MC & Innovation Specialist
Vuyolwethu Dubese is a leading innovation and impact professional and executive, with over 7 years of experience in business innovation and strategy, impact development and communications in growth markets across sectors including financial services and technology. She is often described as an advisor and a change agent driven by the work that she does in inclusion to unlock and catalyse innovation, investment, and impact.
Technology Innovation Agency
Rekha Govender, Portfolio Manager at the Technology Innovation Agency's CFO office, has over a decade of experience in the National System of Innovation. In her dual role, she acted as Head of Finance and Portfolio Manager, playing a crucial role in supporting the agency and fulfilling its core mandate. Specializing in commercialization, business incubation, and financial management, Rekha holds a BCom in Economics and an MBA. Trained by international experts, she excels in using tools like value chain analysis and the business canvas model to support entrepreneurs along the value chain.
Russell Stow, a seasoned environmental professional with 22 years of experience, is a registered expert in environmental management. Formerly a Senior Environmental Scientist, he currently leads the Transformative Riverine Management Programme (TRMP) as a Project Executive at the eThekwini Municipality. Russell's expertise spans diverse projects, including the significant Sani Pass upgrade EIA. Passionate about riverine and coastal ecology, he plays a pivotal role in shaping sustainable environmental solutions and managing projects that impact the city's environment.
Chief Technology Innovation Officer
Peter Edwards has always been fascinated with technology and specifically computers.
He got his first computer, an Apple II, at age seven, taught himself how to program and has never looked back. He started working in software development in the mid-90s, leveraging his passion for technology to build a career around the emerging internet. Through his career he has built software, products, and teams, moving from production to architecture and then applied research. While keeping his finger on the pulse, he spends most of his time these days thinking about People Engineering and how to build incredible teams. He currently holds the position of Chief Technology Innovation Officer at Derivco.
South Africa Country Lead
Innovate UK KTN
Marisa, a seasoned innovation ecosystem developer and chemical engineer, serves as the Country Lead for South Africa in the Global Alliance Africa. With a decade of experience spanning research, industry, and government, she fosters UK-Africa innovation partnerships. Marisa's versatile expertise covers Pan-African collaborations, innovation for societal challenges, circular economy principles, and the water-energy-food nexus in African contexts. Her engaging speaking style, blending real-world experiences, expert knowledge, and relatable anecdotes, resonates with diverse audiences, making her a sought-after speaker at international forums.
Acting Strategic Executive: Research and International Partnerships
Lungi Zuma, Acting Strategic Executive at eThekwini Municipality’s Water and Sanitation Unit, brings over a decade of experience in water and sanitation. With an MSc in Chemical Engineering, she manages research and innovation, overseeing partnership agreements with external institutions. Lungi, a Professional Engineer, is affiliated with the Water Institute of Southern Africa, Faecal Sludge Management Alliance, and the International Water Association.
Durban University of Technology
Lana-Ann Brady, a high-impact thought leader and entrepreneur with three decades of experience, champions entrepreneurship and socio-economic development. Starting her first business at age 6, Lana-Ann is a certified Design Thinking trainer, Business facilitator, and Circular Economy specialist. Award-winning for entrepreneurial initiatives, she owns businesses like Granola Grandeur. Passionate about environmental sustainability, she brings innovation to programs in Idea Generation, Design Thinking, and Lean start-up, fostering premium experiences for entrepreneurship development. Lana-Ann mentors and trains, walking alongside fledgling entrepreneurs on their journey.
Dr. Thato Shuping
Director Of Innovation
City of Tshwane Municipality
Dr. Thato Shuping, aka “Dr. Guy,” is an esteemed innovation practitioner with a decade devoted to leading innovation in the City of Tshwane. As the Director of Innovation, he spearheads a high-performing team, making the city a public sector innovation leader. With a PhD in Business, Dr. Shuping's academic focus is employee mindset and job performance in paradoxical work environments. Passionate about innovation and youth development, he brings a wealth of experience from local government, development finance, and consumer retail.
Chief Executive Officer
PC Training & Business College
Jay Ramnundlall, a luminary in South Africa's educational sector, rises from humble beginnings to lead the 4th Industrial Revolution (4iR). With a remarkable journey from "Tin Town" to a coveted Master of Business Administration, Jay champions education accessibility. His strategic divestment of Richfield to Investec's Private Equity Fund showcases business acumen. Leading PC Training & Business College, he integrates technology with education, offering innovative qualifications in AI, Data Science, and Cloud Computing, aligning education with the demands of the 4iR.mployee mindset and job performance in paradoxical work environments. Passionate about innovation and youth development, he brings a wealth of experience from local government, development finance, and consumer retail.
Chief Product Officer
Having pioneered streaming television in Africa as Head of Product Development for Multichoice Group, Graeme Cumming now finds himself immersed in a new challenge. As Chief Product Officer at KZN-based fintech iKhokha, he is on a mission to help change the face of payments for SME’s in South Africa, by helping these entrepreneurs to start, grow and manage their businesses.
Justice advocates for a transformative African business framework, emphasizing market integration, Fourth Industrial Revolution adoption, and youth skills development. As an IVLP Alumni, he led the #OpenAfrica initiative across 23 countries, promoting Intra-Africa Trade. Former Manager at the Durban Chamber of Commerce, he influenced legislation and consulted for the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. Currently leading Shape Durban at eThekwini Municipality, Justice champions inclusive economic growth. An award-winning academic, he is an Ambassador for Brand South Africa and Advisory Board member.