Tag Archives | Opinion

What do civil society activist do – and not do?

By Kayum Ahmed

Civil society activists in Johannesburg are usually associated with protest marches, T-shirts with cool slogans, and Braamfontein. As CEO of the South African Human Rights Commission, I attend meetings instead of marches and wear, not T-shirts, but pinstripe suits. Do we have anything in common? The one thing I have in common with my civil […]

Inside | Kayum Ahmed


He is CEO of the South African Human Rights Commission and a recipient of the Leiden University Nelson Mandela Scholarship, and the Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans Award. Kayum is a board member of the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics and a member of the Millennium Development Goals National Coordinating Committee for South Africa.


Is it true that South African employees don’t care about investing responsibly?

By Dr Stephanie Giamporcaro

Sometimes, I can’t help but wonder if there’s a disconnect between our values and our money. I’m a senior lecturer at the UCT Graduate School of Business. Every year when the time comes to review my retirement fund, I wonder why, despite the fact that I’m currently working for one of the most dynamic and […]

Inside | Dr Stephanie Giamporcaro


She has a PhD from la Sorbonne on the Sustainable and Responsible Investment market in France. She’s published a range of peer- reviewed articles, a book on political consumption and the African Investing for Impact Barometer. A self-confessed “true Parisian”, Stephanie is now based in Cape Town where she’s a senior lecturer and research director at the UCT Graduate School of Business. She still likes to spend time cooking decadent French and Italian meals for friends. But these days, (like a true Capetonian), she sometimes likes to hike.


African innovation: The leapfrogs and left-behinds

By Dr Jolyon Ford

For all the excitement about innovation in Africa, one cannot simply use it to “leapfrog” over all problems. And where does that leave the role of society and state? First, some questions: 1 Is the term “innovation” being abused in the contemporary African growth story? 2 How do tech-based innovations and other “leapfrogs” relate to […]

Inside | Dr Jolyon Ford


Originally from Zimbabwe, Jo is an associate of the Global Economic Governance programme at Oxford University. His PhD was on “Peacebuilding and the Private Sector: regulating business after conflict,” and he’s worked extensively in government, intergovernmental projects, civil society, academia and consulting. Mainly, Jo’s focus is on sub-Saharan Africa, and in navigating society’s changing expectations of business, from “resource nationalism” to an innovative blend of “people, planet and profit”. This article is partly drawn from a May 2014 post on Jolyon’s insightful blog, www.privatesector-publicworld.blogspot.co.uk.


Innopinion 1: Africa’s inherent innovative potential

By Andrew Jack

South Africa may be better-known for the export of diamonds, safaris and the fast-food chain Nando’s, but it’s also the source of a pioneering model of health insurance that’s taking hold around the world. Vitality, part of the Discovery Health Group, has recruited millions of clients in the UK, the US and more recently in […]

Inside | Andrew Jack


Andrew Jack is the pharmaceutical correspondent at the Financial Times in London.


Innopinion 2: Make frontline innovation visible and change the system from the inside out

By Anjali Sastry

Across the planet, every day, nurses, doctors and their colleagues wrestle with the challenge of delivering healthcare to those who most need it. Many agree that to enable improvement, we need to learn what works and support innovation.  There’s wide consensus that management and business tools could help. Organisations in low-resource settings could benefit from […]

Inside | Anjali Sastry


Anjali is a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the Director of the Groundwork Initiative and GlobalHealth Lab.


Innopinion 3: The role of service design in healthcare transformation

By Richard Perez

Service Design 101 Within the public service, and specifically in the healthcare field, simply being more productive and efficiant is no longer enough. In the delivery of healthcare services, there is an ever-increasing demand and need for an improved experience for all users who interact with the system. Enhancing user’s experience from both staff and […]

Inside | Richard Perez

richard_perezRichard is the Director at the City of Cape Town for World Design Capital 2014.


Democratising mobile technology through design

By Gary Marsden

Opinion of Professor Gary Marsden, Department of Computer Science, University of Cape Town (UCT) Much has been written about the growth of cellular handset ownership in Africa. It started with wild enthusiasm about development opportunities and access to information, but then it changed to despair over what was seen as a new form of digital colonialism. […]

Inside | Gary Marsden

Gary submitted this piece to the Health Innovator’s Review 2014 shortly before leaving this world on
27 December 2013. He inspired us all and will be greatly missed. His work and legacy will live on.


New opportunities in e-Learning

By Mark van Dijk

Opinion of Professor Wim de Villiers, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town (UCT) For every 20 people in South Africa, there are 13 mobile phones. That’s according to a new report published by the GSMA, the body that represents the world’s mobile operators. That 65.7% penetration rate – the highest in Africa […]

Inside | Mark van Dijk

He’s an award-winning health and wellness writer, and deputy editor of Men’s Health magazine. “It’s been inspiring and hugely encouraging to hear the questions being asked by the healthcare industry’s most innovative minds,” says Mark of his experience working on the Health Innovator’s Review. “Questions like: What are the barriers to progress? How ready is your organisation for innovation? What are the most pressing needs?” As a journalist, Mark knows the most interesting answers come from asking the right questions. He lives in Cape Town with his wife, two daughters and their comic books.


Essays on Education: 1. The experience of school

By Tana Paddock

Not only does the schooling environment directly affect the adults its students become, it also affects the organisations and social systems that those adults create. It’s time we thought about that. Critics of modern schooling like John Taylor Gatto and Ivan Illich have recognised that the fundamental curriculum that schools teach is school itself. I’ve […]

Inside | Tana Paddock

Tana Paddock

She’s co-founder of Organization Unbound, a global community of practice based out of Cape Town that explores how social purpose organisations can live out, in their daily functioning, the changes they are seeking to create in the world, and by doing so deepen their social impact. In her own words, Tana craves, “dialogue, community, and crossing societal divides”. She’s also, “an avid fan of bicycle-centric cities and excited to see the use of bicycles as a form of transportation gaining momentum in Cape Town”.


Essays on Education: 2. The gospel of dreaming

By Nosakhere Griffin-EL

How using dreams in the educational space can lead to a life of individual and social consequence. In the public discourse, people like to talk about the structural issues contributing to the crisis in education in South Africa. They talk about the lack of textbooks, the shortage of qualified teachers, the poor quality of education […]

Inside | Nosakhere Griffin-EL

Nosakhere Griffin-EL

Dr Nosakhere Griffin-EL is a self-confessed dreamer and lecturer at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business. From a traditionally socially and economically oppressed background in America, he’s worked extensively with oppressed communities on realising their value and reaching their potential. All of this while caring for his eight-month old baby boy with his soulmate and fellow senior lecturer, Eliada W Griffin-EL.


Essays on Education: 3. Knowledge should be free

By Mark Horner

My journey from Nuclear Physics to producing free school textbooks with people all over the world. It happened during my Masters at the University of Cape Town. I suddenly began to pay more attention to the school education sector and its needs. Initially, I just enjoyed being a tutor in the Physics Department. This ultimately […]

Inside | Mark Horner

Mark Horner

He started with a PhD in Nuclear Physics, then worked as the Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow for Open and Collaborative Resources. That’s when he transformed the Free High School Science Texts project, which he co-founded, into open source educational resource company Siyavula – an apt Nguni word that means “we are opening”. Mark is the CEO of Siyavula. That’s when he’s not working as a company physics expert, administrator, blogger, IT nerd or anything else.