Bold Philanthropy: Courageous Conversations to Ignite Action

Embracing Bold Thinking, Enabling Bold Practices 

By embracing bold thinking, we transcend the boundaries of traditional solutions, venturing into the realm of innovative approaches and unconventional methods. Through this mindset, we break free from the constraints of convention and open doors to new possibilities. With the empowerment of bold practices, we forge a path towards a future shaped by purpose, inclusivity, and sustainability. 

IPASA Annual Philanthropy Symposium 2023

Date:  1 – 2 November 2023
Venue: The Forum | Embassy Hill, Constantia, Cape Town

The IPASA Annual Philanthropy Symposium is a unique annual event exclusively for grant-makers, focused specifically on the issues and opportunities relevant to funders in South Africa. This symposium provides an ideal platform for funders to connect, learn, share, and find opportunities to collaborate.

Amidst the backdrop of increasing uncertainty and ever evolving challenges, the role of philanthropy in shaping the future has never been more critical. In a world where the future remains unpredictable, it is essential for philanthropy to embrace new perspectives, foster innovation, and remain open to emerging possibilities.

With this vision in mind, the 2023 IPASA Annual Philanthropy Symposium 2023 will serve as a platform to delve deep into the theme of Bold Philanthropy, facilitating courageous conversations and encouraging bold leadership to drive transformative action. The Symposium will offer delegates the opportunity to:

     –   Explore Bold thinking – enabling paradigm shifts, and embracing the boldness to acknowledge and respond to an uncertain future.

     –   Embody Boldness in practice – to disrupt the status quo and test new ideas.

The symposium will include presentations, panel discussions and facilitated break-away sessions looking at both funding priorities and funding practices including:

     –   How do we practice philanthropy better to meet the current challenges?

     –   How do we collaborate better to more impactfully address the challenges we face?

     –   How do we empower bold leadership in philanthropy?

     –   How do we embrace risk, uncertainty and a willingness to experiment in tackling these challenges?

The 2023 Symposium will bring together a diverse community of philanthropic visionaries, trailblazers, and changemakers who share a common goal: to shape the future of independent philanthropy.

For more information contact: judith@ipa-sa.org.za  or louise@ipa-sa.org.za

The IPASA Annual Philanthropy Symposium 2023 is generously sponsored by:


Bold Philanthropy – Courageous Conversations to Embolden Action

Day One – 1st November


Boldly Acknowledging the Current and Future Challenges in South Africa – the Impact and Opportunities for Philanthropy.
What are the possible scenarios for South Africa, and how can philanthropy boldly respond to these various scenarios to contribute to ensuring the social and economic resilience of our country? What are the challenges that philanthropy needs to prepare for and what are the opportunities that philanthropy can possibly harness and leverage for maximum impact?
Panel of speakers:
– Xolelwa Kashe Katiya, acting project leader at Indlulamithi SA scenarios trust
– Crystal Orderson, Deputy Editor eNCA news
– Khaya Sithole, Independent Analyst


Bold Leadership in Philanthropy
What does visionary leadership look like in the philanthropy sector? How do we learn from existing leaders across sectors? How do we build a future pipeline of leaders in philanthropy?
Speakers: Bheki Moyo, Director of the Centre for African Philanthropy and Social Investment, in conversation with Judy Dlamini, WITS Chancellor and Janet Jobson, CEO of the Desmond and Leah Tutu Foundation.


In today’s world, where the challenges we face are constantly changing and increasingly complex, creativity has become an indispensable tool for philanthropy. This session will explore the importance of creativity in philanthropy in how it can drive innovation and identify innovative and sustainable solutions to problems and amplify impact.

Introduction to Innovation in Philanthropy
How can funders actively support and drive innovation both in what they fund and in how they fund? How can funders adopt an innovation mindset to creatively address the challenges they are trying to solve?
Speaker: Ian Calvert, Further Impact.

Innovation in Philanthropy Break-away Sessions

1st breakaway-Supporting Social Innovation in Philanthropy
This session will focus on how funders can be more innovative in their funding strategies in supporting initiatives, projects and programmes that provide innovative solutions to social issues.
Panel Discussion: Moderated by Ian Calvert with Bridget Evans, Executive Director of the SAB Foundation and Sonja Giese, Executive Director of DataDrive2030

2nd break-away: Innovative Funding Mechanisms
There is a growing need for philanthropy to invest in non-traditional funding mechanisms to address the gaps in funding and to leverage for-profit investment in development by ‘de-risking’ interventions that otherwise put private capital at risk. How can philanthropy best use their funds to pilot high risk projects that can then be taken to scale?

In this session, the African Venture Philanthropy Alliance (AVPA) will present the various innovative funding mechanisms available to funders and explain the importance of looking at alternative ways of funding, and the benefits for the philanthropy sector. Oppenheimer Generations will demonstrate a practical example of innovative funding through the presentation of their uMaStandi project, which raised a R125m fund for affordable housing and, by using blended financing has lowered the cost of lending for microentrepreneur property developers. The Global Energy Alliance will present a practical example of how they are using philanthropic funding as risk capital in the energy space.

– Tafadzwa Nyagano, Chief Financial Officer, African Venture Philanthropy Alliance
– Ziyad Cassim, Global Energy Alliance
– Ashleigh Fynn-Mondo, Oppenheimer Generations



This session will focus on the bold changes in mindset and practice that are needed to properly transform systems to effectively address the challenges we aim to solve. This includes exploring opportunities in various funding sectors that can leverage systems change.

