Committed to inclusive societies and organisations through creating knowledge to dismantle systemic oppression and socio-economic inequality.

The Allan Gray Centre for Values-Based Leadership is dedicated to exploring new ways of doing business based on purpose, sustainability and responsible practices that create dignity and belonging. 

We ask difficult questions about the assumptions supporting our current business management models – specifically whether profit and shareholder value should continue to be the exclusive drivers of business, or whether values, purpose and meaning might be more effective drivers for the 21st Century.

A word from our founder


The Centre focuses on two core elements: The Individual and the Organisation, with twenty research focus areas.

Academics from the Allan Gray Centre for Values-Based Leadership supervise international and local PhD theses; MBA dissertations; EMBA dissertations and Master’s degree dissertations.

Faculty of the Allan Gray Centre teach on UCT GSB core and elective academic programmes and run an online course through GetSmarter.

Faculty of the Allan Gray Centre for Values-Based Leadership are widely published.

Kurt April



Allan Gray Chair, an Endowed Professorship, and Director of the Allan Gray Centre for Values-Based Leadership. 

Specialising in Leadership, Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Cape Town's Graduate School of Business (South Africa, 1998-present), Adjunct Faculty at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford (UK, 2001-present), and is an Orchestrator and Faculty member of Duke Corporate Education, Duke University (USA, 2008-present). 

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce (UK), Senior Member of the Academy of Management (USA), and Member of the Africa Academy of Management (USA).

Our People

Allan Gray Faculty


Allan Gray Associates


Allan Gray Admin



Bringing together individuals with an interest in re-scripting the orientation of South African organisations

The Allan Gray Speaker Series brings together individuals to more closely reflect positive values which serve the common good, responsible leadership, embedding hope for the many and challenging the excesses and damage caused by self-serving decisions, actions and behaviours at all levels within business, government and civil society organisations. 

  • 15 Sept 2020 – All Rise: Deconstructing Lawfare and the Constitution
  • Justice Dikgang Moseneke (South African Judge and former Deputy Chief Justice of South Africa).
  • 30 June 2020 – The Need for Steward Leadership in Times of Disruption [Text Wrapping Break]Archbishop Dr. Thabo Makgoba (Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Anglican Church of South Africa, and Associate of the Allan Gray Centre).
  • 11 Feb 2020 – Atypical Leadership and Legitimacy of Equality & Diversity at Work
  • Prof. Mustafa Özbilgin (Professor of Organisational Behaviour at Brunel Business School, London UK, and Associate of the Allan Gray Centre).
  • 17 Sept 2020 – Thinking Tech-Niche: A New Style of Leadership[Text Wrapping Break]Aarti Takoordeen (Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Executive Director of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE)).
  • 10 - 11 May 2019 – Allan Gray Centre International Academic Conference[Text Wrapping Break]Instead of inviting a speaker, we held the first, well-attended Allan Gray Centre International Academic Conference (“Values-Based Entrepreneurship & Societal Impact”)
  • 30 Jan 2019 – After the Scandal: An Ethics-Based Approach to Corporate Reparations
  • Athol Williams (Senior Lecturer, Allan Gray Centre, previous Partner of Bain Consulting and Head of Strategy, Old Mutual).
  • 12 Nov 2018 – Wabi-Sabi Leadership: Leading Through Imperfection[Text Wrapping Break]Assoc. Prof. Dorota Bourne (Associate Professor of Coaching and Change Management at Henley Business School, University of Reading, UK, and Associate of the Allan Gray Centre).
  • 21 Aug 2018 – From the Cape Flats to the Boardroom: Personal & Professional Journeys[Text Wrapping Break]Prof. Shirley Zinn (Council Member of the University of Cape Town, and former Group Head of Human Resources at Woolworths Holdings Limited and Head of Human Resources of Standard Bank).
  • 16 May 2018 – NeuroWellness and the Applications of Neuroscience in Business and High-Performance Leadership
  • Dr. Darren Green (Practicing Emergency Cardiac Physician, Brain Coach for Neurozone Global, and Media Health and Wellness Personality).
  • 30 Jan 2018 – Personal Narrative: Living One’s Purpose and Values
  • Namhla Mniki (Executive for Women’s Economic & Financial Inclusion in the Presidency of South Africa, and Associate of the Allan Gray Centre).
  • 12 Oct 2017 – Embedding Values for Responsible Leadership in South Africa
  • Graham Power (Founder & Chairman of the Power Group of Companies, and Founder of the NGO, Unashamedly Ethical) and Michael Louis (Director of the Louis Group International).


