Speakers

Adriana Marais

Adriana Marais

Theoretical Physicist

Topic: Expanding Our Imagination & Our World

Biography

Dr Adriana Marais is a theoretical physicist and aspiring extra-terrestrial.  She completed her MSc summa cum laude in quantum cryptography at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.  She continued as a postdoctoral researcher in the Quantum Research Group at UKZN, doing research in quantum biology, studying quantum effects in photosynthesis as well as the origins of prebiotic molecules and life itself.  Since the beginning of 2017, she has left academia for the corporate world, in the role of Head of Innovation At SAP Africa, driving digitisation and innovation on the continent.  Adriana is currently one of the 100 Mars One Project astronaut candidates in the running to Move to the red planet in the next decade.  She hopes one day to continue her research on Mars.

Alan Knott-Craig

Alan Knott-Craig

Project Isizwe
Entrepreneur & Founder

Topic: Internet will Change the World in the Next Five Years

Biography

Alan Knott-Craig is a successful entrepreneur and best-selling author, chairman of HeroTel, a wireless broadband provider, and founder of Project Isizwe, an NGO rolling out free WiFi in poor communities. Originally from Pretoria, he studied at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (formerly UPE) and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2002 and has subsequently invested or funded 21 companies in the tech industry.   Alan was named as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2009. Forbes listed him as one of the top 10 young African millionaires to watch.He was also included in “100 Choiseul Africa", a list of top 100 young African business leaders in 2014, 2015 and 2016, and nominated as the 2015 ICT Personality of the Year by ITWeb.

Bas Lansdorp

Bas Lansdorp

Mars One
CEO

Topic: Expanding Our Imagination & Our World

Biography

Bas Lansdorp is CEO and Co-founder of Mars One, a company with the goal of establishing a permanent human settlement on Mars.  Before founding Mars One, Bas was the Co-founder and General Manager of Ampyx Power, a wind energy company. He sold the majority of his shares in the company to start Mars One. Bas is still a (passive) shareholder in Ampyx.  Bas is an entrepreneur with an engineering background, interested in kickstarting visionary technological companies and business cases. He has a Master of Science in mechanical engineering from Twente University. After his graduation, he started a PhD research at the Aerospace Faculty of Delft University of Technology, which he abandoned in 2008 to start his first company Ampyx Power.

Bill Kistler

Bill Kistler

ICSC
Executive Vice President & Managing Director – EMEA

Topic: Who and What is Changing the Game for the Shopping Centre Industry Around the World

Biography

Bill Kistler joined ICSC in June 2016 as executive vice president and managing director of EMEA, serving on the global leadership team. He founded and remains non-executive chairman of the Urban Innovation Network (UIN), a partnership of cities, universities, businesses and place-makers that supports metropolitan investment and development.  Bill led Korn/Ferry International’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Real Estate executive search practice. From 2003 – 2009 he was EMEA President of the Urban Land Institute. Previously, he was Managing Director of Equinox Partners, a real estate advisory firm serving developers, investors, corporations and governments in Europe, India and the Middle East. Before this he was General Manager of Disney Development Company in Europe directing the development of the large scale, mixed-use community of Val d’Europe at Disneyland Paris. Bill Kistler’s earlier experience includes roles as Vice President of JMB Properties and Vice President, Corporate Services at Cushman & Wakefield in New York providing strategic real estate consulting to US corporate clients. He began his career at IBM where he spent 12 years in various roles overseeing the company’s real estate portfolio in the US and EMEA. Mr. Kistler is a past Trustee of the Urban Land Institute. He is an Architect and holds a BS in Architecture from the University of Southern California.

Billy Price

Billy Price

BILLY Footwear
Co-founder

Topic: Retailer + Motivational

Biography

As a teenager, Seattle native Billy Price suffered a spinal cord injury and became paralyzed from the chest down, losing the ability to move his fingers. Daily tasks became difficult, but using his creative mind and unyielding spirit, he never gave up. He continued on, facing life's challenges with tenacity and determination.  BILLY Footwear was founded on the principle of inclusion and perseverance. Along with co-founder Darin Donaldson, Billy strives to add value to the lives of others and make a measurable difference in the world.