Systems Change and Innovation
This presentation will explore how funders can apply a system lens to their work through innovation and how they can build capacity as system influencers, enabling sustainable and impactful change. We will examine through practice how we can change policy to allow for systemic change.
Speaker: Solange Rosa, Director of Bertha Centre
Case study speaker: Zanele Twala, Standard Bank Tutuwa Foundation

Systems Change and Climate Change:
Understanding and addressing climate change requires philanthropy to view it as a manifestation of systemic failure rather than an isolated environmental issue. Philanthropy, therefore, plays a vital role in endorsing systematic change to effectively address climate change.

Session Opening Talk:
An urgent call to philanthropy to understand and act upon climate change as a matter of systems change and the need for philanthropic funding in designing and implementing innovative solutions to the challenges of climate change in our country.
Speaker: Saliem Fakir, African Climate Foundation

Panel discussion:
The panel will discuss the vital role of philanthropy in endorsing systematic change to address climate change, and the urgent need for funders to reshape their strategies, combine their resources, and collaborate more effectively. The focus will be on fostering resilience among South Africans – socially, environmentally, and economically – particularly among the youth, emphasising the intersection of climate action, job creation, and skills acquisition.

Panel members:
– Sekoetlane Phamodi, the lead of the New Economy Campaigns Hub
– Ayakha Melithafa, Youth Commissioner for Presidential Climate Commission
– Prof Tracy-Lynn Humby from Wits and Chair of the Centre for Environmental Rights
– Thandolwethu Lukuko, Co-ordinator, South African Climate Action Network


Day Two – 2nd November


Philanthropy and Advocacy
Philanthropy plays a vital role in advocacy by mobilising financial resources, amplifying marginalised voices, fostering partnerships, catalysing innovation, and influencing policy and systems change. When funders collaborate with advocacy groups, governments, and communities, their collective efforts hold the potential to address systemic inequalities, champion human rights, and create a more just and inclusive society. How can funders be bolder in creating or supporting advocacy to bring about lasting change.
– Bongiwe Mlangeni, independent philanthropy consultant and ex-head of Social Justice Initiative
– Ashley Green-Thompson, Director of ACT Ubumbano


Courageous Collaboration
Introduction to Courageous Collaboration – key lessons learnt from innovative collaboration models of combined strategic funding.
Speaker: David Harrison, CEO of the DG Murray Trust

Collaboration Case Study Break-aways
– First breakaway session on Alan Gray’s Hamba Nathi school catchup collaboration
– Second breakaway session on the Fuel Trust’s school feeding scheme government collaboration
– Third breakaway session on the Ford Foundation’s 100-day challenge collaborative initiative

Case study speakers:
– Hamba Nathi – Lethabo Rampya and Alicia Okeyo, Alan and Gill Gray Philanthropies
– The Fuel Trust – Gary Campbell
– Ford Foundation – Nicky Le Roux



Sharing Group Learnings and Insights from Collaboration Break-aways

Courageous Leadership in Philanthropy
Lessons from African philanthropy leaders in embracing risk in addressing challenges our country and continent faces.
Speaker: Jaquie Asiimwe, CEO, Civsource Africa


Symposium Programme Themes

The 2023 IPASA Annual Philanthropy Symposium titled “Bold Philanthropy: Courageous Conversations to Ignite Action”, will focus on the following key themes:

Bold Leadership in Philanthropy

Bold Innovation in Philanthropy

Bold Systems
Change in

Bold Innovative Collaboration in Philanthropy

The symposium will include presentations, panel discussions and facilitated break-away sessions looking at both funding priorities and funding practices including:

  • How do we practice philanthropy better to meet the current challenges?
  • How do we collaborate better to more impactfully address the challenges we face?
  • How can we better support innovative practices and projects in finding solutions to the challenges we are trying to address?
  • How do we embrace risk, uncertainty and a willingness to experiment in tackling these challenges?

This symposium theme will explore what visionary leadership looks like in the philanthropy sector amid complex times marked by escalating demands for urgency and impact. Given the multitude of issues impacting leadership currently, we will examine the type of leadership required in identifying and navigating the pathways for achieving success. We will also examine how we can learn from successful leaders across various sectors as well as emerging leaders, and explore what is needed to build a future pipeline of leaders in philanthropy.


In today’s rapidly evolving and increasingly complex world, the challenges we face demand innovative thinking and practices which have become an integral requirement for impactful philanthropy.  This symposium theme will delve into the significance of innovation in philanthropy, exploring how funders can actively support and drive innovation. It will also focus on how funders can identify and support innovative and sustainable solutions to various problems, amplifying their impact.

Innovation Sub-Themes:   

  • Supporting social innovation initiatives and projects: Complex problems need innovative solutions thus funders need to embrace innovation in their practices, focusing on supporting social innovation in addressing the challenges they are trying to solve.
  • Innovative funding options: There is a growing need for philanthropy to explore and invest in non-traditional funding options to bridge the gaps in funding and to leverage for-profit investment in development. This can be achieved through ‘de-risking’ interventions that would otherwise put private capital at risk. We will examine how philanthropy can best use their funds to pilot high-risk projects that can then be taken to scale.