The Allan Gray Conference is a platform for local and international academics and practitioners to discuss and debate the values, challenges and successes, which individuals and organisations face in our modern world. 

The Conference, by way of high calibre presentations and panel discussion sessions, serves to enrich individuals, organisations and society through ideas that hopefully lead to purposeful and entrepreneurial action to serve the common good.

Allan Grey - Conferences

Ideas Exchange

VBL Pin Image
Leadership & Ethics

Transforming the role of business in society through values-based leadership

The Allan Gray Centre for Values-Based Leadership explores ‘new ways of doing business based on purpose, sustainability and responsible practices'

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Posted on 11 March 2024 by UCT GSB Press Office
Leadership & Ethics

Addressing the lack of JEDI in the workplace

The South African workplace remains a very complex space. To bring about a change in workplace culture and organisational orientations, we may need to consider new approaches. Recent research from the UCT GSB has highlighted several practices that organisations can implement to help address the lack of justice, equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

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Posted on 10 February 2022 by Kurt April
Poetic licence to lead through challenging times
Leadership & Ethics

Poetic licence to lead through challenging times

With employees stressed, business leaders worried, and mental health challenges skyrocketing, conventional approaches to preparing leaders for the business world may not be enough. The foundational role of the leader as communicator is more important than ever – and poetry could unlock the deeper self-awareness and connection needed to lead through ambiguity.

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Posted on 21 November 2021 by Babar Dharani
Joy mary de wet
Learning & Development

Applied with lots of elbow grease, the MBA continues to open doors

Joy-Mare de Wet was a qualified geneticist working in sales at a pharma company when she started her MBA at the UCT Graduate School of Business. There she found a new passion for the tech industry and has since landed her dream job at LinkedIn. De Wet shares her top five tips for what it takes, as an MBA graduate, to manage such a pivot.

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Posted on 20 October 2021 by UCT GSB Press Office
Emerging Market Business

Social justice in South Africa is as much business’ crisis as it is government’s

Busisiwe Mavuso (CEO at Business Leadership SA) was the speaker at the quarterly Allan Gray Speaker Series event, hosted virtually by the UCT GSB in March. We asked Professor Kurt April, who led the discussion, to share some of the key takeouts.

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Posted on 29 March 2021 by UCT GSB Press Office
mental health dr - media
Learning & Development

The grass isn’t always greener in the home office

Working from home has been a blessing for some but brought new demands and strains for others — including a rise in mental health issues. Now, as millions of people start to trickle back to more formal workplaces, is an opportune time for employees to take ownership of their happiness at work.

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Posted on 17 October 2020 by Babar Dharani
 Values-Based-Leadership - media
Leadership & Ethics

Values-based leadership in the age of COVID-19

Dr Camaren Peter, associate professor with the Allan Gray Centre for Values-Based Leadership at the UCT Graduate School of Business, speaks about the challenges posed by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

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Posted on 13 July 2020 by Camaren Peter
nelson mandela - mandela
Leadership & Ethics

SA needs leaders who are willing to step out of their comfort zones

As the country plunges deeper into an economic and humanitarian crisis fuelled by the COVID-19 pandemic, we will need steward leaders who are accountable and focused on assisting their communities — and each of us can rise to the challenge.

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Posted on 13 July 2020 by Kurt April
IE_Media_8Aug2020_lats tap into
Political Economy

Let’s tap into the defiant optimism of our young people this Youth Day

As protests around structural inequality and racism rage across the world, we need to re-ignite efforts to give young people a voice at all levels of society, but especially as leaders.

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Posted on 15 June 2020 by Camaren Peter


Art with a purpose


Becoming a global brand


Changing the HIV/AIDS stigma




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