Innovators, Trendsetters and Thought Leaders under one roof- Explosive


Conversations with Thought Leaders…

On 15 June 2015, we all congregated at The Innovation Hub as they played host for the build up event to the 2015 SA Innovation Summit, which was the ‘Conversations with Thought Leaders’ event. The SA Innovation Summit in partnership with the City of Tshwane, and Henley Business School felt the need to start conversations around innovation and the role that it plays in our country, and who else to drive these conversations than the thought leaders in Innovation.

Our MC for the day was Dr. Audrey Verhaeghe who is the SA Innovation Summit Chairman, she brings a wealth of knowledge to this particular topic, and she said “Innovation is part of every human being’s DNA, and unlocking this potential is the driving force behind events like Conversations with Thought Leaders.”

The first speaker who took to the podium was Ludwick Marishane, the inventor of ‘Dry Bath’. Ludwick is quite the entrepreneur, he started  his journey at a very young age and with a couple of set backs has managed to create a product that is in the market . Ludwick’s ‘Dry Bath’ is a gel that one can use to clean their bodies without using water, it eliminates body odour and also kills germs. He shared his journey with us and when asked by one of the guests in the audience about what advice he would have for the youth in terms of realising their dreams, and without hesitation said, “Hard Work!”

Next on the programme was RIIS CEO Davis Cook and he was presenting ‘Trends in Innovation: Are we in an innovation bubble?’ He started off his presentation by saying that he believes that we are not in an innovation bubble, and that as a country there is a lot that can still be achieved in the Innovation space as there is great potential for growth. As the CEO of the Research Institute for Innovation and Sustainability (RIIS) which is one of the leading drivers of open innovation in SA, Davis took us through some of the key areas we need to focus on in terms of growing the sector and achieving sustainable  results. On of his key points was that, “it’s how and where we innovate that makes a significant difference.”

Up next was the Zukiswa Ncunyana who is the Strategic Executive Director for Research and Innovation in the City of Tshwane. Zukiswa took us through the role of the government in the implementation of Innovation projects, and how they are committed to continue placing efforts in introducing Innovation especially in the townships, inorder to ensure inclusive growth. Some of their participants at Ekasi Labs from Ga-Rankuwa were present, and this goes to show that the City of Tshwane is putting their money where their mouth is. I was moved by one of the points she made which was that the Government does not have all the answers, but if we as the citizens of this country can collaboratively work with them inorder to come up with solutions, a lot more can be done.

Jon Foster-Pedley, the Dean of Innovation at Henley Business School , introduced the key session which was to follow by first laying a foundation on the business perspective on how to achieve optimal results from the creative process.

“Slaves to the Rhythm”, a concept in edutainment driven by a two man band made up of seasoned musicians- Barry van Zyl, the drummer of the Johnny Clegg band, and Josh Hawks, who is the bassist for Freshlyground. These two musicians have travelled all over the world and their experience has afforded them the opportunity to implement some of their knowledge in this industry by presenting how creativity can be mastered. This was an interactive session as they presented some of the most influential musicians and how music has evolved over the years. As entertained as we are, we were being taught on how to tap into our creative tanks.

The event came to a close, but this was just introductory to the big event that is to take place in Cape Town from 26 – 29 August 2015, SA’s premium innovation event, not to be missed.

For more information on the 2015 Innovation Summit, please visit, email or call +27 (21) 824 0295.