Akesh Lalla
Director | SAP SuccessFactors Line of Business for Africa

Akesh Lalla is the Director of the SAP SuccessFactors Line of Business for Africa, helping customers across Africa with a Total Workforce transformation. Akesh is passionate about fulfilling SAP’s promise to their own employees and customers i.e. innovating everyday to help connect people to company purpose. Because, purpose drives people and people drive business results. Prior to joining SAP , Akesh’s previous roles included being part of the Management teams at both Microsoft and Ernst & Young.





Anne Cabot-Alletzhauser
Head of the Alexander Forbes Research Institute

M.A., M.Ed. Developmental Anthropology, Columbia University

Anne heads up the Alexander Forbes Research Institute – an initiative that looks at the full spectrum of savings, investment and wellness issues that confront South Africans in particular and Africans in general. As Head of Research, Anne’s primary focus is in overseeing Alexander Forbes’ thought-leadership initiatives, in particular Benefits Barometer http://benefitsbarometer.co.za/.

Before joining Alexander Forbes in 2010, Anne spent 32 years managing pension fund assets in North America, Japan, the UK, Europe and South Africa. She moved to South Africa in 1992 and pioneered the development of the multi-manager management approach of pension fund management that has become the hallmark of that industry today.




Executive Partner | IQ Business

I am passionate about people and delivery through Lean|Agile approaches, with a focus on creating awesome collaborative working environments.

As the head of the agility@IQ offering at IQ Business since 2012, I have built an amazing team of Agile consultants (largest in South Africa) that share a common purpose of continuous learning and improvement. Together with the team, we have trained close to 5000 people on Agile and been involved in some of the largest Agile transformations in financial services industry.

My background has been project and programme management in IT and my love for delivery has driven me in uncovering new and better ways to deliver products and services.

I believe in living by the boy scout principle of "Leave the camp site in a better way than what you found it" in all engagements that I am privileged to be involved in.




Director | Aspiration Software and Consulting

Brian Fenton has more than 30 years’ experience in HR Development Processes and Systems. Until 1995 he was employed by SAB Miller where he held a number of senior positions in Human Resources and L&D. He designed the SAB (Now ABInBev) competency acquisition process that is still in use at present.

Brian was also part of the implementation team for the introduction of Performance Management in SAB. In 1995, he started his own software and consulting business specialising in Performance Management, Capability Management and Career and Succession Planning.

Brian has also consulted on many HR projects including organisational design consultation at a senior level with companies such as ABI and SAB Miller.

He has developed a unique approach to capability and competency development that is successfully used by companies such as ABInBev, Engen, Distell, DRD Gold and Pernod Ricard. He has implemented this approach in 12 African countries. His company Aspiration has also provided Performance Management and 360 Appraisal Software to several well know South African companies including Growthpoint and JSE.

He has written many articles for HR journals (People Dynamics and Black Leader) and has presented papers at a number of HR conventions. He is a previous winner of the People Dynamics HRD article of the year award.

His company Aspiration specialises in HR strategic consulting and capability development and supplies the market with a fully integrated Talent Management solution with a specific focus on Performance, Capability and Succession Planning.

Brian holds a B Arts degree with majors in Psychology and Economics and an IPM diploma in HR.




Brigitte Da Gama is the Chief People Officer at McDonald’s South Africa. She has over two and a half decades of experience in the Human Capital field and has worked in the higher education, IT, investment management, banking and hospitality sectors.  She obtained her undergraduate degree in Industrial and Organisational Psychology from the University of Cape Town as well as an MBA from the University of Stellenbosch. She previously served on the Council of the University of Cape Town and she is currently the Chairperson of the Board of Directors for a non-profit training and development company that serves impoverished farming and rural communities.


Author, Organisational Culture & Employee Engagement Expert

Colin J Browne is an established expert on Organisational Culture, Employee Engagement and People Leadership … how it works, how to define it, how to build it and how to change it.

Specifically, he’s an expert on how it’s being done in South Africa, by great organisations that are creating international standards for engagement that drives loyalty and performance.

Much of this was revealed to South African business leaders for the first time in the groundbreaking 2013 book How to build a Happy Sandpit, for which more than 60 South African CEOs, company founders and heads of people strategy were extensively interviewed in the search for world-class thinking. It has sold more than 6,000 copies in South Africa, and continues to be popular.