This symposium theme will focus on the bold changes in mindset that are needed to properly transform systems to effectively address the challenges we aim to solve. This includes exploring opportunities in various funding sectors that can leverage systems change. Philanthropy has to reflect deeply about how best we can collaborate to support broad systems change. We will examine how through practice we can change policy to allow for systemic change.

Systems Change Sub-Themes:   

  • Systems Change and Innovation: Given our country’s tricky socio-ecological systems we, as funders, need to enhance our capacity to work together, engaging and transforming these complex systems. We will explore how funders can apply a system lens to their work through innovation and build capacity as system influencers, enabling sustainable and impactful change.
  • Systems Change and Climate Change: Understanding and addressing climate change requires philanthropy to view it as a manifestation of systemic failure, rather than an isolated environmental issue. Philanthropy, therefore, plays a vital role in endorsing systematic change to effectively address climate change. We will look at the opportunities for funders to reshape their strategies, design and implement innovative solutions and collaborate to foster social, environmental and economic resilience among South Africans, particularly our youth.

Radical collaboration among all philanthropy key stakeholders is essential to address the polycrisis we are facing, both locally and globally. However, true effective collaboration in philanthropy is rare due to the complexities and time investment involved in most long-term partnerships. This session, through practical funder case studies, will demonstrate how successful collaboration can be implemented. We will also explore how we can view collaboration differently by considering innovative models and practices. The learnings from these collaborations will be shared and analysed to encourage and leverage future collaborations.

The Forum | Embassy Hill, Constantia, Cape Town


Alicia Okeyo

Alicia Okeyo is Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) specialist, strategist and consultant dedicated to creating meaningful change through inclusive impact measurement. For 8+ years Alicia has been (co-)developing and implementing M&E systems and impact measurement strategies for programmes within various organisations including the African Climate and Developmemt Initiative (ACDI), the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), World Resource Institute (WRI), the Government of Flanders, the South African Adaptation Network, the South African Department of Environmental Affairs, and the Wordworks Early Literacy Programme. Currently, Alicia is the M&E Lead at Allan & Gill Gray Philanthropy South Africa and has seen first-hand how meaningful measurement can improve organisational strategy, programme efficiency, and enable evidence-based decision-making for better entrepreneurship support and ecosystem development.

Alicia holds a Masters degree in Programme Evaluation from the University of Cape Town as well as Postgraduate diploma in Business Administration with a focus on Entrepreneurship development. She considers herself on a professional journey towards driving transformative change and sustainability on the continent, through evidence that can drive lasting solutions.

Mbongiseni Buthelezi

Mbongiseni Buthelezi is the Director of the Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI) and an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Development Studies at the University of Johannesburg. PARI is a Johannesburg-based research and advocacy organisation working on the improvement of state performance in South Africa and other countries. Prior to joining PARI, he was a researcher and a lecturer at the University of Cape Town variously in the Research Initiative in Archive and Public Culture (Department of Anthropology), the Land and Accountability Research Centre, the Department of English, and the Centre for Popular Memory (Department of History).

Buthelezi holds a PhD in English and Comparative Literature, co-supervised in History and Anthropology, from Columbia University. He has published on rural governance and the role of traditional authorities, the state’s constructions of identities in KwaZulu-Natal through heritage, and on the state of public archives and its implications for government accountability.

Ayakha Melithafa

Ayakha Melithafa is a pan-African Climate justice activist. Her activism has seen her represent youth voices from the global south on various national and international platforms including the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and Cop26 in Scotland as part of the South African delegation. She is the youngest commissioner on the South African Presidential Climate Commission.

Her mission is to help address the greatest ecological crisis of our time and drive scalable, collaborative action for climate and systemic justice through different projects including a school climate awareness campaign throughout South Africa to ensure that youth are not left out of crucial conversations and debates on their future and to make sure that youth are fully aware of the devastating effects of climate change and the urgency in which it needs to be addressed and most importantly, their part in addressing it.

Zanele Twala

Crystal Orderson

Crystal Orderson is a South African journalist, talk radio host, and media consultant. She is known for her work covering African news and politics, having opened the first-ever West Africa bureau in Dakar, Senegal for Africa’s largest broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation. (SABC), Orderson’s particular focus has been a focus on development, human rights, governance, and gender equality. Orderson has worked for a number of news organizations throughout her career, including as a senior reporter and editor at the South African Broadcasting Corporation, a senior editor at one of Africa’s largest commercial 24-hour news channels, eNCA, and was a News Editor at one of South Africa’s main radio broadcasting organisation, Eyewitness News.

She has also contributed to a number of international news outlets such as Al Jazeera, ABC News, PBS in the US, TRT World, BBC’s Focus on Africa and Radio 5. Orderson is the former regional editor for The Africa Report and has contributed feature stories for Aljazeera Online, the Guardian, and the development news site, Interpress Service, IPS.

In addition to her journalism work, Orderson also does media consultancy and training. She is also involved in various media-related initiatives and organizations including several South African universities.

Ayesha Mago

Ian Calvert

Ian Calvert is an internationally recognised expert on purpose-driven business, social innovation and human performance, with 32 years of leadership and business experience.

Ian led the creation of Red Bull Amaphiko, a programme aimed at enabling early-stage, community-based social entrepreneurs. He drove the global growth of the programme which ran in 15 countries, including the USA, UK, Brazil & South Africa, and which enabled thousands of early-stage social entrepreneurs.