Christoph Rahofer

Christoph Rahofer

EMS Entertainment
Founder

Topic: Barbie Dreamhouse: Filling Temporary Vacancies VS. Permanent Tenancy

Biography

Christoph Rahofer is a seasoned executive producing interactive attractions for museums, theme parks, tourism destinations and shopping malls. His companies, EMS Entertainment and VR Adventures have lately shifted their attention to malls as venues for ticketed and promotional location-based entertainment and currently operate on 4 continents.  Chritoph  has a degree in international marketing and is considered one of the leading entrepreneurs in developing recognized brands to become successful touring attractions. Brands such as Barbie, CSI:, Star Trek, Sound of Music and many more have been in his portfolio for the past decade.

Chuck Muller

Chuck Muller

Shopper Behaviour Research
Managing Director

Topic: The (changing) relevance of Super Regional shopping centres in South Africa

Biography

Chuck is founder and Managing Director of Shopper Behaviour Research, a specialist behavioural market research agency. Established 20 years ago, SBR has conducted extensive research into shopper’s behaviour and attitudes towards shopping in different retail outlets and environments across sub-Sahara Africa. SBR recently launched GeoBI, an extensive database of households in major cities and towns across Africa. Chuck has extensive experience in advising retailers, retail property and brand owners on meeting customer needs.

Doug Parker

Doug Parker

Managing Director
Parker Analytics

Topic: Dealing with Change

Biography

Douglas Parker went to school in Swaziland, studied Economics at Natal University and spent 10 years with the Edcon group before starting his own research business. He is a recognised retail strategist and has worked with most of the retail chains in South Africa, particularly Shoprite Checkers, Woolworths and Massmart. He has been extensively involved in retail and shopping centre research for some 39 years.

Douglas was actively involved in the founding of the SA Council of Shopping Centres, and together with professor Cloete, prepared the research module for the SACSC shopping centre management course. He also produced the first shopping centre directory for the organisation. 

Douglas splits his time between SA and New Zealand with consulting businesses in both countries.

Faith Mangope

Faith Mangope

FTA Media Communications
Managing Director

Biography

Washington Fellow Faith Mangope is a young professional with an intellectual climate to back up her captivating broadcasting skills. She is currently the Station Manager of the urban and innovative radio station, Massiv Metro. She is a solicited anchor on ENCA, as well as former host of e.tv’s breakfast television show, Sunrise. Having been recognized as one of the Top 200 South Africans by the Mail and Guardian as well as Top 100 Young South Africans by the Independent Newspapers in 2016, Faith Mangope strives for excellence in all that she does.  Faith Mangope is the founder of FTA Media Communications, a media and Public Relations related corporation, as well as the New G App, a mobile application designed to provide access to job opportunities for graduates on their mobile device. Her impressive speaking profile includes being selected to deliver a speech at the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders summit on the development of the African continent, held in Washington DC. She was also solicited by the White House to introduce the United States President, Barack Obama.

Femi Adebanji

Femi Adebanji


Business Speaker

Topic: Game Changers

Biography

Femi Adebanji is a sought-after international customer service speaker and organisational excellence speaker (Leadership, Change, and Motivation) with a passion for helping organisations transform their service excellence levels, build truly customer centric cultures, create high-performance business cultures and evolve into brands of distinction. With over 15 years of business leadership and customer strategy experience, he has consulted on numerous critical business performance improvement initiatives for companies in South Africa and internationally. He is Senior Customer Experience Strategist at Baines & Partners, a firm that specialises in Customer Experience consulting and Customer Service turnaround strategies. He is also Research Director at Pinnacle Consulting, a corporate learning consultancy that provides customised and off-the-shelf customer service training, and diverse skills development training solutions to organisations of diverse sizes across all industries. His expertise, knowledge and insights will not only transform the customer experience within your organisation.

Gerd Leonhard

Gerd Leonhard

Futurist & Keynote Speaker, Author, Future Strategist and CEO
The Futures Agency

Topic: Technology vs Humanity

Biography

There is no lack of visionary thinkers on the planet ready to paint the future in bright coloursfor organizations and enterprises in search of evolution. Gerd Leonhard is alone in bringing the humanist tradition of philosophical questioning to burning issues as they impact real life here and now. From digital obesity and technology mega shifts to the imperative need for a global ethics framework around digital transformation, Gerd plays Mentor to a host of creative enterprises making the successful shift to futurized thinking.  His latest book Technology vs. Humanity is a working manual for remaining unique and inventive in the coming era of algorithmic tyranny. Gerd's boutique unit The Futures Agency delivers presentation performances, project advisory and futurized media content.

