Top speakers set to challenge local leadership at the annual Nelson Mandela Bay Leadership Summit 2019

LEADERS in business, academia and the local community will be challenged by the fresh perspectives that the line-up of top speakers plan to share at the upcoming Nelson Mandela Bay Leadership Summit 2019.

The sixth annual Nelson Mandela Bay Leadership Summit taking place on Wednesday, May 29 at The Sun Boardwalk Convention Centre, is one of those events on the Eastern Cape business calendar not to be missed, and this year is no different with the selection of speakers promising to inspire and renew attendees’ perspectives on leadership, technology and the South African economy.

One of the headline speakers for the Leadership Summit is Stafford Masie, who is perhaps best known for establishing Google’s presence in South Africa and orchestrating their initial broader Africa strategy.

After leaving Google in 2010, Masie founded several FINTECH businesses and has since established numerous technology start-ups that have expanded globally. He is known as the inventor of the Thumbzup “Payment Pebble” and “Payment Blade” and was also more recently appointed as Special Technology Advisor to the Presidency.

Masie explains that his talk, titled the “Paramount prerogative for leadership in this digital age; ‘re-imagination’”, will deal with his viewpoint that technology companies or a technology sector no longer exist, since every business can today be considered to be a technology company.

“Organisations are forced to innovate and adopt digital, but there is a big difference between doing digital and being digital. These are the challenges, but the new tools also give businesses super-powers. We now have a choice to continue doing more with less humans, leading to the eradication of jobs via automation, or taking the responsibility as leaders to do more of what was previously impossible. This can lead to the establishment of new work and services previously thought unimaginable,” said Masie.

Another speaker with a passion for promoting innovation in subsistence markets, job creation, entrepreneurial activity and economic inclusion, is Youth Employment Service (YES) CEO Tashmia Ismail-Saville.

Ismail-Saville founded Boundless World, which focusses on strategy and innovation, inclusive business models, mobile digital skills and economic and behavioural research. She is a PhD fellow at UNU-MERIT in Maastricht and adjunct faculty at GIBS, where she has held faculty positions in the field of innovation management and inclusive business.

When asked what the link between effective leadership and a growing economy was, Ismail-Saville said: “Effective leadership builds confidence. Confidence is the bedrock of investment; growth is impossible without investment”.

Africa Works Director Duke Malan will also be challenging the status quo as a speaker at the upcoming Nelson Mandela Bay Leadership Summit. Malan is a communication and investment promotion strategist, who commutes between Hong Kong and Johannesburg.

“I am optimistic about our prospects as a country. There are many nations who also have seemingly insurmountable challenges but find a way through. The role and opportunity for youth-led businesses to innovate and help propel our economy forward is significant,” said Malan.

Malan, formerly Vice President: Corporate Affairs at global communications consultancy FleishmanHillard in Hong Kong, is passionate about youth empowerment, served as a board member of Young Business South Africa and worked in Washington D.C at a leading youth development organization, Presidential Classroom.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Leadership Summit 2019 is presented in partnership with the MIKS Foundation and the Nelson Mandela University Business School.

The Leadership Summit takes place on Wednesday, May 29 from 8am. To register and for further information, visit or contact Charmaine Smith at or call 041 365 7591.