At the beginning of 2020, Ian spun-off the Amaphiko programme into an independent venture called FURTHER, using a high performance human development approach to grow a fellowship of community-based impact entrepreneurs. FURTHER’s partners include the SAB Foundation, Allan & Gill Gray Philanthropy, the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation and British Council.

Ian is also a strategic advisor and fellowship selection panelist for Ashoka, the world’s foremost authority on social entrepreneurship.

An Honours graduate of Birmingham (UK) and Aix-Marseille (France) Universities, he began his career at Ogilvy London before moving to Ogilvy in South Africa, becoming the youngest ever Board Director at the age of 29.

He went on to found a number of internationally successful advertising and marketing agencies, including Instant Grass (now The Culture Foundry Co) a youth collaboration agency that harnesses networks of influential consumers to collaborate in the innovation process for global brands such as Levi Strauss, adidas, Nike, Red Bull and Diageo. Ian drove the expansion into Russia, Japan, Middle East and Africa.


Khaya S Sithole

Khaya S Sithole, is a chartered accountant, academic, activist, radio broadcaster and financial writer. He currently serves as a board member at the Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals (ABSIP) responsible for Advocacy and Regulatory Affairs.

Khaya also serves on the boards of the Institute for Social Dialogue NPC, MyVote Counts NPC and the Advisory Council of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC). In March 2019 he completed his postgraduate studies at the Said Business School at the University of Oxford, UK and an MSc in Finance and Accounting at Queen Mary University of London in 2022.

He was also awarded the Atlantic Fellowship for Racial Equity by Columbia University and the Nelson Mandela Foundation in 2020.

Saliem Fakir

Saliem Fakir currently holds the position of Executive Director at the African Climate Foundation, where he spearheads initiatives focused on addressing climate challenges across the African continent.

Prior to establishing the African Climate Foundation, Saliem served for 11 years as the Head of the Policy & Futures Unit of WWF South Africa. He was a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Public Administration and Planning and an Associate Director for the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy at Stellenbosch University. For eight years, Saliem was the Director of the World Conservation Union, South Africa. He has served on several Boards and is a prolific writer, contributing to leading publications.

Tracy-Lynn Field

Tracy-Lynn Field has more than twenty years’ research and teaching experience in the fields of environmental, mining, energy, water and climate change law and justice. She has published in national and international peer-reviewed academic journals, as well as the popular media and has successfully supervised more than 30 LLM and PhD students.

Her current and past research and consulting engagements have involved work for the FILE Foundation, the Water Research Commission, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and the International Council on Mining and Metals, amongst others. She has served on the board of the Centre for Environmental rights and is a registered legal practitioner with the Legal Practice Council. She is the current incumbent of the Claude Leon Chair in Earth Justice and Stewardship.

Ziyad Cassim

Ziyad Cassim is the South Africa Country Representative for the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP), where he works closely with the South African government to accelerate the Just Energy Transition. In South Africa, GEAPP has focussed on strengthening the enabling environment, accelerating fossil-fuel decommissioning pilots and supporting projects that enable the jobs transition.

Prior to joining GEAPP, Ziyad was an Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company, working across more than 15 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North America on strategy on corporate finance topics for energy, mining and manufacturing players. He also co-led McKinsey’s sustainability and energy transition practices in Africa.

Thobeka Poswa

Thobeka’s career over the last 20 years has been driven by her passion for Social Justice and Development, with an intersection of Entrepreneurship, Social Entrepreneurship, and Self Leadership/Mastery. She is the founder of TLP Services Pty Ltd, co-founder of Etico Capital a BBBEE investment company and associated with local and international organisations such as Social Enterprise Academy, Ubuntu Lab Institute a facility member of The Presencing Institute.

She has worked with organisations such as  The Social Enterprise Academy, the British Council Sudan, Open Society Foundation, Viva con Agua, the ASEAN Foundation, Incubators and NGOs in South Africa and Ubuntu Lab Institute.

Thobeka has served on two boards as a non-executive director at ANB Investments and Rainbow Produce (subsidiary of In2Fruit) in the Agricultural sector. She has been sitting on the Hoedspruit Hub board for the last four years.

Alison McCallum

Alison is an accredited mediator with the African Centre for Dispute Settlement and CEDR, has coaching accreditation with the Centre for Coaching at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business, and is an accredited Time To Think facilitator. In 2019, she completed a 9-month “Ecosystem Leadership” Programme run by the Presencing Institute in Berlin and is a fully competent facilitator in the Theory U methodology.

As a social scientist, the focus of Alison’s work over the past 25 years has been in the field of ‘social performance’, predominantly in the extractive industry (mining), and over recent years, in the renewable energy sector. During this time, Alison has focused on supporting clients to become transformative actors in the sectors of society and local communities where they have influence and reach.

A significant focus of her current work is in the design and facilitation of learning journeys and dialogue spaces, where ideas and people need to be connected, and current ways of being, doing, and thinking reconsidered. Alison also does a lot of work building the capacity of people who hold the responsibility for the CSR, social performance, and/or relationship aspect of an organization’s portfolio. This is done through the development and implementation of training programs and communities of practice, in the design and facilitation of social change and engagement processes, and in hosting conversations and workshops around key ‘social performance’ topics in the corporate and non-profit sectors.