Colin heads up Happy Sandpit, a think tank with the following notable products:
• The weekly CULTURESHOT email newsletter
• The signature Three Day Field Trips (where we lead executives out to visit four South African organisations over three days who are culture and engagement leaders)
• Talks
• Seminars
• Workshops
• Consulting work, including both short- and long-term projects.


Visionary MD | Passion4Performance Group

Darryn is the Visionary MD of Passion4Performance Group and Chief Play Maker of Gamification Crafters Guild. He has been pioneering alternative learning and development solutions for over 17 years – developing solid Return on Investment methodologies and disrupting the current learning landscapes. He lives his brand of passion and thrives on innovating and effecting positive change in both business and personal life.

Darryn is regarded as a thought leader in Assessment and recognition of prior learning and a local maverick in Gamification. (Darryn TedTalk) He specialises in building and applying frameworks that help to demystify the ‘grey’ in complex systems – to maximum user engagement and sustainable solutions. And through creativity, fun and focus continues to grow his portfolio of successful projects and happy clients.

Darryn continues to seek innovative ways (Entrepreneur Interview) redefine complicated processes and initiatives to help people to enjoy what they do – and ultimately convert productivity to business results. He uses the power of technology, augmented realty and progressive systems to enable his ideas.

Darryn has built his name on the conference circuit in #Gamification (CNBC AFRICA) and Learning and Development, contributed to the book “Accelerated Learning” with Debbie Craig, and is pioneering online assessment in recognition of prior learning for Africa.


Vodacom, Rosebank college, Smarklink ICT, SABC, Sententia Gamification, Vonrick Digital, Capitec bank, FNB, EntrepreNOW!, SAAB, CNBC, Masethuthuka Holdings, Emergence Learning Academy, UFS, NWU Mafikeng.


+27 (0)82 925 2262






Dr Wesley Payne McClendon – Global transformation executive, management consultant and academic thought leader specializing in leading change thinking, disruptive breakthrough, and building transformative capability.

Having served as a managing director and HR executive in multinational organisations, held partnership and practice leader roles in Big 4 consultancies and attained US and UK graduate credentials in business administration, human resources and industrial labor relations, Wesley has developed a unique capability to integrate strategic and commercial thinking alongside deep technical expertise to help realise the coequal potential of leadership, technology and people.

With more than 25 published articles and 2 books, he builds thought leading business cases and evidence-based implementation methodology that leverages collective leadership, intelligent technology and human resilience.

Wesley blends global experience and academic horsepower to deconstruct incremental change, develop breakthrough big thinking and deliver business transformation.


Henneri Crous
Head of Careers24 and Simplify.HR Group’s Sales Function

Henneri Crous  is the Head of Careers24 and Simplify.HR Group’s Sales Function. He has more than 19 years experience in sales, with more than 11 of those years gained in the recruitment space. Henneri is looking forward to sharing his expertise and experience, focussing on methods and tools to improve Talent Acquisition.


Jamie Whittaker
Deputy CIO at Discovery

Jamie first joined Discovery in 2007 and after a short break as global CDO for Barloworld in 2017 is now Deputy CIO at Discovery.

Before joining Discovery Jamie worked across the EMEA region for Johnson & Johnson. Cutting his teeth on any and all projects that came his way during the .com bubble, he worked as general lackey and web monkey for a number of successful and not so successful first generation dotcoms.

His background is primarily in the design, user champion and web development space and he describes himself as a “part-time thinker, full-time enthusiast, herder of cats”. Jamie has a strong bias towards the user and their problems and truly believes that a sense of humour and enthusiasm are some of the best assets to own


Joanne Doyle, Senior Manager – Deloitte Digital

Joanne is a Senior Manager in the Deloitte Africa Human Capital Transformation practice. She is responsible for the Connected Employee portfolio at Deloitte, using various technologies to build enhanced experiences across the employee lifecycle.

The connected employee experience is one where technology delivers purpose, cultivates culture and provides unique experiences and opportunities for every employee to thrive rather than just survive.

Joanne has worked across a number of industries in Africa and recently focused on organisations with large scale blue collar employees, creating connected employee experiences regardless of access to technology devices.


CEO | TransUnion

I am a seasoned technology and digital transformation expert, public speaker and thought leader. I have spent the majority of my career shaping and managing the execution of complex transformation programs and helping organisations understand the role of digital technologies in driving their relevance in an increasingly digital world.

I believe that data is the life blood of this increasingly digital world. I lead the operations of Transunion across its African portfolio of businesses, where our ethos of Information for Good delivers capabilities that enables us to help businesses and governments make more informed decisions and consumers manage their personal information and access the financial products and services that lead to a higher quality of life.

