#9 Summer 2017


Long-awaited GSB Academic Conference Centre takes shape

Work has started on the construction of a state-of-the-art academic conference centre on the GSB campus that will greatly enhance the school’s ability to convene thought leadership conferences and host sizeable international delegations.

“The limited scale of existing facilities has hampered our ability to host modern conferences on site,” explains Rayner Canning, Director of the GSB Business Development Unit. “The constraints presented by the more than 100 year-old heritage site mean that existing facilities are unable to cope with the increasing need for large events focussed on research and academic themes.”

Canning says that an improved facility for the GSB had actually been mooted for many years, and that in the face of rising demand, he and the previous GSB director, had decided to resurrect the project.

“We appointed the design team, conducted the financial feasibility study, crafted the business model and organised financing via the Development Bank of Africa and other stakeholders. Then, once the various university authorities had given their approval, it was full steam ahead!”

The academic conference centre is specifically planned to conform to the requirements of a technologically advanced era in academic and research circles. “It has been designed on three levels,” Canning says. “The basement houses a stepped auditorium capable of seating some 250 people, so it will be ideal for the larger seminars and for lectures to big groups. Both the ground and first floor contain multi-purpose flat venues which can operate either as independent spaces with about 70 people in each, or the entire area can be opened out to cater for bigger functions, which can be attended by up to 300 people. There are also a number of smaller breakaway rooms for delegates to focus on specific topics during a conference. The entire facility will be able to hold 750-900 people at any one time.”

The conference centre will be available for hire by outside parties – its location in the Waterfront precinct offering obvious attractions – and the GSB is also offering naming rights opportunities on the building and on specific venues.

The centre will be positioned on campus between the main academic block and Stone House four and five. Canning says that the site was handed over to the contractors, at the beginning of October 2017. Demolition of the existing structures, including the old fish factory, will commence after site preparations are completed. Excavation and construction will then be initiated and the build phase of the project is scheduled for completion by the end of 2018. The fit out phase will then commence. “We anticipate the venue to be operational by the end of the first quarter 2019,” he says..

GSB embarks on pioneering learning journey with Barclays ABSA Career Compliance Academy

The GSB’s Business Development team recently launched a customised Postgraduate Diploma in Management Practice for the Barclays ABSA Career Compliance Academy. The project represents a huge step forward in professionalising compliance as a discipline. As a pan-African initiative, it also demonstrates the GSB’s increasing relevance in Africa.

The Barclays ABSA Career Compliance Academy, an initiative by Barclays Bank, combines the knowledge and expertise of three different service providers. As the chosen business school partner for this initiative, the GSB provides a customised Postgraduate Diploma in Management Practice (PGDip) specialising in regulatory compliance.

Rayner Canning, Director of Business Development at the GSB highlights that this programme is a real feather in the School’s cap. “Previously, Barclays PLC (UK) had partnered with Cambridge Judge Business School (part of Cambridge University) to deliver a similar programme. Thus, having been selected to pioneer a more African-focussed programme for the pan-African Barclays-ABSA business is something the GSB can be really proud of. We also expect to see a strong collaboration between GSB Faculty member, Dr Elanca Shelley and UCT’s Faculty of Law experts to create this unique programme.”

Derek Naude, Business Developer at the GSB, was involved in the development of the programme. He explains: “Career compliance in this instance is specific to banking, and the Academy combines the GSB’s customised PGDip with workshops on compliance by Duke University and a module on financial crime run by Deloitte. The key motivation of the Academy is to integrate knowledge on regulatory compliance. It is pioneering work.

In the design of the programme, we changed 50% of the content of the diploma to focus on regulatory compliance. It is important to note that everything that applies to any postgraduate diploma still applies: delegates need to have a degree and a certain amount of experience to apply and qualify for the programme. It is seen as aspirational, within Barclays, to attain this diploma.”