Seth Tladi

Bhekinkosi Moyo

Bhekinkosi Moyo is an adjunct professor at Wits Business School at the University of the Witwatersrand and Director of the Africa Centre on Philanthropy and Social Investment. He was previously chief executive officer of the Southern Africa Trust, where he helped the organization adopt social enterprise tools and pivot to alternative and innovative high-impact strategies for leadership, sustainability, and social change. He has been part of establishing several institutions across Africa. He served as director of programmes for the pan-African organization TrustAfrica, where he developed its strategy to cultivate a conducive investment and business environment. He was also part of the formation of the African Union Foundation and became one of its founding council members, working closely with the AU chairperson.

He is a leading writer on issues of African philanthropy, governance, and development. He has authored and edited four books and several academic articles. Among other engagements, Bhekinkosi sits on the boards of the International Society for Third Sector Research and the African Union Foundation, is a member of the Alliance Editorial Board, and chairs the SIVIO Institute and Association for Research on Civil Society in Africa boards. He is a frequent reviewer for academic journals such as VOLUNTAS, NVSQ and the Journal of Business Ethics.

Taona Tsopo

David Harrison

David Harrison is the CEO of the DG Murray Trust, a South African foundation with a strong focus on early childhood development, education and youth leadership for public innovation.

In 1991, he founded the Health Systems Trust (HST), a non-government agency supporting health policy and services development in South Africa. He initiated the South African Health Review, which has provided an annual picture of the state of health care for almost 30 years. In 1996, he started the Initiative for Sub-District Support which helped develop a district health system in South Africa. He then helped set up loveLife, a national HIV prevention programme for young people, and led it for a decade. In 2010, he joined the DG Murray Trust (DGMT).

DGMT positions itself as a public innovator through strategic investment. In addition to its support for a large network of civil society organisations, it jointly establishes and manages numerous inspiring national initiatives to help South Africa escape its inequality trap. These include Grow Great zero-stunting, SmartStart early learning, Nal’ibali reading-for-joy, Parents’ Power and Public School Partnerships.

David studied medicine at the University of Cape Town and public policy at the University of California at Berkeley

Jackie Asiimwe

Jacqueline is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CivSource Africa, based in Uganda.

Jacqueline is a lawyer, feminist and social development thought leader with expertise in policy research and analysis, lobby and advocacy on human rights, governance, democratisation and women’s rights.

Jaqueline has a successful record of accomplishments in leadership, management, law and policy formulation, as well as advocacy and training. She is a results-oriented, high-energy, hands-on professional, and her work experience spans both civil society, government and donor agencies. She has over 3 decades of experience working with civil society in Africa.

CivSource Africa, the philanthropy firm she founded in 2017, works to influence philanthropic practice through grant management and advisory services on funding, context and strategy. Jacqueline works to shape narratives about giving and philanthropy within low-net-worth communities while promoting the idea that generosity is part of the cultural legacy and social code of all African societies.

She holds a Bachelor of Law from Makerere University, a Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Center in Kampala and a Masters of Law from Georgetown Law School in Washington D.C.

Lethabo Rampya

Lethabo Rampya is the Grant-Making Manager at Allan & Gill Gray Philanthropy South Africa. She is a grant-making enthusiast who is passionate about supporting community-driven development and enhancing the capacity of local communities to identify and execute their own solutions.

Over the last several years she has worked extensively with community-based organisations in Southern and East Africa, who work across the health, education, employment, disability, and welfare sectors. Most recently, her focus has been partnering with a diverse range of organisations that contribute towards healthy entrepreneurial ecosystems and is exploring exciting ways to leverage existing investments in the education and employment sectors to catalyse this work. She is deeply committed to contributing towards funding practices that draw upon the wealth of knowledge and expertise held by local organisations, particularly those that represent, and are embedded within, the communities they serve, and enjoys working with smaller and typically under-funded organisations to support their capacity strengthening and sustainability efforts.

Lethabo holds a Psychology degree from the University of Johannesburg and is pursuing a postgraduate qualification in Futures Studies at Stellenbosch Business School.

Sekoetlane Phamodi

Sekoetlane Phamodi is a development worker and activist with over 10 years’ experience advancing information and communication rights in Africa. Early in their career, Sekoetlane worked with the Save Our SABC Coalition where they led public accountability campaigns and litigation which turned the tide of political interference and trenchant corruption at the South African Broadcasting Corporation.

Sekoetlane has since worked at the intersections of information and communication rights, technology, and human rights, leading policy advocacy initiatives on these topics in Africa at the Association for Progressive Communications and, subsequently, with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung’s regional media programme for Africa.

Sekoetlane’s track-record as an organiser and policy advocate on integrity and good-governance saw them being appointed to South Africa’s Presidential National Anti-Corruption Advisory Council (NACAC). Sekoetlane currently work with the African Climate Foundation leading the New Economy Campaigns Hub which supports information and advocacy communications advancing ambitious climate action and socio-economic rights in South Africa.

Thandolwethu Lukuko

Thando is currently the Coordinator of the South African Climate Action Network (SACAN), a network of 20 NGO’s working to address the challenge of climate change and climate action. He is also a director of Community Engagement at Mansa Advisory, a climate change and energy advisory services business. He is passionate about problem-solving, primarily addressing the socio-economic challenges that marginalised and disadvantaged groups face. After completing his qualification in Entrepreneurship, Thando pursued his interest in the business environment and established businesses in the mining, logistics and textiles industries.