I enjoy contributing to and participating in the industry dialogue on all things digital, innovation and disruption. I frequently speak at industry group events, client conferences and help facilitate strategies that organisations drive their relevance in this increasingly digital and disrupted world.

Specialities: Insights driven marketing, Digital Strategy and Transformation execution, Innovation, Disruptive business models, technology and digital visioning.


Marc Privett, Head of Innovation at Careers24

Marc is the head of product and customer insights at Careers24, focusing on finding new and innovative ways to recruit online. He has over 15 years local and international general management, product management and digital marketing experience with a focus on maximising revenue and market share for online organisations.

Marc has been instrumental in transforming the Careers24 business into South Africa’s biggest job site and has expanded Careers24 into other African regions.



Marienus Trouw, Senior Manager at Deloitte

Marienus Trouw is an experienced SAP Solution Architect in the Deloitte’s Digital HC Team. With a Masters in Organisational Leadership and a degree in Information Technology he is involved with cross domain, cross functional, and cross-industry solutions. Marienus possesses a great passion and strong appreciation for market trends and a hunger to tackle problems through independent action, seek out new responsibilities, act on opportunities, generate new ideas, and practice self-development.

  • Architecting solution roadmaps based on total cost of ownership, supported through value engineering, & business cases for clients;
  • App Development and Co-Innovation with SAP and Clients on the SCP platform.




Mark Baker
Mygrow Founder & CEO

Mark is a psychologist specialising in the development of Emotional Intelligence (EI) for managers and leaders. A highly sought after conference speaker, he has worked in the mining, logistics, finance, hospitality and manufacturing industries. He is the founder and CEO of Mygrow – The Emotional Intelligence Platform. Mygrow develops, measures & tracks
Emotional Intelligence in just a few minutes a day through video-based learning, neuroscience techniques, personalised coaching & rich data.

His PhD work is focused on “The impact of Emotional Intelligence on Organisational Culture” looking at how delivering EI development at scale can shift Organisational Culture, and the impact made possible through a tangible, measurable and neuroscience based approach to EI development.



CEO | Talkpush

Max Armbruster is the founder and CEO of Talkpush, the leading messaging recruitment platform. Max is a serial entrepreneur, and has sold his last three companies, most recently a recruitment SaaS company. Max is an expert in social media sourcing, recruitment automation, chatbots, and candidate experience. He has 17 years of international experience in the US, Europe and Asia, and has held strategic roles at SAP, CNET Networks and AT Kearney.



Njabulo Mashigo, Director: Human Resources at Heineken

I’m passionate about Human Resources Management. In every role I fulfill I aim to break the stereotypes around the HR function and the people who lead it. I am a smart, passionate and innovative HR professional. I add value to my organisation by driving the people agenda.

I have extensive experience in the human resources management value chain. My career began at an early age of 19, after completing my studies at Rhodes University. I became one of the youngest graduates that Unilever had ever employed at the time. Since then, I have worked for a number of blue-chip organisations such as Unilever, the South African Breweries (SAB), and recently the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). All these organisations are considered leaders in the Human Capital space. I also did my national service when I was head of HR at the National Treasury as a Chief Director. I hold an MBA Degree from GIBS and before I joined HEINEKEN, I was HR Director at the JSE.



Paige dos Santos: Digital Lead | SAP Africa

Paige is the Digital Lead for SAP Africa. She explores emerging technologies and trends with customers, focusing on how these can be applied to create competitive advantage and new revenue streams. Paige is a chartered accountant with a background in management consulting and strategy, specialising in innovation and new business models. Her previous roles included leading the innovation eco-system for Deloitte Africa and establishing the innovation advisory practise at Dimension Data. Paige speaks regularly at events across the country, and contributes to print and digital publications including Fast Company, The Star and ITWeb. She is currently investigating how technology can be used to augment behavioural science approaches and create positive change in society.



Samantha Perry

Samantha Perry has worked both as a journalist and PR professional in a consultancy and full-time capacity over the past 20 years. As a journalist, she covered the ICT sector for the likes of Computing SA (editor), ComputerWeek, and Brainstorm magazine (editor). In her capacity as a PR professional and consultant she has worked with the likes of listed and multinational organisations such as Striata, Google, Telkom, MTN and Dimension Data. She has a Masters degree in ICT Policy and Regulation and runs an initiative called WomeninTechZA, which aims to bridge the gender diversity gap in the tech sector.



