22-25 September 2017

Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC)

Plenary Speakers

Prof. Adam Habib


“Radical Leadership: Leading Waves of Change when the TIDE gets tough”

Prof. Habib is an expert on the politics of education and is a sought-after speaker on the topic. His place on the ‘Academy Wall of Fame’ has been secured by his membership of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (this academy is 237 years old!), sharing this prestige Nobel Laureates and Pulitzer Prize winners, among others.

In an age of radical student politics, Prof Habib is well placed to tackle the issue as Vice Chancellor at Wits, a political scientist and a former student activist.

Adam Habib is an academic, researcher, activist, administrator, and renowned political commentator and columnist.

A Professor of Political Science, Habib has over 30 years of academic, research and administration expertise, spanning five universities and multiple local and international institutions, boards and task teams. His professional involvement in institutions has always been defined by three distinct engagements: the contest of ideas, their translation into actionable initiatives, and the building of institutions.

Habib is currently the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). He is also the Chair of Universities South Africa, which represents vice-chancellors and higher education in the country. In these roles, he has been working with government, students and other stakeholders to find solutions to the recent wave of protests around funding for higher education. He has also focussed on building African research excellence, and together with the University of Cape Town, Wits initiated the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA).

Prior to joining Wits, Habib served as Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation, Library and Faculty Coordination at the University of Johannesburg (UJ). He was instrumental in transforming UJ following the nationwide mergers of tertiary institutions in 2005 and played a key role in increasing research output. He also served as Research Director on Governance and Democracy, and Executive Director at the Human Sciences Research Council. He held several academic and research posts at the University of Natal, including Professor in the School of Development Studies and Research Director of the Centre for Civil Society.

Habib holds qualifications in Political Science from three universities, including the University of Natal and Wits. He earned his masters and doctoral qualifications from the Graduate School of the City University of New York.

Transformation, democracy and development are fundamental themes of his research. His latest book, South Africa’s Suspended Revolution: Hopes and Prospects, has informed debates around the country’s transition into democracy, as well as its prospects for inclusive development.

Habib’s contributions recently resulted in his election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, in addition to serving as a fellow of both the African Academy of Science and the Academy of Science of South Africa.

Dr. David Molapo

Dr. David Molapo is a foremost management consultant, educator, and renowned motivational speaker. Using a fine combination of humour, an incredible stage presence, and his personal life experiences, David has a unique ability to mesmerize any audience with his message of hope. Through his public appearances, David effectively motivates, inspires, and impacts more than a million people in South Africa each year, providing them with the confidence and tools to change their lives, as well as those of the people around them.

At the age of 13, David was imprisoned for political activities. While in prison, he started an amazing process of changing his life that led him to be the successful businessman, leader, husband, and father that he is today.

In August 1994, David became a finalist for the Junior Chamber International Award of Ten Outstanding Young People of the World, and has appeared in the Who’s Who in South Africa since 1995. In July l999, he was awarded the prestigious PMR Silver Arrow Award as Best in Motivational, Incentive, and Business Consulting. In addition to being one of the most sought-after motivational speakers, David holds two of South Africa’s most prestigious awards: the Young Achiever of the Year—South Africa and the Four Outstanding South Africans Award.

David speaks on many subjects, including Quality Management, Communication, Entrepreneurial Skills, Team Building, Leadership, Affirmative Action, and Accepting Change. Some of the books he authored include Growing Up Spiritually, The 10 Exciting Keys to Success, and If You Are Not Growing, You Are Dying.

In addition to being one of the most sought after Motivational Speakers, David Molapo holds two of South Africa’s most prestigious awards, the Young Achiever of the Year – South Africa Award & Four Outstanding South African’s Awards (FOYSA) and he has appeared in the Who’s Who in South Africa from 1995 to date. He has consulted for the top 100 Companies and his former designations have included being a Non-Executive Director of Dimension Data SA and other major corporations such as South African Airways and Spoornet.

Dr. David Molapo is a top management consultant, educationalist and renowned motivational speaker. By using a fine combination of humour, incredible stage presence and his personal life experiences, he has an unique ability to capture any audience with his message of hope.