His work has been focused on working in low-income communities and developing strategies for co-creating and growing rural and peri-urban climate resilience and economic opportunities.

Melissa Fourie

Melissa is the Executive Director of the Centre for Environmental Rights and one of the co-managers of the Life After Coal campaign, a joint climate justice campaign of Earthlife Africa, groundWork and the Centre for Environmental Rights.

Melissa started her career in 1998 as an attorney at the law firm Sonnenberg Hoffmann Galombik (now ENSAfrica), followed by a stint at Sydney law firm Blake Dawson Waldron (now Ashurst). After completing a Master’s degree in London, she joined the Research & Policy Unit of the South African Country Office of the IUCN (World Conservation Union) in 2003. She was appointed Director: Enforcement at the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism in 2005, where she was responsible for both enforcement of national land use, pollution and waste legislation, as well as the roll-out of the Environmental Management Inspectorate (known as the Green Scorpions), until 2008. 

Melissa holds a BA LLB from the University of Stellenbosch and an MSc in Environment & Development from the London School of Economics. She also holds certificates in tax law, environmental law and environmental compliance and enforcement from the Universities of Cape Town, Witwatersrand and Pretoria respectively. In 2018, Melissa completed the Art of Leadership programme at the U.S. based Rockwood Leadership Institute. 

Ashleigh Fynn Munda

Ashleigh Fynn Munda is the Head of Oppenheimer Generations Philanthropies Oppenheimer Generations Philanthropies oversees the strategic and family giving of Nicky and Jonathan Oppenheimer and their families. Ashleigh has centred the strategic giving around improving people’s lives and the spaces they live in. The current portfolio includes projects around income generation for young people, supporting the entrepreneurship eco-system and developing spaces through urban reform. She is passionate about digital development solutions and enhancing economic activity.

She joined Oppenheimer Generations Philanthropies in June 2020 as a Social Investment Associate and previously worked as a monitoring and evaluation consultant at Genesis Analytics, Africa’s largest economic consulting firm.

Halima Mahomed

Bongi Mlangeni

Bongi Mlangeni is a consultant in philanthropy, focusing on strategy, facilitation, and communication. She has led teams in both corporate and social justice sectors. She previously worked as Vice President at Global Health Strategies and was the founding CEO of the Social Justice Initiative. Bongi has a Master of Management from the University of Witwatersrand and has studied at the London School of Economics and Wits Business School. She lectures part-time at WBS and serves on several boards.

Yogavelli Nambiar

Tafadzwa Nyagano

Tafadzwa Nyagano holds the position of Chief Financial Officer at the African Venture Philanthropy Alliance (AVPA). He is a finance and accounting professional having worked over the past 14 years for social impact organisations in Zimbabwe, the United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, South Africa and now with AVPA in East, West and South Africa.

Tafadzwa has an MBA (focusing on Entrepreneurship) from Gordon Institute of Business Studies; a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Finance from the National University of Science and Technology, Zimbabwe; and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Applied Accounting from the Oxford Brooks University, London.  

Janet Jobson

Janet Jobson is the Chief Executive Officer of the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation.

She joined the Foundation from a career in activism and in the development sector, both locally and globally. Previously, Janet was the Deputy CEO (and Acting CEO for the period Feb 2021 to Feb 2022) at the DG Murray Trust (DGMT). 

Alongside her overall organizational leadership, at DGMT Janet specifically led strategies focused on creating platforms for youth leadership networks, tackling school dropout and youth unemployment, and growing an innovative and inclusive society. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Janet led the implementation of a national communications campaign on behalf of the National Department of Health, broadcasting daily on 15 national radio stations in 12 languages.

Janet has held governance roles and worked in various capacities with a range of organizations such as Activate! Leadership, Amandla.mobi, Life Choices, Amnesty International South Africa, CIVICUS, and the South African Girl Child Alliance.

Janet completed a BA (Hons) degree in History at Rhodes University as a Mandela Rhodes Scholar. Her academic work then took her to Oxford University, where she completed an MPhil in Development Studies as a Rhodes Scholar. In 2009-10 she was a Jeanne Sauvé Public Leadership Fellow based in Montreal, Canada.

Nicky Le Roux

Nicky Le Roux currently serves as the custodian of the Gender, Race, and Ethnic Justice portfolio at the Ford Foundation’s Office of Southern Africa. In this role, she passionately champions the cause of intersectional African feminism, with a particular focus on advancing women’s rights and eradicating violence against women.

Nicky’s worldview is firmly grounded in an anti-racist and anti-capitalist perspective, which provides the ideological framework for her work. Her engagement extends across the African continent, where she delves into the complex interplay of women’s identities and the myriad forms of violence they confront. Through her extensive experience, she has gained a deep understanding of both the profound vulnerability and remarkable resilience exhibited by women throughout the continent.

At the core of Nicky’s mission is the creation of inclusive and empowering spaces for women. These spaces serve as catalysts for healing, cross-cultural learning, the nurturing of solidarity, and the cultivation of social movements. Equally essential is her commitment to fostering environments where women can gather to connect and share experiences, driven solely by the purpose of mutual support and empowerment.