Prof. Shirley Zinn – Group Head of Human Resources at Woolworths Holdings Limited.

Prof Shirley Zinn is currently the Group Head of Human Resources at Woolworths Holdings Limited. Prior to this, she was the Head of Human Resources of Standard Bank South Africa and Deputy Global Head of Human Resources for the Standard Bank Group. She also registered her own company: Shirley Zinn Consulting that provides consulting and advisory services in HR, Transformation, Leadership and Education.

Prior to this she was the Group Executive HR at Nedbank. Before this, she was the General Manager for Human Resources at the South African Revenue Service (SARS). She is also an Extraordinary Professor at the University of Pretoria’s Department of Human Resource Management, and recently been appointed as Adjunct Professor at the University of Cape Town. She is the Past President of the Institute for People Management South Africa and registered as Master HR Professional with South Africa Board for People Practice.

She started her career as a secondary school teacher of English, then moved to the University of the Western Cape where she lectured in Teacher Education. After this, she served at Southern Life as Training Manager and then moved to the Department of Public Service and Administration’s: South African Management Development Institute, in Pretoria as Director. She held the position of Executive Employment Equity at Computer Configurations Holdings. Before her appointment at SARS, she filled the role of Regional Human Resources Director for Middle East and Africa for Reckitt Benckiser, a global company listed on the London Stock Exchange.

She is the former Chairman of DHL: Global Forwarding SA, and a Non-Executive Director on the Boards of AdvTech, Tuesday Consulting, Business Engage, Sygnia Asset Management, and the Boston Consulting Group SA. She is a Trustee on the Nedbank Eyethu Community Trust, the Orbis Africa Charity, and the former Chairman of Starfish Greathearts Foundation. She also serves on the Advisory Boards of Monash South Africa, and the University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. She is the President for the Harvard Alumni Association South Africa and a Fellow of the Institute of Directors SA. Also previously served as the Chair of the Institute of Bankers.

She is a mentor to several women across multiple industries, particularly financial services.

She has presented at national and international conferences as a keynote speaker.

In 2015, she wrote her autobiography entitled “Swimming Upstream” which focuses on her personal and professional journey. The book is an effort to inspire people despite adversity.

She holds a BA (University of the Western Cape); Higher Diploma in Education (University of the Western Cape); B.Ed Honours (UNISA); M.Ed (University of the Western Cape); Ed.M  (Harvard) and Doctorate in Education (Ed.D) (Harvard).

She was awarded the Top Woman in Business and Government and Top Executive in Corporate South Africa by Topco Media in 2008. She also was recognized by the Black Business Quarterly and received the Award for Top Woman in Business and Government and most Visionary Woman in 2008. She also received an award from the World Human resources Congress in Mumbai in 2007 and 2013 respectively for Excellence in Global HR Leadership. In 2012, was listed in the Top 30 Wonder Women in South Africa by the Wits Business Journal. She also completed her eighth Two Oceans Half Marathon in March 2016.



Arlene Sibisi – HR Manager at Nedbank Group Technology.

Arlene Sibisi is an experienced Human Resources professional with strong leadership and relationship-building skills across the ICT, Financial Services and Telecommunications industries. Arlene is currently HR Manager at Nedbank Group Technology. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration with University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business and Advanced Programme In Human Resource Management.

Broad HR experience including managing graduate programme, talent management, employee engagement and retention. Performance driven with strong view of linking Strategic HR to Business objectives. Proficient in designing and implementing various policies and strategies. Passionate about strategic HR, developing talent and partnering with Line Managers in achieving their goals.


Marcelle Vlachos – Human Resources Account Executive at SAP Africa.

Marcelle Vlachos works for SAP Africa as a Human Resources Account Executive focusing mostly on the Finance and Insurance industry but also with some Retail, Mining and Health customers. After completing her B.Com Law and then Master of Commerce specialising in Information Systems, Marcelle began her career in a blue chip manufacturing organisation and completed her 6 year journey there as the Lead for Knowledge Management globally, using the then newly released SAP Portal with Knowledge Management to enable sharing of knowledge and collaboration. From there Marcelle
ventured to the other side of the spectrum becoming a vendor in the SAP ecosystem, continuing to evangelise the belief and manifestation of people being an organisation’s most important asset. Marcelle is now in her 4 th year at SAP, helping customers connect people to purpose in order to drive business results, using SAP SuccessFactors.