Gil Oved

Gil Oved


Entrepreneur

Biography

Gil Oved has been an entrepreneur since he left school, starting his business called Jewazi Productions, a TV production company he co-founded as a 19 year old. The Creative Counsel Group, co-founded in 2001 and managed as Group Co-CEO for 17 years, one of South Africa’s largest advertising agencies. Sold to Publicis Groupe (3rd largest communications group in the world) in 2015. Non-executive director and Investment Committee member for one of South Africa’s second largest 12J VC Tech Funds, Kalon Venture Capital Partners. Invested in many businesses through his association with the hit TV Shows Dragons’ Den and Shark Tank. Co-founded and operating LLH Capital, a private equity investment holding company making tech-focused investments on the African continent. Gil is a sought-after leader and global speaker on entrepreneurship and technology. Gil is passionate about entrepreneurship and incubating and inspiring young entrepreneurs on the continent. He has co-authored a best-selling book on entrepreneurship where all the proceeds have gone to funding an entrepreneurial charity.

Jean-Pierre Heim

Jean-Pierre Heim

HEIM Design
Architect

Topic: The New Silk Road and the Future of Retail with Symbolism and Philosophy

Biography

Jean-Pierre HEIM is an internationally renowned architect with a diverse and engaging portfolio.  He has worked within internationally renowned clients such as Van Cleef & Arpels, Revillon, Baccarat, Christian Lacroix, Lanvin ,Lancel, Puiforcat and Club Med, and has designed world-famous venues such as the Capitol Music Theater in Frankfurt Offenbach, the Luxor Palace in Dresden and the Brasserie La Lorraine in Paris ,Thalassa restaurant in New York, along with luxury resorts and entertainment centers.  Among a wide variety of innovative projects, Mr. HEIM has created a variety of unique  projects and brands restaurant and boutique brands around the World. His ability to renovate villages integrating artistic and agricultural concepts   under the architect’s new label: “TRAVELLING IS AN ART”, with the perfect example being portrayed for an Eco-Village, a project based in Bishan, near Chongqing, China. In addition to his work as an architect, Mr. HEIM is also a French foreign trade advisor with in-depth knowledge of international markets, able to act as a liaison between American, Chinese and European businesses seeking to operate on both sides of the Atlantic, and China.

Jeremy Gardiner

Jeremy Gardiner

Investec
Asset Management

Topic: Economy and Market Update

Biography

Jeremy is a regular voice in the media, at conferences and to the investment-related world at large, responsible for commenting on current affairs, economics and investment markets. In his position, Jeremy is inundated with information from the world’s top analysts, on everything from politics to petrol.  Jeremy’s challenge is consolidating all this information and bringing it to you in an understandable format that you will find interesting and informative. With the company since 1992, Jeremy has been with the firm for 25 years, during which the business grew from a small Cape Town Asset Management firm to a significant global business managing clients assets in excess of R1.6 trillion.

Jessica Pastore

Jessica Pastore

Whole Foods Market
Senior Analyst | Competitive Intelligence

Topic: Online Retail

Biography

Jessica has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida, and was awarded a full scholarship to continue graduate school at U.F., where she received a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and Marketing. While pursuing her MBA, Jessica served as a retail consultant for Bloomin' Brands International, and an intern for Toys R Us. Jessica also has professional experience as an Engineer with Harris Corporation in their Space Structures department, as a Financial Analyst for ExxonMobil Chemical Company, and as a Financial Auditor for ExxonMobil's Downstream division.  Currently, Jessica uses her analytical background and passion for retail grocery to produce strategic insights, deliver competitor assessments, identify competitive advantages and develop recommendations for Whole Foods Market. Jessica is passionate about the future of food, particularly about the growing interest in a plant-based way of eating. In her free time, she is learning American Sign Language, volunteers at a non-profit, vegan kitchen, and dances Salsa, Tango and West Coast Swing.