In her current role at the Ford Foundation, she continues to be a driving force in the pursuit of a more just and equitable world.

Solange Rosa

Solange is the Director of Bertha Centre, where she has been involved since 2016. She also serves as Associate Faculty and Adviser with the Allan Gray Centre for Values-based Leadership, and teaches on Executive Education and MBA programmes at the UCT Graduate School of Business and the UCT School of Economics.

Holding a Doctorate in Constitutional Law from the University of Stellenbosch and a Master’s Degree in Law from the University of Cape Town, Rosa’s areas of expertise and research interest include Public Policy, Policy Research and Analysis, Strategy Development, Public Law, Public Sector Innovation and Leadership, Socio-economic Development, Youth Development, Poverty Reduction, Social Justice, Human Rights, Social Innovation and Social Impact.

Prior to her current role, Rosa worked as an Independent Public Policy and Strategy Consultant for four years, with clients ranging from international organisations and national and provincial government departments to academic institutions, non-government organisations and philanthropic foundations. This included the likes of the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Department of Economic Development and International Labour Organisation, and the CiTi and Western Cape Department of Economic Development.

Prior to that, Rosa also worked for the Western Cape government for 10 years as the head of the Policy and Strategy Unit in the Department of the Premier. 

Xolelwa Kashe-Katiya

Xolelwa Kashe-Katiya has for over twenty years worked as a researcher, project manager and director in donor-funded, public and academic environments. At the beginning of 2023, she was appointed as the Managing Director of Maropeng A’Afrika, the official Interpretation Centre of the Cradle of Humankind, a World Heritage Site in Gauteng. Xolelwa is also the Executive Committee member of the Indlulamithi South African Scenarios initiative and a Board member of South African History Online (SAHO).

She studied towards a Bachelor of Science (BSc.), where she majored in Archaeology. After completing her undergraduate studies, she went on to complete an Honours Degree in Physical Anthropology, at the University of Pretoria. It was in 2010 when she was awarded a fellowship with UCT’s Archives and Public Culture Research Initiative, which enabled the attainment of her MPhil in Heritage and Public Culture. Xolelwa is currently enrolled for a PhD at the University of Cape Town (UCT). Her research interests are in the areas of Knowledge Production, World Heritage management, and the role of African Studies in problematising the political economy of the African past.

Nicolette Naylor

Nicolette Naylor is a senior philanthropy executive who led the Ford Foundation’s Southern Africa office and International Program on Gender, Racial & Ethnic Justice for over 15 years. She has been responsible for directing the Foundation’s strategy and team in the Southern Africa region as well as global programming on gender, racial and ethnic justice. Her work has focused on addressing gender-based violence and increasing resources and financial support for Black feminists in the global South by strengthening the feminist funding ecosystem for Black women, indigenous women and women of colour. She retired from Ford Foundation on 30 September 2022. 

Nicolette has published extensively in the social justice philanthropy and gender fields, most recently on the issue of decolonising philanthropy. She serves on a number of global Boards and Advisory groups.  She is a Global Civil Society Advisor for the European Union’s €500 million Spotlight Initiative on ending violence against women and girls and a Board member for the Atlantic Fellows for Socio-economic Equity (AFSEE) at the London School of Economics. She has also previously served as the co-chair of the OECD Network of Foundation’s Gender Working Group and as co-leader for UN Women’s Generation Equality Forum’s Action Coalition on Gender-Based Violence.  

Nicolette is a Pan-African feminist lawyer who completed an LLM in International Human Rights and spent many years practicing law in the public interest law arena before joining philanthropy. She led the Gender-Based Violence work at the Women’s Legal Centre, also worked at Interights in London on key international women’s rights cases involving violence against women before the European Court of Human Rights and African Commission of Human & Peoples’ Rights.  

Ashley Green-Thompson

Ashley Green-Thompson is the founding Director of ACT Ubumbano, a joint venture of European funders and Southern African NPOs that supports community agency and voice 7 Southern African countries. In his 35 years of social justice activism, Ashley has worked across diverse sectors in the non-profit space. He helped set up the Independent Electoral Commission’s monitoring infrastructure in 1994, and went on to direct the human rights department of the SA Catholic Bishops’ Conference. At the Southern Africa Trust, Ashley managed their grantmaking portfolio that supported civil society voice in policy making in the SADC region, and was involved in the establishment of the African Philanthropy Network.

He has worked as a consultant for Oxfam, the African Women’s Development Fund, and National Treasury, among others, and made a contribution in the development of The Other Foundation’s grantmaking facility. His time at the SA NGO Coalition and the SA Network of Trauma Service Providers, as well as his board involvement with the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, have shaped his insight into civic advocacy and agency. Ashley serves on the Governing Council of Waterford Kamhlaba, a United World Colleges school in Swaziland.

Gail Campbell

Bridgit Evans

Bridgit Evans is Director of the SAB (South African Breweries) Foundation which invests in and provides business support to approximately 120 small and growing businesses and social innovators per annum. In addition, the Foundation has a special focus on Disability and job-creating farm projects. Bridgit has recently raised an R88 million loan fund to assist graduate entrepreneurs.

Prior to this, Bridgit was the CEO of the GreaterGood Group, a firm specialising in socio economic development consulting across Africa and home to the South African Impact Investing Network. Bridgit began her career at Tshikululu Social Investments, philanthropic grant managers for Anglo American, De Beers and the First Rand Group. She also spent time at the Gordon Institute of Business Science running the Social Entrepreneurship Programme.