Through his public appearances, his books and his stints in the media, David motivates, inspires and guides more than a million people annually in South Africa. He provides them with the confidence and tools they need to change their lives and those of the people around them. At the age of thirteen David was imprisoned for political activities. In jail an amazing process of change started in his life, which transformed him to become the successful businessman, leader, husband and father he is today. He is married to Dr. Mamikie Molapo.

Dr. Judy Willis

Dr. Judy Willis combined her 15 years as a board-certified practicing neurologist with ten subsequent years as a classroom teacher to become a leading authority in the neuroscience of learning. Dr. Willis has written seven books and more than 100 articles for professional journals applying neuroscience research to successful teaching strategies. She is on the adjunct faculty of the University of California Graduate School of Education, Santa Barbara. Dr. Willis travels nationally and internationally giving presentations, workshops, and consulting while continuing to write books. She has been selected by Edutopia as one of their “Big Thinkers on Education” and featured on their website as well as being a staff expert blogger for NBC News Education Nation, Edutopia, Psychology Today, and The Guardian.


Books by Dr. Judy Willis
The Neuroscience of Learning: Principles and Applications for Educators. Bridgepoint Education, Inc. (2014).
Learning to Love Math: Teaching Strategies that Change Student Attitudes and Get Results. ASCD 2010
How Your Child Learns Best: Brain-Based Ways to Ignite Learning and Increase School Success. Foreword by Goldie Hawn. Sourcebooks: 2008.
Teaching the Brain to Read: Strategies for Improving Fluency, Vocabulary, and Comprehension ASCD August 2008.
Brain-Friendly Strategies for the Inclusion Classroom ASCD 2007
Research-Based Strategies To Ignite Student Learning: Insights from a Neurologist/Classroom Teacher ASCD 2006.
Inspiring Middle School Minds: Gifted, Creative, Challenging. Great Potentials Press, 2008.

Fred Swaniker


Founder & Executive Chairman, ALA

Fred is deeply passionate about Africa and believes that the missing ingredient on the continent is good leadership. In line with this, he has founded two organizations that aim to catalyze a new generation of ethical, entrepreneurial African leaders: African Leadership Academy and the African Leadership Network.

In recognition of his work in developing Africa’s future leaders, Fred was selected as one of 115 young leaders to meet US President Obama at the first-ever President’s Forum for Young African Leaders held at the White House in 2010. He has been recognised as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and was listed by Forbes Magazine among the top ten young ‘power men’ in Africa in 2011. Fred was also recognized by Echoing Green as one of fifteen “best emerging social entrepreneurs in the world” in 2006. He was a 2009 TED Fellow and is a Fellow of the Aspen Institute’s Global Leadership Network.

Fred began his professional career as a consultant with McKinsey and Company and has an MBA from Stanford Business School, where he was named an Arjay Miller Scholar, a distinction awarded to the top 10% of each graduating class at the business school. He was born in Ghana but has lived and worked in about 10 different African countries.

Dr. Becky Bailey

Becky A. Bailey, Ph.D., is an award-winning author, renowned teacher and internationally recognized expert in childhood education and developmental psychology. Her workshops touch thousands of lives each year, and her top selling book titles have over 800,000 copies in circulation.

Dr. Bailey is the founder of Loving Guidance, Inc., a company dedicated to creating positive environments for children, families, schools and businesses. She is also the developer of the Conscious Discipline program.

Dr. Bailey has authored 14 books related to guidance and discipline. Managing Emotional Mayhem, her newest title, addresses self-regulation for educators, parents and children. Her core publication for parents, Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline, has received national acclaim and is published in 12 languages. Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline applies the Conscious Discipline message to the family unit, offering the support and internal changes adults need to effectively parent their children.

In her passion to empower all people, especially those working with our youngest citizens, Dr. Bailey has established the first Early Childhood Education four-year university degree program in the state of Florida. She was also instrumental in establishing a teacher certification program for Native Americans in New Mexico.

She played an integral role in raising funds, building and equipping a preschool in a tsunami-devastated region of Sri Lanka, and sponsored two Sri Lankan teachers to attend the week-long Conscious Discipline Summer Institute. She has established a non-profit organization to provide free training and resources to at-risk families and teachers in memory of her mother, Frances Canipe Bailey.