Kate Sweetman

Kate Sweetman

SweetmanCragun Group
Founding Principal

Topic: Leadership 3.0: Cracking the Code for Success in the Age of Disruption

Biography

Kate is a Founding Principal of SweetmanCragun Group, a global leadership development firm. She is a former editor at Harvard Business Review, and has keynoted in 28 countries on the topics of leadership, reinvention, and the age of disruption.  She has twice been designated a Thinkers50 Radar recipient.  Kate recently co-authored "Reinvention: Accelerating Results in the Age of Disruption," which received the 2016 International Best Book Award and was listed by Enterprise Ireland magazine as one of "the best business books ever." Her forthcoming book will tackle the leadership upgrade needed for our times: the NextGen leadership that will separate the winners and losers in the Age of Disruption. She has taught at both Harvard Business School and at MIT’s Legatum Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Ken Hughes

Ken Hughes

Glacier Consulting
CEO

Topic: The Shopper Rewired: The Players & The Game Have Changed

Biography

Ken Hughes is acknowledged as being one of the world’s leading authorities on consumer and shopper behaviour, internationally renowned for helping his largely blue-chip client base better understand the needs of the future consumer.  With over 15 years’ experience as CEO of a consumer insight agency, Glacier Consulting, he blends his understanding of consumer psychology, shopper immersion, digital anthropology and retail futurology to explore the needs of the new consumer and predict the changes to come.  Ken advises some of the biggest brands in the world on customer experience, omnichannel strategy, shopper marketing, retail trends, the millennial shopper and the peer-to-peer economy. As an accomplished author, TED speaker, university lecturer and actor, his performances are not only insightful and thought-provoking but are infamous for their sheer energy, entertainment and passion, not to mention his generous Irish wit.

Leah Bessa

Leah Bessa

Gourmet Grubb
Co-founder and Head of Product Development

Topic: Insect-Based Dairy Alternative - Gourmet Grubb Ice Cream! Is it the next Game Changer?

Biography

Leah Bessa is the Co-founder and Head of Product Development for Gourmet Grubb. She is currently doing her PhD in Food Science at Stellenbosch University,where she is researching the potential of insects as a food ingredient for human consumption, with the main focus being on insects a sustainable alternative to meat.  She is also exploring the commercial potential as a dairy alternative with Gourmet Grubb starting with ice cream made from Entomilk (a milk alternative made from insects). She is here to redefine the way you think about eating insects.

Lebo Gunguluza

Lebo Gunguluza


Entrepreneur

Topic: Dragons' Den

Biography

Lebo Gunguluza, Executive Chairman of Gem Group of Companies, Fintech and 4th Industrial Revolution Pioneer, International Business Speaker and Dragon Investor on Africa's first Dragons Den TV Show - he is also known as the "The Breakthrough Entrepreneur" Lebo Gunguluza joined the professional speaking fraternity in August 2011 due to the demand created by his inspirational story of overcoming tremendous odds to succeed. A Dragon Investor, he has become a pioneer and thought leaders on the 4th Industrial Revolution and has made investments in various financial technology companies and digital innovations. Mr. Gunguluza recently launched Africa's first 100% black owned digital bank and Africa's most dynamic Fintech Acceleration Fund through his investment company. Mr. Gunguluza jointly with his partners recently launched Africa's first continental digital currency, the Afri, which uses block-chain technologies.

Lisa Seebregs

Lisa Seebregs

Instock Utrecht
Restaurant Manager

Topic: Restaurant Instock - How a Restaurant has Change the Game…Using Food Surplus

Biography

Lisa Seebregs is probably one of the youngest game changers we have in our programme. After finishing her bachelor degree in International Business Administration at the Hotel Management School Maastricht (the Netherlands) she started working for Instock in Amsterdam. With her enthusiasm, positive energy and knowledge of the foodservice she opened the other two restaurants in The Hague and Utrecht. Lisa is passionate about entrepreneurship, food, hospitality and combining this with sustainability to change the system. She likes to challenge people in thinking out of the box and make people aware of one of the biggest world food problem at this moment.

Noel Otto

Noel Otto

Power Fashion
CEO

Topic: Power Fashion: A Brand that Talks, Walks and Lives like its People

Biography

Noel Otto is CEO of Ott Bros Distributors and Power Fashion. The business has grown significantly over the last 10 years and the current portfolio consists of 4 Super Spar Stores,  and 93 Clothing outlets Known as  Power Fashion Factory.  Noel heads up Power Fashion and his focus is mainly on location of current stores and prospective new stores, and the merchandise that is being put into their stores.  He provides strategic direction to the business and oversees the overall  running of the business. With 25 years of experience as an Independent Trader, his knowledge in the rural and smaller centres adds the dimension of a non-corporate voice.

