Dialogue Work

​​​​​Dialogue is a form of inquiry anchored in stimulating critical thinking to illuminate ideas and new approaches. The GIBS / Tshikululu Programme focuses on creating a platform for dialogue. 

We are individuals acting in different collectives and in this regard, the GIBS / Tshikululu programme focuses on creating a platform that aims to bring together leaders who would not naturally sit together to discuss issues they would not normally discuss.


The core areas of dialogue work include:

Thought Leadership Dialogues:

GIBS hosts dialogues and engagements with a myriad of partners in varying capacities to deal with broader social, political, and economic issues that impact business. In this regard, we are open to working with clients and partners on sector specific or focused dialogues with clear outcomes.

The dialogue work conducted within this stream of work is varied. Examples include
  • Dialogues with Nations in Transitions (NIT). GIBS identifies a range of South Africa’s and Africa’s leaders with experience in transitional and constitutional processes who are willing to share their experience with countries in need.
  • GIBS has significant experience in customizing programmes in the area of “leading in complex societies”. The advantages are that we can work with large numbers of people and take them through an identical process.
  • Partner-specific Dialogues. GIBS hosts several dialogues with various partners. Examples of partners we have worked include:
    • REOS – What do you do when the stakes are high and trust is low?
    • National Treasury – The Way forward for South Africa post financial crisis
    • SABCOHA – HIV/AIDS, Business and the Faith-based sector
    • Tiger Brands - Food security and the role of FMCG companies
    • Tshikululu Social Investments – Serious Social Investment

If there is a critical issue in your sector and you are looking for a partner to collaborate with we would welcome the opportunity to engage.

Societal Dialogues:

Modelled on the Town Hall Meetings founded by a community of Americans who value open exchange of ideas, dialogue and action, this GIBS Dialogue Circle initiative serves the intention to offer opportunities for South Africans to interact and engage with high level decision makers and influencers of public opinion in order to construct relevant and realistic meaning around issues dealt with on a daily basis

In 2012, GIBS hosted several discussions in this regard including a discussion with Minister Trevor Manuel on the National Development Plan (NDP) as soon as it was launched in November 2012 and another with youth representatives.

Next Generation Dialogues

The country is young and each of us has a role to play in determining the future. We host next generation dialogues which consist of lectures, debates, forums and dinners for individuals in leadership roles.
GIBS focuses on providing a platform for these individuals to network, engage and share ideas and opportunities. It is our intention to build relationships with young leaders across diverse sectors in our society.

National Dialogues:

Many people refer to the realisation of a democratic constitutional order in South Africa as a miracle. It was not. It was the result of painstakingly difficult work, leadership in negotiations, and a commitment to manage and resolve one of the most intractable political problems of the modern era: the transformation of the apartheid state to a state which is democratic. In the final analysis it was the result of faith in a democratic constitutional order.

Democracy is not an event; it is a process. An unfortunate reality of politics today is that less and less attention is paid to the procedural aspects of conflict management and democratic consolidation. In Africa almost 50% of peace agreements signed have collapsed within five years, sending countries spiraling back into conflict. Perhaps in a rush to sign peace agreements, we are losing the essence of what creates and consolidates sustainable peace.

Leaders in countries in transition face a range of intractable problems and volatile situations. The stakes are high, the nation is fragmented and the risk is that political and economic crisis becomes the norm. With this in minds, we host dialogue for leaders of national influence to reflect on the evolution of our young democracy and share these lessons with South Africans and with the international community.

A facilitated process, accessing the experiences
and know-how of participants, allows an accurate picture of the societal ‘puzzle’ to emerge. We work with a range of international and local partners to share the successes and the failures of the South African transition. In concrete terms we:

  • host strategic conversations on South Africa’s current situation and future potential​
  • work with international clients and partners from countries in transition to host their groups and share lessons from South Africa’s successes and failures over the last 15 years.
  • Identify a range of South Africa’s leaders with experience in transitional and constitutional processes who are willing to share their experience with countries in need
  • have high level ability to facilitate a range of dialogue methods amongst diverse local and international participants

Deans Dinners:

The Dean of GIBS often hosts dinners with captains of industry, government, politicians and civil society to discuss a broad range of issues with various intentions. These dinners are often held in private and Chatham rules apply to the discussions.

The Dean held his first dinner for 2013 on the 12th March 2013. He met with young leaders that are active in the social sector.

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