Wendy Maduna  – SuccessFactors Senior Sales Executive at SAP

Having worked successfully for major Multi-National companies in the Middle East to Africa regions, I have become a dynamic and results-orientated professional with a successful track record in solutions and software sales. I have worked in both the Public and Private Sector,  with a focus on Human Capital Management, including being articulate and persuasive in dealing with executives, management, peers, colleagues and diverse clients.

I am particularly passionate about redefining how Public Sector organisations evolve their HR component in the digital era and as such pride myself in identifying software solutions that deliver significant value in the shortest time possible while adhering to tight budgetary constraints.With a proven record of accomplishment, high-quality execution and delivery on various medium to large-scale programmes and initiatives I have led, and continue to lead, teams with precision and collaboration while driving growth and the sustainability in Africa’s business world.

My core attributes include specialisation in solutions-crafting, key account management, relationship-building & business development in robust market segments. I strive for strong execution in driving sales engagements throughout the process, managing expectations and  risk issues. Additionally, I have been successful in the delivery of effective business and go-to-market planning and execution, securing new business and harnessing new opportunities within existing businesses. I take pride in having monetised innovative opportunities for continued business growth and development within both private and public sector entities.


Greg Solomon – CEO of McDonald’s South Africa.

Greg Solomon, CEO of McDonald’s South Africa, started his career as a civil engineer. He joined McDonald’s in 1996 where he was a project manager in the construction department. During this time he was instrumental in the building of some of the first McDonald’s restaurants across South Africa.

Greg believes that in order to lead you have to have followed. This is evident in the clear path that he took in developing his career at McDonald’s. He has obtained experience across departments ranging from construction and real estate, supply chain, marketing and risk along the way. He then gained five years’ experience in McDonald’s operations where he learned the science of McDonald’s business before assuming the role of Managing Director, and then stepping up to Chief Executive Officer.

Greg leads by example and manages his business through his people, with a focus on the customer, transforming the brand as well as shareholder returns. His leadership has resulted in five successive years of revenue, market share and profit growth. Greg’s unwavering drive has also seen him elected as and board member of McDonald’s South Africa and
Chairperson of the transformation and sustainability subcommittee. Greg was also a finalist in Boss of the Year 2011 and was named the Institute of People Management CEO of the Year 2011 and a finalist for Jewish Business Man of the Year 2012.

Greg is married and has two children. He is passionate about Wildlife.



Dylan Piatti – Senior Industry Chief of Staff Deloitte Africa.

Dylan works as a strategist and disruptor at the nexus of digital, techpreneurship, industrialisation, fintech and ecommerce, working closely with the private and public sectors. He has presented on and led diverse discussions internationally with Executives, Governments and International Bodies on topics that include: Trade & Investment in Africa, Digital Trade platforms, Manufacturing Competitiveness, Industry 4.0, Leadership, Agro-processing, Ecommerce, Agenda2063 and Entrepreneurship.

He is a qualified Futurist, Senior Industry Chief of Staff Deloitte Africa, Chairman of the Board: Ecommerce Forum Africa, and on the Board of Iconic Arts & Education NGO Moving into Dance Mophatong.

Dylan’s experience is a result of the tensions and learnings from a background in entrepreneurship and corporate. He thrives in the unknown and complexity, intent on navigating an uncertain future for the successful growth and development of Africa.

Dylan believes in creating a better future and invests his time working with organisations that include the AU, SADC, WEF, WTO, UNCTAD, UNIDO, is an Advisory Council member: National Consumer Goods Council Summit, and Advisory Board: Global Africa Trade & Investment Summit. Judge of the Creative Business Cup SA, a Judge of the Standard Bank Rising Star Awards, and was honoured to be part of the SADC Ministerial summit Private Sector delegation to present the Esibayeni Declaration for Regional Economic development.

His happy place is camping on a remote beach with no communications or electricity.


Gary Willmott: CEO – Hi5 Technologies

Ten years ago, Gary Willmott co-founded Urbian, an award-winning digital innovation product studio. Whilst at Urbian, Gary launched Hi5 as a side-project. Primarily, it started out as an internal solution to cut down on admin and the effort required to manage Urbian staff; however, the word spread quickly about Hi5 and it is now being used by over 2 000 companies and organisations in countries around the world.

To continue focusing on the success of Hi5, Gary exited Urbian just after having been nominated, together with his partner, by Fast Companies as the “Most Creative People in Business” in 2017.

Gary took on an investment round from Thomas Schmider (former CEO of Atari) and is now focused on helping Hi5 scale up to meet the needs of different markets and sectors, with the goal of helping companies get ready for the future of work.