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Hard Talk: Unpacking the Election results

​​A​dditional Forum Information 

Registration: 17h45 - 18h00

Forum Start Time: 18h00

Length: 1 hour 30 minutes

Cocktails will be served after the event


Healthy business needs a healthy country, and a healthy country needs a vibrant, growing economy and strong effective government. Business and government have to work together to take the country, economy and society forward. Most would contend that the 2016 municipal election has been one of the most tightly contested in South Africa's 22-year democracy. Millions of South Africans took to the polls to have their voices heard. Join our leading faculty as they unpack the results and analyse where to from here.


Professor Adrian Saville, GIBS Faculty

Dr Tashmia Ismail, GIBS Facutly

Abdullah Verachia, GIBS Faculty

Marius Oosthuizen, GIBS Faculty

Prince Mashela, Senior Research Fellow, GovInn


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  • Marius Oosthuizen is a member of faculty at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), University of Pretoria, South Africa. He is the director of the Centre for Leadership and Dialogue (CL&D) at GIBS, which convenes cross-sectoral dialogue to build social capital between social partners.? 

    Marius teaches the elective, Mastering Strategic Foresight on the GIBS Executive MBA and is often invited to teach in the fields of leadership, strategy, and ethics. 

    He is an expert in strategy and scenario planning, and a previous participant of the Oxford Scenarios Programme at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, UK. Marius?is currently writing a PhD on integrative public leadership with Stellenbosch University's School of Public Leadership.? 

    Marius has worked extensively with business leaders, policy makers and civil society activists using his expertise in stakeholder dialogue, scenario planning, strategic foresight and systems thinking to create future-orientated strategy. He is a member of the board of the Association of Professional Futurists (APF), a global network of futurists, and past participant in the London-based School of International Futures (SOIF), as well as a past contributor to the European Strategy and Policy System (ESPAS), the foresight think tank of the European Parliament.? 

    His current research is focussed on social dialogue for social compacting and policy formation in South Africa and assessing the long-term prospects for Africa in collaboration with the Institute for Security Studies' (ISS) Futures and Innovation Programme.? 


    • MPhil Applied Social and Political Ethics (St Augustine College) 
    • MA Strategic Foresight (RU) 
    • BHum Hons Systematic Theology (UNISA) 
    • BHum (UNISA) 
  • Abdullah Verachia is a sought-after global speaker, board and EXCO advisor and practice strategist. He has  served in senior executive and board roles, has crafted competitive strategies for leading companies and governments around the world, lectured at some of the top ranked business schools and built and run successful companies. Abdullah also serves on a number of boards. Abdullah fuses practice, education, insight, empathy, and experience into a beautiful tapestry that adds massive value at all levels. 

    He serves as the founder and CEO of The Strategists ( In this role he leads a team that assists companies and organizations craft competitive future strategies and build innovation functions. He has significant expertise in strategy, innovation, and disruption - facilitates several high-level strategy sessions and breakaways for companies and governments, as well as speak globally in this area. 

    Abdullah has led strategy, innovation, and consulting assignments in an array of sectors including banking, mining, finance, asset management, construction, insurance, legal, audit, FMCG, telecoms, retail and automotive. He and his team have consulted and guided over 200 global multinationals, listed and non-listed firms to build disruptive, ambidextrous organizations with a focus on building present and future success.  He has also built several disruptive and truly innovative companies.  

    He led the team that crafted the 2017 - 2030 Gauteng Economic Development Strategy with the Premier and Executive Council. He also led the 2017 Mauritius Competitiveness foresight strategy and has also played a role in assisting the Presidential State-Owned Enterprises Council (PSEC) on Governance in South Africa. Abdullah also plays a lead role on the Oxford University and Gates Foundation program on South Africa in a Digital Age. 

    Having presented and consulted in over 60 cities globally he has been recognized as a leading speaker, disruptor, strategist and thought leader on competitiveness and the interplay between strategy and disruption, His experience makes him a sought-after global speaker in these areas. In December 2017, he received a standing ovation at the acclaimed TEDx Euston in London. Abdullah was also asked to be the keynote speaker at the 2018 World Speech Day. 

    Abdullah has presented around the world to leading listed firms, international organizations and governments including in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzen, Mumbai, Bangalore, Dubai Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Accra, Dar Es Salaam, Nairobi, Frankfurt, Munich, Copenhagen, Madrid, Paris, London, and New York. He has been asked to present at some of the world's leading institutions including the School of Public and International Affairs at Colombia University in New York, TEDx Euston, the OECD Paris and Casa Asia in Madrid amongst others. 

    He is a regular media commentator for several publications including CNBC Africa, BBC, CCTV, CNN, SABC, Moneyweb, Business Day, SAFM, 702, Al Jazeera, New York Times, Financial Times, Reuters, and the Sunday Times. He authored the book Disruption Amplified: Reset, Rewire, Reimagine everything. He also co-authored a book on the commercial corridor between Africa and India as well as contributed to "The Book every business owner must read." 

    Verachia has a passion for education and serves as faculty at GIBS as well as program director for the Harvard Senior Executive Program on Africa. He has won several awards for excellence in teaching. He is also the recipient of the Harvard Business School Deans scholarship for leadership and innovation and was also selected for the Brightest Young Minds in South Africa

    Abdullah serves on several boards. Companies and organizations have found his unique blend of legal, business, emerging market, digital, strategy, innovation, academic and human capital experience to add incredible value to their organizations. He is globally sought after for his ability to advise and guide senior leaders and teams to build disruptive and ambidextrous organizations. 


    • PhD Innovation, Strategy (GIBS) - still in progress 
    • MIM-cum laude (MM) (WBS)  
    • LLB (UJ) 
    • GMP (Harvard Business School)
    • Strategy and Shared value (Harvard Business School)
    • EDP (Oxford University: Said Business School)
    • Executive Program in Broadcast technology (CU)



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