changed his outcome. From fighting criminals on the streets of South Africa as a member of the South African Police Force to running and co-founding a R1 Billion operation employing just under 4000 people at peak under CG Holdings, Jason’s story paints a picture for every individual about the power of choice.
CG Holdings is an owner-manager led group that holds shares in a number of operating companies. Prior to CG Holdings, Jason worked for 15 years for a multi-national Oil & Gas services company before heading up Prommac (Pty) Ltd, a construction services business which has grown from a small office business to an international operation employing over 2000 people. Today CG Holdings operates 6 companies across the MENA region including (IRIS Group which provides Robotic and Innovative Technology solutions, Al Laith which provides Event Infrastructure for large sporting and concerts and Prommac/New Age & EC&I which collectively provide Mechanical, Electrical, Instrumentation, Welding services to the Oil & Gas, Petrochemical, Mining and Power sectors.) Aside from his employees, Jason also believes in the potential of his fellow communities. So, alongside CG Holdings and it’s operating companies, Jason is a keen advocate for change and sponsors the South African bounce team who won silver in the world championships in June 2018, Lolla Mokoena who is the current South African schools hurdles champion, and South Africa’s national robotics team, the SpringBots, who ranked 6th in the world at the first Global Robotics Olympics which took place in Mexico City in August 2018. Al Laith which is their operating company in the UAE sponsors European golfer Adrian Outenigue who is also doing well on the European Tour. Jason is a mechanical engineer with a masters in business and is also a qualified commercial drone and helicopter pilot. Jason currently serves on the EXCO of the Young Presidents Organisation (YPO) and was selected in 2017 as one of only 250 global leaders to be part of Peter Diamandis’s mastermind of exponential entrepreneurs. Jason also holds EXCO posts on the YPO Global Deal and Opportunity Network headed out of Chicago as well as the YPO Global Entrepreneurship & Innovation Network in Silicon Valley. He has been featured on numerous media platforms including Entrepreneur SA, CNBC, First Global TV, SA Mag, The Legacy Project, Endeavour magazine and Africa Outlook to name a few.
CEO and CO-Founder
Nova-Pioneer Education Group
Chinezi Chijioke is a co-Founder & the CEO of Nova-Pioneer Education Group, a network of accessible 21st-century private schools across Africa. The mission of Nova Pioneer to develop generations of innovators and leaders who will shape the Africa Century.
Chinezi started his career as a secondary school mathematics teacher, where he was nominated by his students to Who’s Who of American Teachers. Prior to founding Nova Pioneer, Chinezi led McKinsey & Company’s African Education Practice and co-authored of McKinsey’s 2010 global education report, How the World’s Best School Systems Keep Getting Better. He currently serves on the Global Advisory Council of Teach For All. Chinezi holds a Bachelor of Arts with honours from Harvard University, and a Masters of Business Administration and a Masters of Education from Stanford University.
Expert on Global Trends and Innovation
Mark Stevenson is one of the world’s most respected thinkers on technology and societal trends – helping you see where the world is going – and how to adapt. He is the author of two best selling books on the future and innovation, An Optimist’s Tour of the Future and the award-winning We Do Things Differently: stories from the frontline of the future, and an ongoing strategic advisor to organisations as diverse as Medicines Sans Frontiers (Doctors Without Borders), the GSMA and Virgin.
He is one of London Speaker Bureau’s most in-demand speakers (in the top 3 booked speakers worldwide for the last 3 years in a row) and describes his work as “helping my clients become future-literate, by which I mean helping them see the wider context in which they operate, understand the questions the future is asking them, and then architect their culture, strategy, investments and careers to answer those questions well.” Stevenson will lay out the The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of the next 20 years and why ‘business as usual’ is a recipe for disaster. How is the landscape of society going to change in terms of technology, energy, governance, health and commerce? What questions should smart organisations be asking themselves? And how can your organisation be fit for the future? As he says “We’re in for a rocky ride, but future-literate organisations have a shot at greatness.”
Founder & Managing Director
Chris Yelland obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Natal in 1976, and is the founder and managing director at EE Publishers (Pty) Ltd, the publisher of EngineerIT, Energize, Vector and PositionIT magazines.
Chris was the winner of the 2002 South African Bureau of Standards Media Award for “exceptional contribution to increasing the awareness of standardisation and related issues through the media”. In 2003, he won a merit award in the Energy category of the 2003 Siemens Profile Awards, “recognising journalistic contribution to excellence in the field of science and technology”. At the 2004 ABB Excellence in Technology Reporting Awards, Chris received the ABB Technology Journalist of the Year Award for 2004. In 2009, Chris won the South African National Energy Association (SANEA) Journalism Award for “special efforts within the field of journalism to promote greater understanding of energy and its role in sustaining human endeavours”. In 2018, Chris was awarded the prestigious South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE) President’s Award for “in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the South African electrical engineering industry”. Chris is a fellow of the SAIEE, a senior member of the IEEE (USA), and a member of the IET (UK). He is also a registered Chartered Engineer with the Engineering Council in the UK.
