Our objectives are to build trust and help secure a successful, sustainable future for business and the country by:
The Think Tank has established itself as a pre-eminent platform for a national conversation about business ethics. This has been achieved via a series of public forums featuring influential South African thought leaders. All forums have drawn large audiences and have attracted substantial media coverage (television, radio, press). Participants to date include: Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, Trevor Manuel, Pravin Gordhan, Nhlanhla Nene, Mcebisi Jonas, Laurie Dippenaar, Zyda Rylands, Mark Lamberti, Reuel Khoza, Nicky Newton-King, Bobby Godsell, Thandi Orleyn, Bonang Mohale, Suresh Kana, Stephen Koseff, Andile Sangqu, Adrian Gore, Sipho Pityana, Sizwe Nxasana, Michael Katz, Nic Kohler and Mike Brown.
The Think Tank convenes and facilitates private dialogue forums between senior leaders from business and diverse societal stakeholders (including the public sector, labour, NGOs, academia, media and the student movements). These engagements build understanding and trust – an antidote to the dangerous polarisation threatening South Africa – and generate insights and recommendations for business.
Advocacy and lecturing
Leveraging GIBS’ educational platform as one of Africa’s leading business schools, the thought leadership generated by the Think Tank is disseminated to current and future business leaders. This is done through courses which utilise innovative techniques and blend conceptual and experiential learning.
Research and publishing
Research for case studies about ethical business models and practices in South Africa is underway. The cases will be incorporated into the GIBS curriculum and used as a teaching tool, capturing practical experiences and insights to influence the approaches of a wider cohort of companies.
The Think Tank has established an Ethics Barometer for South Africa, using a research tool developed by Harvard Business School academics to engage with the business community as well as with diverse societal stakeholders. The aim is to better understand expectations and perceptions about business conduct, and offer practical recommendations about how to address the trust deficit and promote collaboration for collective impact. Business Leadership SA, the country's largest business association, has endorsed the Ethics Barometer and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange is taking part in it. Fifteen companies have participated in the first phase of this initiative.
About Rabbi Gideon Pogrund
Gideon Pogrund conceptualised and established and now directs the GIBS Ethics and Governance Think Tank. He is also a faculty member at GIBS.
He has an MA in Social and Political Sciences from Trinity College, Cambridge University, he is a rabbi who has held senior leadership positions, and also worked as a commodity trader for Louis Dreyfus. He has participated in high-level academic, government and inter-faith forums, and features as an international speaker and scholar-in-residence. He is the co-founder of Ethics Evolution, consulting with blue chip companies to improve their ethics management.