Bridgit has two degrees in psychology and an MBA from University of Cape Town and the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad. She is a Director at Liqid Medical, a health care start-up funded by SAB Foundation, and an Archbishop Tutu Fellow

Fumani Mthembi

Gary Campbell

Gary Campbell co-founded the FUEL Trust, when he and his family returned to South Africa, having spent 9 years working in the United Kingdom.

FUEL has partnered with the Department of Basic Education (DBE) for the last 17 years to support improved performance of their National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP). With a budget of approximately R10 billion, the NSNP serves meals to more than 10 million learners in 20,000 schools every school day. The goal of the programme is to contribute to enhanced learning capacity and improved access to education by encouraging learners to go to school, to stay at school and to help them concentrate whilst at school.

Whilst in the UK, Gary was the Commercial Director of Nando’s where he was responsible for procurement, logistics, safety, menu development and maintenance of the UK group which at that stage managed 150 corporate-owned restaurants. Prior to that he worked as an investment manager for Yellowwoods, a private family business which is the major shareholder of Nando’s as well as other businesses in the leisure and financial services sectors both in SA and in the UK.

Gary is a qualified Chartered Accountant having completed his articles at Deloitte & Touche in Johannesburg in 1994.

Dr Judy Dlamini

Judy is an entrepreneur, author, and philanthropist. After practicing as  a family practitioner for many years, she specialised in Occupational Health and consulted for different companies. Her MBA from Wits University enabled her to change careers where she worked for HSBC Investment Bank,. She obtained Doctorate in Business Leadership from UNISA in 2014, a Stanford Innovation & Entrepreneurship Certificate in 2018 and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education from Wits in 2022 . Her doctoral thesis investigated the impact of the intersection of race, gender and social class in women leaders’ career progression and strategies for gender transformation. Judy is Founder and Executive Chairman for Mbekani Group that has been in business for 27 years. She is a non-executive director of SA SME Fund, an initiative between government and the private sector to create jobs and grow an inclusive economy, she chairs the Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre.

She is the former Chairman of Aspen Pharmacare Limited (Aspen) a JSE-listed South African pharmaceutical manufacturer and distributor and the GBVF Response Fund 1 . Other previous board appointments include Anglo American plc, Discovery Holdings, and Woolworths Holdings.

She’s the founder and chairperson of Female Academic Leaders Fellowship, a not for profit company to develop a pipeline of female academic leaders and researchers. She’s the co-founder of Future Nation Schools, Sifiso Learning Group, Sifiso Publishers and Mkhiwa Trust, a Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) that the family uses for social investment.

She is the recipient of the African Economy Builder Lifetime Achiever Award for 2016 amongst several other awards, the most recent being the UNISA Leadership In Practice Award 2018, 2019 BBQ Platinum award, 2019 Gender Mainstreaming Role Model –Beacon of Africa award and the 2019 EY World Entrepreneur, Lifetime Achiever award recipient and the Charlotte Mannya Maxeke Chairman’s award for Women of Firsts in 2021 . She received honorary Doctorates in Business from the Nelson Mandela University in 2018 and University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in Economics in 2019. She’s Chancellor of Wits University, a wife, mother and grandmother.

Nomfundo Mogapi

Nomfundo Mogapi is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of the Centre for Mental Wellness and Leadership. She is a clinical psychologist by training with over 20 years’ experience in the mental health, psychosocial and violence prevention sector. She also has over 16 years’ experience in senior leadership and management within the sector.

Previously she worked as the Executive Director at the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR), the Head of Psychosocial interventions at CSVR and as the director for the South African Institute for Traumatic Stress. Her areas of expertise include integrating mental wellness and psychosocial expertise within policy and programming on a range of issues such as violence prevention, leadership, development, human rights, peacebuilding, governance, democracy and transitional justice.

She is an experienced facilitator, trainer and motivational speaker and has facilitated processes that have integrated mental wellness within various organisational processes, including strategic planning, performance management, organisational culture and staff development.


Sonja Giese

Sonja Giese is a social entrepreneur with a diverse career in development spanning over 30 years. She is founding Executive Director of DataDrive2030, a South African based non-profit that supports the collection and use of high quality data to drive improved child outcomes in the first 6 years of life.

Prior to this, Sonja established and led Innovation Edge, an impact first investor focused on solving early childhood challenges through startup funding and strategic support. She has consulted extensively to government, philanthropy and private sector on policy reform and systems change, led large research initiatives and demonstrated her ability to take ideas from source to scale in the various programmes that she has spearheaded.

Zanele Twala

Zanele Twala is the Chief Executive Officer of The Standard Bank Tutuwa Community Foundation. Prior to this position, she was the Director/ Sector Expert Early Childhood Development at the Presidency, Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.

She was also previously the Executive Director of Bridge Innovation in Learning and also held the position of Country Director of ActionAid International South Africa for 5 years. Zanele holds a B.Ed (honours) Degree from the University of Wolverhampton, England, Masters Degree in Education (International Management and Policy in Education, Education Management) from the University of Birmingham, England and also a Certificate in Education Policy Analysis from Harvard University, USA and a Certificate in Strategic Perspectives in NPO Management from Harvard Business School.