The past three months, since my tenure began on the 1st September, have certainly been interesting and eventful! As you may know, I accepted the opportunity to lead Accelerate Cape Town at fairly short notice and then embarked on the frantic process of relocating from Johannesburg within two weeks before assuming duties in the new role.
Nevertheless, it’s absolutely fantastic to be back in Cape Town after more than a decade away, and with the full support and dedication of the Accelerate Cape Town team, my assimilation into the organisation has been seamless. With no shortage of new ideas and refreshed vigour, the team has pulled together like true champions and we have been exceptionally busy driving value for our members.
I’ve also made a concerted effort to meet most of our members to gauge your current sentiments about Accelerate Cape Town and what you would like to achieve from our continued association. The feedback has been extremely honest (sometimes a little too honest for comfort), enormously insightful, and very much valued as it serves to guide my vision for the future of the organisation. As a result, we have reworked the Accelerate Cape Town strategy and value proposition to include a few great new initiatives, and look forward to sharing this with you early in the new year.
The team has been hard at work implementing our networking programme over the past few months. Not only did we continue to deliver our existing programmes, but we conceptualised and delivered awesome new initiatives including our Young Leaders Dinner program and our Digital City Workshop designed to translate networking into tangible action. We re-introduced the Dinner with the Premier for our Sponsors, supported McKinsey in showcasing priority opportunities for significant inclusive economic growth; and co-hosted two successful events with the Dutch Consul General. Key events that we highlight in this newsletter include: Cape Town: Africa’s R&D and Healthtech Hub? and The Ocean Economy – economic value vs environmental impact.
As the premier business leadership organisation in this region, Accelerate Cape Town’s intention is to accelerate the pulse of business and continuously grow Cape Town as an economic hub and globally recognised business destination in Africa – through catalytic, innovative, and focused interventions. We intend to transition from purely networking, to also include tangible projects that result in significant impact, and we look forward to working closely with members to bring these to fruition.
Interestingly for a non-runner, I have been roped into doing a 10km on 13 February 2016. This date marks the 26th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s historic release from Victor Verster Prison (now the Drakenstein Correctional Facility) and his walk to Freedom after 27 years of incarceration. They are hoping to get 27 CEO’s to take part in this event and I am challenging all our CEOs to join me at the 27 for Freedom run. #GetFitforMadiba
I wish you all a relaxed and safe festive season, filled with joyous celebration, and look forward to working with you in 2016!
All the best,