Dr. Michael Mol

Michael Mol didn’t go for career counseling. As a result he’s become a medical doctor, an executive producer, TV presenter, international speaker, business consultant and a founding member of a multi-national company called Hello Doctor. His twitter profile sheds more light: “A husband to one, father to three, friend to few, a stranger to many… but not to God.”

In 1996, this energetic young trauma doctor carried his charisma from the casualty room over to the small screen and anchored Top Billing, South Africa’s longest running prime time television magazine show, for more than a decade. Then as Executive Producer and presenter he melded his passion for medicine and media and created two new TV series called “Hello Doctor” and “The Dr. Mol Show” with a vision to educate, empower and inspire South Africans to live their best lives, by being the healthiest they can be. In between he co-founded TomorrowToday, a futurist consultancy helping individuals and organizations to better understand the way the world works, and trends that will affect us in the future – and later took up tenure as CEO of Sportron International.

Today he’s a product architect and director of Hello Doctor – a game-breaking company, that has spread globally, operating in several countries in Africa as well as Indonesia – using mobile technology to “give everyone access to a doctor anytime, anywhere.”

Dr. Nic Spaull

Dr Nic Spaull is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Research on Socioeconomic Policy (RESEP) group at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. He has recently returned from Paris where he was a Thomas J Alexander Fellow at the OECD, and before that a Visiting Scholar in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University in the United States. Nic has a PhD in economics and has published numerous journal articles on education focusing on assessment, accountability, literacy and education policy in South Africa. His current research focuses on exceptional township and rural schools in South Africa as part of a ESRC/DFID grant for 2016/17/18. Nic has been involved in a number of research projects for local and international organisations, including the South African Presidency, the Department of Basic Education, UNICEF, the EU, UNESCO and SACMEQ. The most recent of which was the “Binding Constraints in Education” project for the South African Presidency and the EU. He advises numerous NGO’s, policy-makers and grant-making bodies, and also regularly updates his website ( with new research and articles he finds interesting.


Dr. Beau Lotto

Neuro-Scientist and Founder and CEO of Lab of Misfits Studio

Dr. Beau Lotto is a globally renowned neuro-scientist as well as Founder and CEO of Lab of Misfits studio, the world’s first neurodesign studio. The lab creates unique real-world ‘experiential-experiments’ that places the public at the centre of the process of discovery. By spanning social and personal boundaries between people, brands and institutions, the Lab’s aim is to create, expand and apply their insights into what it is to be a perceiving human.

Public engagement, in the broadest sense, is at the core of what Beau does. By enabling people to experience what it is to be a scientist, Lotto’s aim is to encourage them to see science not as an academic investigation but as a way of being that is relevant to every aspect of their lives.

Lotto has always looked outside the lab environment in order to collaborate with those who share his interest in exploring different ways of seeing – and doing – things, be they scientists, artists, musicians, educationalists, designers or entire businesses. As a result his domain is as much a creative studio as a lab, whose output ranges from art installations and visual illusions to workshops designed for corporate leaders.

Lotto’s ambitious ideas about the relevance of science to ordinary people have taken him to places where few other scientists have ventured – including into exhibition space inside the world’s bestknown Science Museum, in London, where Lottolab was resident from 2010–12. While at the museum, Lottolab pushed public engagement in science to new levels by involving the public directly in experiments.

Lotto’s education programme led to the publication of the first-ever, peer-reviewed scientific paper written by schoolchildren.

Lottolab is now collaborating with branding consultancy, Purpose Ltd, to unlock the potential impact of Lotto’s work on corporate innovation and creativity. They are currently developing several experiential products, including an interactive ‘digital tree’ in a prime London location; an augmented reality social network (in development in Silicon Valley); and, in collaboration with the Peter Baumann Foundation in San Francisco, a pop-up laboratory cum night club/cabaret.

In 2017, Lotto published his first major book, Deviate: The Science of Seeing Differently. He draws on over two decades of pioneering research to explain that our brain hasn’t evolved to see the world accurately.

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