Polo Leteka

Polo Leteka

IDF Capital
Executive Director and Founder

Topic: Dragons’ Den

Biography

Polo Leteka is a highly accomplished and experienced entrepreneur and private equity investor. She is the Executive Director and Founder of IDF Capital - a South African based entrepreneurial financier and advisory firm. Through IDF Capital, Polo has contributed towards channeling investments into women owned SMEs across South Africa. In 2015, she co-founded Alitheia IDF Managers to continue investing in high growth businesses across Sub-Saharan Africa that are women owned and led. She was also part of South Africa’s version of the Dragons Den show and is co-Author of a book called “.....and for all these reasons, I’M IN.....”, which seeks to assist entrepreneurs to become investor ready. She is the Managing Partner at Alitheia IDF Managers, Executive Director and Founder at IDF Capital.

Shavaye Govender

Shavaye Govender

Uber Sub Saharan Africa
Lead : Partnerships & Uber for Business

Topic: Retail Travel Reimagined with Uber

Biography

Shavaye Govender is the lead for Partnerships & Uber for Business, for Uber Sub Saharan Africa. In this role, Shavaye focuses on Strategic Partnerships and Uber for Business.  Shavaye has been with the Uber since May 2016 and previously worked in proposition development at Barclays UK, SA and Tanzania.  Growing up in South Africa he has a passion for transforming communities in a sustainable manner. He completed a Business Science from the University of KZN.

Sylvester Chauke

Sylvester Chauke

DNA Brand Architects
Founder

Topic: Stay Woke!

Biography

All Africa Young Business Leader of the Year 2017, Sylvester Chauke is an Entrepreneur and founder of DNA Brand Architects. After a lustrous career as the National Marketing Manager for Nando’s South Africa, Sylvester joined broadcasting giant MTV Networks Africa as its Director of Marketing and Communication. In 2012, Sylvester established DNA Brand Architects; a marketing and brand consultancy that works with some of the most revered brands on the continent.  Sylvester is one the 22 young leaders from around the world to sit as the Advisory Council for the World Economic Forum Global Shapers.  Sylvester’s business acumen has led him to be invited to sit amongst others, on the board of the South African State Theatre; Chair of the Artistic and Sponsorship Committee and is also in the Advisory Board for the University of Johannesburg.

Vinny Lingham

Vinny Lingham


Entrepreneur

Biography

Along with Elon Musk, South African-born Vinny Lingham is currently South Africa’s other major technology entrepreneur export to the famous Silicon Valley in San Francisco, and is always found ranked online in the top-5 lists of the most influential FinTech/ Blockchain/ Crypto Sphere insiders on the planet. He is a shark on “Shark Tank South Africa” and is a very well-known presence online and in news media.  

His previous business Gyft, which sold electronic gift vouchers, shot to fame after it began accepting Bitcoins. After California-based First Data acquired Gyft in 2014, reportedly for over $50m, Vinny – a serial entrepreneur – has also become well known as the ‘Bitcoin Oracle’ for his accurate forecasts of movements in the cryptocurrency’s price.  He is now known as one of the world’s top experts on Bitcoin and Blockchain. 

After over a decade of experience in e-commerce, Vinny realized that no-one had a universal identity solution that balanced security and privacy with ease of use and ubiquity.  Today, his company, Civic, is being built from the ground up to solve problems relating to identity theft, fraud, and ultimately, democracy.

Vusi Thembekwayo

Vusi Thembekwayo

Iconoclast
Public Speaker & CEO

Topic: TBC

Biography

Vusi Thembekwayo has built an enviable track-record as a public speaker and strategy consultant to CEOs and business leaders all over the world.  He has delivered strategy and turnaround interventions in 4 of the 7 continents. His sector experience spans technology, retail, banking, and insurance. Vusi is regarded by many a business leader as one of the foremost management thinkers and strategists of the modern day.  He is Chief Executive Officer of Iconoclast, a leading knowledge bureau that represents the top 1% of global knowledge merchants.  These are business leaders, social battalions and bureaucrats who lead societies, businesses or countries and whose thinking, ideas and writings are shifting and shaping the world.

Zak Venter

Zak Venter

Fluence
CEO

Topic: The Power of Storytelling in the Digital Age

Biography

He has over 10 years’ experience in the Marketing, Fashion and Retail industry. Operating as a qualified Brand & Marketing Expert he provides rare insight into Brand Architecture, Content creation and Strategy within the digital world and how it inspires movements. His passion is Leadership, and Culture creation done through a process of reimagining, repurposing and repositioning brands and their teams to grow from the inside out. He lives to bring Brands to life!