The overall objective of the PGDip is to provide a consistent practice in regulatory compliance for compliance officers. “Compliance officers have different qualifications and come from different backgrounds such as law, commerce, or specialised product fields. But everyone who works in compliance focuses on the same thing, and the PGDip aims to consolidate and standardise knowledge and introduce a new platform in compliance best practice. It will raise the benchmark of skill and practice in compliance,” says Naude. “Furthermore, the programme is designed to tackle challenges facing the banking industry including blockchain, cryptocurrency, and fintech innovations. Barclays wanted to focus on getting people skilled to be able to regulate these.”

The first cohort of 30 professionals from the Barclays ABSA Africa Group started their journey with GSB in August 2018. “What is spectacular about this programme,” says Naude, “is that it is a pan-African initiative. We have delegates from eight African countries attending.” Delegates will attend modules at the GSB in Cape Town as well as fieldwork modules elsewhere. The programme will run twice a year with an average of 30 delegates in each cohort, so the GSB will host 60 pan-African delegates a year, for the next three years.

GSB makes history – and a difference – in Philippi

UCT Vice-Chancellor Dr Max Price welcomes guests to the official opening of the UCT GSB Solution Space in Philippi, Cape Town.

For the first time in its 179-year history, UCT has established an official and permanent educational space in a Cape Town community with the opening of the UCT GSB Solution Space, a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship, in Philippi Village this June.

An initiative of the UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB) and the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the GSB Solution Space at Philippi Village celebrates a new approach that seeks to go beyond the traditional reach of a university. Over the past year it has started to establish a presence in the community with the long-term purpose of getting community members of Philippi and surrounding Nyanga, Gugulethu and Khayelitsha, as well as private stakeholders, donors, corporate parties and business school students involved in a collaborative process to realise new possibilities.

“Our presence in the Philippi Village development is one way in which the GSB is deepening its roots and relevance as an African business school,” says GSB Director Associate Professor Mills Soko. “The GSB is widely regarded as the leading business school in Africa, but its location at the V&A Waterfront is far from representative of the reality that the vast majority of South Africans face every day.”

The GSB Solution Space in Philippi Village has a campus set-up with workspaces, lecture space, lounge areas and meeting rooms creating a vibrant hub where creative thinking around entrepreneurship and technology is encouraged. To date, over 100 workshops and educational programmes have been held there, which have been attended by about 3 000 people. All students who study an academic programme at the GSB are also encouraged to take at least one course at the Philippi Village satellite site and the hub also works closely with students from the Raymond Ackerman Academy for Entrepreneurial Development.

Associate Professor Soko says the GSB teaches students the importance of learning how to become comfortable with uncertainty and paradox in a complex and fast-changing world – and to trust that solutions will emerge.

“Being here helps our students to develop empathy and resilience and to open their eyes to wider perspectives – all of which are vital attributes for the modern leader, especially one operating in an emerging market. In addition, by working directly with entrepreneurs in the community we are able to be more inclusive and more actively involved in developing business innovations that change lives for the better.”

Sarah-Anne Arnold, Solution Space Manager, explains that the GSB Solution Space acts as a business incubator and hosts local social enterprise businesses such as Lakheni, a bulk-buying initiative for low-income households, Discover Ikasi, which promotes township tourism, and the Blue Door Early Childhood Development venture.

“The GSB Solution Space has been operational for one year and the launch was aimed also at celebrating the businesses and initiatives that have been started here, promoting them and creating awareness about the possibilities for collaboration, innovation and entrepreneurship that exist in the space,” says Arnold.

Philippi Village, as a development, was initiated more than five years ago with the vision of creating economic opportunity through the active inclusion of those who are excluded from the mainstream of development. The 6 000m2 mixed-use space now boasts a retail section as well as a modern public library. Small businesses like Kings Fish & Chips, Betty’s Hair Salon, Simphiwe Shoes, and AV Schoolwear have shops there. Organisations with offices at Philippi Village include the Business Activator, Harambee, Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation and Leap Schools.
The UCT GSB is one of the foundation tenants of the Philippi Village development and its facilities have been made possible with the support and involvement of key sponsors including the MTN Group, the UCT Vice-Chancellor’s Strategic Fund and the Flanders Government Funding for building a social economy as well as the Bertha Foundation.

