Nation Builder’s fifth annual In Good Company Conference, themed The Art of Business, will bring together business heavyweights and future-focused impact thinkers on 15 August, at the Atterbury Theatre, to explore the case of South African business as a force for good.
“The Art of Business will bring together both corporate and small-business leaders, across all industry sectors, to explore the context of South African business, how they are leveraging their impact to drive social change and in turn, create economic opportunities for our nation,” says Keri-Leigh Paschal, Executive Director of Nation Builder, and organiser of the annual social impact conference.
The programme for the conference includes artists, business leaders and future-focused impact thinkers who believe that business can find creative solutions to leverage its role as a catalyst for social change, while at the same time ensuring that generosity is approached in a way that doesn’t build walls.
“Today’s landscape for doing good business has changed significantly to care for people, communities and the planet. But closely related is when business redefines success as doing good at a profit, going beyond the odd charity day,” she says.
“The conversation around nation building is even more relevant this year as our country reflects over twenty-five years of democracy, which includes looking back at what works in the space of sustainable economic and social development, and what doesn’t, to the benefit of an entire nation and business community,” says Paschal.
“Nation Builder was borne out of a steadfast belief in the future of South Africa and in the powerful role that business has in effecting positive change. South Africans have a deeply entrenched desire to find solutions to poverty and inequality. This is why we see local businesses playing a significant role in building a nation of greater opportunity for all.”
Impact-driven conversations on how to leverage business as a force for good
Last year the conference focused on how enterprise can be a solution to inequality, poverty and privilege, as well as views on the future of South Africans and business held by speakers such as Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordan, Good Things Guy and LeadSA hero Brent Lindeque, and CEO of Business Leadership South Africa Bonang Mohale.
“We will explore the context of South African business and build a case for business as a force for good. Speakers will address how to begin with a blank canvas and through an impact driven conversation find new solutions and techniques to leverage on what they already have access to,” says Paschal.
“We will also unpack a system’s thinking approach by looking at how business can stay effective, profitable and relevant by doing good,” adds Paschal. “Delegates can look forward to an interactive panel discussion by three hand-picked panellists for their industry experience to debate what is essential to sustainable business.”
To that end, Free Market Foundation director and capitalist Temba Nolutshungu regularly speaks out about moving the country forward by focusing on economic solutions like job creation.
WWF-SA’s Head of Sustainable Investment Solutions Hendrik Pfaff lives out his role to critically consider ways to make the WWF sustainable as an organisation through financial investments that stay true to the WWF’s core vision.
Proudly South African’s Eustace Mashimbiye advocates buying locally-produced items. He has a wealth of stories to share of actual South African businesses committed to absorb extra costs by buying locally produced goods with the sole intent to ensure job security in surrounding communities. Mashimbiye will illustrate how these communities often turn into loyal customers of companies implementing a buy-local strategy.
Overall, the programme will look at businesses that are already redefining their social impact, from focusing on company culture to competing in international markets, while remaining rooted in their local context as truly South African businesses – proving that business can be a force for good.
Preliminary programme includes:
- Keri-Leigh Paschal, Executive Director of Nation Builder – The Art of Business
- Sizwe Nxasana, Former CEO of Telkom Group and FirstRand Ltd – The case for business as a force for good
- Roelf Meyer, Former politician and international peace process advisor, a founder and director of In Transformation Initiative (ITI) and presently part of the leadership of the Public Private Growth Initiative (PPGI) – An open channel between the business community and the Presidency has the power to accelerate growth in the country
- Venete Klein, Former Executive Director of Corporate Affairs & Sustainability, Absa – Leveraging your business as a force for good
- Elna Schoeman, Schoeman Boerdery – Successfully competing as a leading agricultural producer in an international market while remaining rooted in your local context
- Gideon Galloway, CEO of King Price Insurance – Creating a company culture built on a clear and powerful purpose
- Charlene Lackay, Group CSI Manager, MMI Holdings – The heart of corporate social investment
- Charmaine Smith, Director of Infundo Consulting – Challenging the assumptions for sustainable business while driving social impact
- Dianne Broodryk, CSI Specialist at Jacaranda FM – Identifying the tools you have in your hands before you begin
- Dr Morné Mostert, Director of the Institute for Futures Research, Stellenbosch University – Methods of investigating the future
- Pieter Faure, CEO of the Mergon Foundation – Generosity that builds bridges, not walls
- Temba Nolutshungu, Director of the Free Market Foundation – Panel discussion
- Hendrik Pfaff, Head of Sustainable Investment Solutions, WWF-SA – Panel discussion
- Eustace Mashimbiye, CEO of Proudly South African – Panel discussion
Paschal adds that the conference is a call to business leaders, across industry and sectors to discover how their business is uniquely positioned to make a difference in the lives of the communities they serve and contribute to building our nation.
The In Good Company Conference 2019, hosted by Nation Builder and proudly sponsored by Mergon, MMI Holdings, King Price Insurance, BrandSA and Stone strategy and communication consulting, is taking place on 15 August 2019 at the Atterbury Theatre in Pretoria. Tickets can be bought through Quicket for R1800 per delegate. Visit www.proudnationbuilder.co.za for more information on speakers and tickets.