Hon. Kornelia Shilunga
Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy
Hon. Shilunga was appointed as the Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy and became the first women Deputy Minister at the Ministry. Hon. Shilunga holds two Masters Degrees, one in Business Administration with (ESAMI), and another Masters degree in Public Policy and Administration from the University Of Namibia (UNAM).
Hon. Shilunga also holds a Bachelor Degree in Nursing Education and Community Health and a Diploma in Nursing Science General, Community Psychiatry and Midwifery Sciences, also from UNAM. Before joining the Ministry of Mines and Energy, Hon. Shilunga constructed a satisfactory employment history. The assiduous Deputy Minister worked in various positions as a teacher and a registered nurse. She also worked at the Office of the President as a Liaison Officer for the Department of Women Affairs, where she headed two regions, respectively Oshana and Omusati region. Hon. Shilunga also worked for the Ministry of Gender and Child welfare where she held the position of a Chief Liaison Officer. Hon. Shilunga has been an entrepreneur for the past nine years. She was also a member of the Advisory Committee of Skill Share International in Namibia, and a member of the Women and Child Protection Unit Committee for Oshana Region. A member of the Prison`s Zonal Release Board in the Ministry of Safety and Security, responsible for Oshana, Omusati, Oshikoto, Ohangwena and Kunene Regions. Her interest include extractive industry and Rural electrification
Power System Studies Team Leader – Chief Electrical Engineer
A professional engineer with over 29 years’ post graduate experience in power electrical engineering in Southern Africa, East Africa, West Africa, the UK, Australia, the USA, Central Asia and the Middle East for voltages up to 765kV HVAC and 533kV HVDC.
Key experience is in the areas of power system analysis and financial/economic evaluation of capital projects and expansion plans. Before Mott MacDonald he was Chief Electrical Engineer for Parsons Brinckerhoff Africa. He worked for the Reactive Compensation Division at ABB as a Senior Engineer and was involved in Protection Studies and Design as a Senior Engineer at Eskom Distribution PTM&C Department.
Dr Vukosi Marivate
ABSA Chair of Data Science, Senior Lecturer
Department of Computer Science, University of Pretoria
Vukosi Marivate holds a PhD in Computer Science (Rutgers University) and MSc & BSc in Electrical Engineering (Wits University). He is based at the University of Pretoria as the ABSA Chair of Data Science. Vukosi works on developing Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence methods to extract insights from data.
A large part of Dr Marivate’s work over the last few years has been in the intersection of Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing(due to the abundance of text data and need to extract insights). As part of his vision for the ABSA Data Science chair, Vukosi is interested in Data Science for Social Impact, using local challenges as a springboard for research. In this area Vukosi has worked on projects in science, energy, public safety and utilities. Vukosi is an organiser of the Deep Learning Indaba, the largest Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence workshop on the African continent, aiming to strengthen African Machine Learning. He is passionate about developing young talent, supervising MSc and PhD students and mentoring budding Data Scientists. Professional website http://www.vima.co.za
PhD Student in Edge Intelligence
Technical University of Delft – The Netherlands
Wiebke Toussaint is an applied artificial intelligence researcher and data scientist focused on using data and computing for public infrastructure development and service delivery. Currently she is a PhD candidate working in the field of Edge Intelligence with application to smart grids at the Technical University Delft in the Netherlands.
Wiebke holds a Bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters degree in Computer Science, both from the University of Cape Town (UCT). Over the past decade Wiebke has gathered experience in developing data science, engineering and applied business analysis solutions for clients in mining, transport, energy and e-commerce sectors. Most recently Wiebke has lead the ‘Big Data for Household Energy Insights’ project atUCT’s Energy Research Centre to make South Africa’s largest domestic energy consumption database, the Domestic Electrical Load Study, openly accessible to researchers. As co-founder of Engineers Without Borders South Africa (EWB-SA), Wiebke has raised over R4million to initiate youth leadership programmes, social impact projects and curriculum transformation in South Africa’s engineering sector. Today she continues to serve on the board of EWB-SA and the executive committee of Engineers Without Borders International. Wiebke was selected for the TechWomen (Silicon Valley, 2018) and Data Science for Social Good (London, 2019) fellowships, is frequently invited to speak on the impact of technology and digitisation on society and has received numerous awards both for her technical work and her dedication to delivering social impact through engineering.