GSB booklet shines light on Eskom state capture allegations

Former ministers Pravin Gordhan (left) and Derek Hanekom (centre) with Catrina Godinho, Lauren Hermanus and Professor Anton Eberhard at the launch of the Eskom reference booklet.

With the fight against state capture gaining momentum, UCT Graduate School of Business academics Professor Anton Eberhard and Catrina Godinho have made a valuable contribution to the mounting body of evidence on how the system of corruption works.

In September, Eberhard and Godinho launched a reference booklet that provides an independent, accessible and concise account of the alleged instances of governance failure and corruption at Eskom.

The booklet brings together information that has emerged around what has taken place at the power utility since the start of Jacob Zuma’s presidency in 2009 and presents it in a coherent, easily understandable timeline that shows how governance at the power utility was systematically destabilised, allowing corruption to set in.

It details how a number of tenders were decided at board or ministerial level, against executive procurement committee decisions; how coal contracts with the Gupta-owned Brakfontein mine were signed and extended despite the coal not meeting quality or environmental standards; and how Eskom’s assistance was critical in Gupta-owned Tegeta gaining ownership of Optimum Coal Holdings from Glencore.

Professor Eberhard said that the booklet was designed to serve as an important source of reference for parliament’s Public Enterprises Committee inquiry into state capture at Eskom, Transnet and Denel, which got under way in October. It includes a number of questions that committee members are encouraged to probe.

“If parliament fulfils its constitutional mandate, the fingerprints of the President, the Guptas and their associates, of ministers Gigaba and Brown, and of implicated Eskom board members and management will be revealed,” he said.

Former finance minister Pravin Gordhan, who was the keynote speaker at the launch, said that there was a political economy around the booklet which puts some serious questions before South Africans as to what kind of politics are playing out in the country. “What is the structure of our state, and how is it that with the constitution that we have, the checks and balances we thought we built in, the powerful civil society, media and other organs that we have operating in our country, how do we still end up where we are?” he asked.

Roger Martin launches latest book at GSB event

In the world of business, being decisive is often held up as being one of the great virtues of a good leader. But, argues Roger Martin, global thought leader and author, in rushing to make a decision, business leaders miss the opportunity to explore and find better options that may create more value for more stakeholders.

Speaking at the global launch of his new book – co-authored with Jennifer Riel – Creating Great Choices; A Leaders Guide to Integrative Thinking, Martin said when it comes to our hardest choices, it can seem as though making trade-offs is inevitable. “But what do we do when the choices in front of us don’t get us what we need?” he asks. “In those cases, rather than choosing the least worst option, we can use the models in front of us to create a new and superior answer.”

Martin, who was in Cape Town as a guest of the UCT Graduate School of Business and The Hasso Plattner Institute of Design Thinking to deliver an exclusive two-day strategy masterclass, calls this approach integrative thinking. He believes it is a discipline that anyone can acquire and apply to improve their ability to make good strategic choices, rather than weak compromises.

Speaking at the book launch, director of the GSB, Associate Professor Mills Soko, said the school was honoured that Martin had chosen Cape Town to launch his new book. “The GSB aligns with many of the philosophies Martin has pioneered around systems thinking and innovation. We are excited to have this opportunity to expose a greater community to his level of thought leadership,” he said.

The launch event was sponsored by Media24 and took place on their Nasdak, described as one of the hottest rooftop venues in Cape Town.

A former dean of the Rotman School of Management from 1998 to 2013, Roger Martin is the Institute Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute and the Michael Lee-Chin Family Institute for Corporate Citizenship at Rotman. He also holds the Premier’s Chair in Productivity and Competitiveness in Toronto, Canada. He has authored and co-authored more than 11 books including The Rise and Likely Fall of the Talent Economy, Getting Beyond Better, The Future of the MBA, Fixing the Game, and Playing to Win.

GSB booklet shines light on Eskom state capture allegations

Associate Professor Stephanie Giamporcaro.

When local micro lender African Bank collapsed in 2014, few people appreciated the extent of what had gone wrong with its board and management. It was only months later, when the Myburgh Report was released, that details emerged of how serious the failure of corporate governance within the bank had been.

