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Centre for Leadership Ethics and Dialogue

Advancing democracy, development and governance through Cross-Sectoral Engagement.


The GIBS Centre for Leadership, Ethics and Dialogue (CLED), was established in the mid-2000s during South Africa's electricity supply challenges and emerged from the realisation that there had been inadequate cross-sectoral engagement on national issues of strategic importance.

Programmes delivered in the centre gave rise to an institutional competence for engagement on a broad range of issues, ensuring that the business community has insights and remains an active participant in resolving important national questions.

GIBS has since developed a reputation as a safe environment for convening parties from the public sector, civil society and the business community through providing a platform for thought leadership, and thereby stimulating closer collaboration between multiple stakeholders from various sectors in society. 

South Africa currently finds itself in a low growth economy, with poor investment and increasing joblessness, in addition to the structural challenges of growing inequality and state dependence.

It is critical at this time, that leadership of all sectors, are constructively engaged in developing policies that will lead to greater levels of productivity, reversing policies that are harmful, and ensuring that as best as we can, South Africa draws on all of the capabilities, institutions and resources of the country. 

As such the centre has been repositioned to address three major strategic themes:

1. Economic Growth and National Competitiveness;

2. Good Governance and a Culture of Ethical Leadership; and

3. Strategic Foresight for National Development.

From these themes flow a range of activities and targeted interventions.

  • The goal of the Centre for Leadership, Ethics and Dialogue is the advancement of democracy, development and governance through cross-sectoral engagement
  • The centre does this by designing and hosting a wide range of programmes, thought leadership seminars, and strategic engagements, to enhance the interaction between business, government, unions and civil society in the South African context. 
  • The centre is positioned as a catalyst for leadership development, addressing the high-stakes and complex societal context and intractable socio-economic challenges of national fragmentation and risk. 
  • As such, the centre works with a broad range of leaders to host strategic discussions aimed at addressing the most urgent and complex South African challenges.
  • In addition to its programmes and activities, the centre works to develop a network which reaches a broad South African audience, building shared perspectives and consensus, and generating new ideas to support South Africa's democratic, development and governance challenges.  
Activities and Programmes

CLED has developed a set of programmes and activities. 

These include:

Ethics and Governance Think Tank 

The ongoing work of public and private engagement, research and thought leadership development across the business community and state-owned enterprises.

Open Engagements 

Convening business community leaders and other sectors of society to examine the political economy and the key issues facing the country.

Executive Education Programmes 

Delivering educational programmes in collaboration with other divisions within the GIBS structure to enhance the capacity and contribution of executives, including; business acumen, foresight, strategic leadership and ethical leadership.

Dinner Dialogues 

Hosting dinners with captains of industry, senior government officials, politicians and civil society activists to discuss a broad range of issues in a Chatham House Rule environment.

Thematic Dialogues and Seminars 

Hosting a series of dialogue interventions with diverse leaders on issues of political economy, economic progress, trade and trade relations, and cross-sectoral trust.

Contact us:

Centre for Leadership, Ethics and Dialogue

 (011) 771 4000

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