Now, the story has been further unpacked in an award-winning business case study, written by UCT Graduate School of Business academic Associate Professor Stephanie Giamporcaro and MBA student Matthew Marrian. The case, which examines the choices made by a fictional asset manager that has invested in African Bank Investments Limited (ABIL), encourages students to ask why so many institutional investors found the investment case compelling, and seemingly missed the risks posed by the company’s weak corporate governance.

Now, the story has been further unpacked in an award-winning business case study, written by UCT Graduate School of Business academic Associate Professor Stephanie Giamporcaro and MBA student Matthew Marrian. The case, which examines the choices made by a fictional asset manager that has invested in African Bank Investments Limited (ABIL), encourages students to ask why so many institutional investors found the investment case compelling, and seemingly missed the risks posed by the company’s weak corporate governance.

The work has now gained international recognition by being selected as one of the top 10 case studies in the 2017 CEEMAN (The Central and East European Management Development Association) Case Writing Competition. The competition drew a total of 66 entries from all over the world. More recently, the case won the 2017 Institute of Director’s African Governance Showcase Competition.

“I decided to look at the African Bank story because I was teaching the MBA class on corporate finance. I realised that there were not too many cases written on corporate governance and responsible investing in an emerging market, and South African, context,” says Dr Giamporcaro. “I asked the students to think of something that had happened recently that we could call a corporate governance failure, and African Bank was obviously an interesting case to look at.”

The international recognition is a boost to the GSB’s goal of producing high quality local case studies that reflect the realities of emerging economies, and reduce the reliance on case studies from international universities. The GSB established a Case Writing Centre in a joint venture with the Harvard Business School Alumni Africa Club in 2016. Giamporcaro and Marrian’s African Bank case study is one of the first to emerge from this initiative.

GSB Launches new finance mooc to help advance sustainable development goals

The Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a specialised centre at the UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB), is launching a first-of-its-kind MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on Innovative Finance that seeks to give individuals and organisations, who are passionate about tackling social issues, the financial tools to turn their plans into reality.

Innovative Finance has been identified as one of the key strategies towards meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Bertha Centre was recently chosen by the United Nations Development Programme to represent UCT, as one of nine universities worldwide, to develop a research agenda to better leverage private investment to finance the SDGs and the MOOC forms part of this work.

Aunnie Patton Power, Innovative Finance Lead at the Bertha Centre and designer of the MOOC, explains that what makes this course unique is it teaches a different way of looking at financing. “It starts with the outcome you want to achieve, for example access to healthcare or clean water, and then you design a financing strategy around that outcome.”

This is the second MOOC to come out of the Bertha Centre, as part of a wider UCT initiative driven by the Centre for Innovation Learning and Teaching (CILT) to develop online learning material that is free and accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world.

Last year the Bertha Centre launched the highly successful MOOC – Becoming a Changemaker: Introduction to Social Innovation – which has had approximately 12 000 participants to date and was named as one of the top ten new MOOCs launched in 2016, as voted on by thousands of Class Central users.

“The first MOOC focussed on empowering individuals to act as social innovators,” says François Bonnici, Director of the Bertha Centre. “This one is focussed on innovative financing, and essentially looks at financing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There is an estimated $2.5 trillion funding gap annually in reaching the United Nation’s SDGs and we are looking at how we can bridge that to contribute to those goals.” He adds that the course’s methodology is unique. “It lays out how we do what we do at the Bertha Centre. It’s a specific methodology that we’ve designed over the last six years and it ties in with the global focus on SDGs and how we’re working in our small way to help attain them.”

Innovative Financing will appeal to anyone interested in financing social impact, including students and professionals from the public and private sectors. Five case studies are included in the course to demonstrate successful innovative finance models used by foundations, non-profits, social enterprises, private investors and governments. It gives participants the tools to address a social issue, to think through the best way of doing it, and to design a financing and resourcing strategy. “If a traditional model doesn’t work, then we equip you to invent a new one,” says Patton Power.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply