It was a busy three days for GSB Alumni who attended the Alumni Reunion, with over 100 people on campus. We started on Friday afternoon, where alumni applied themselves to a case study with Dr Catherine Duggan before listening to a lecture from Dr Duggan about Doing Business in Africa. We then enjoyed drinks and dinner on the rooftop of the GSB Conference Centre, with fun networking activities run by MC Portia Heynes (EMBA 2009). This saw participants write down and share their greatest passions, participate in musical chairs to win prizes, and note down their favourite memories of their time at the Graduate School of Business. After this, we all enjoyed a few drinks and a light dinner before heading home ready for an early start.
On Saturday, alumni arrived early at the Conference Centre to listen to lectures from Professor Ronnie, Barry Standish, alumnus Jan Fourie, and AI expert Farayi Kambarami. As often happens at conferences, a hiccup with the catering timing meant a delayed start but fortunately, the excellent lecture from Professor Ronnie titled Courageous Leadership refocused our minds before the food arrived. Professor Ronnie stressed the importance of inclusive leadership, emphasising the importance of courage but also the conviction to stand up to something or someone whose values do not align with your own. Knowing when to let go and being open to change is critical for the leaders of today.
Barry Standish: “Macroeconomic policy conflict in the rich world. And the loser is… banks or inflation” - Ami Kapilevich
Barry took delegates on a Murder Mystery. The opening scene was the Victim: the Banks. The journey started with the financial crisis of 2007 which ended in 2020 with only one macroeconomic weapon - quantitative easing. This, in essence, is printing money. Central Banks hoped that, come 2020 with some economic stability, they could wind in QE. Then came the Next Blow: Covid which resulted in the most rapid QE of all time. Barry then introduced ’The Blunt Instrument’ - Ukraine. This pushed up inflation and interest rates and killed the banks by decimating the value of their government bonds. And there is the conflict. Raise interest rates to stop inflation or lower them to save the banks. Checkmate.
Sincere thanks to Jan Fourie for his presentation about the growing scale of solar farms in Africa and to Farayi Kambarami for his excellent presentation on African Intelligence in AI. We are pleased to let you know these talks will be presented online soon!
On Saturday evening, alumni enjoyed a chocolate tasting from Honest Chocolate, welcome drinks, presentation of the Alumni Awards and the rugby world cup semi-finals match was screened at the Brig. One of the highlights for me at the reunion was being back in a lecture theatre with some of my classmates. Nostalgia for 2010 but also great to learn new things.
Congratulations to the Alumni Award Winners:
Made a significant contribution either in the promotion of and in service of the UCT GSB
Bruce Isdale (MBA 2014)
Through building alumni relationships within the alumni community and the UCT GSB
Mukona Khalushi (PGDip in Management Practice 2016/2017)
Lifetime Achievement Award*
Stewart Cohen (MBA 1969)
*A lifetime achievement award is given to recipients who have dedicated their lives to a worthy cause, or somehow made an impact in society or in the lives of others. It is awarded to recognize contributions made by an individual over a period of time, rather than or in addition to a single contribution. The significance of this award is that it may only be awarded at the discretion of the Director of the GSB.
Sincere thanks to all who attended. Special thanks to all the speakers and MC Portia Heynes for giving us their time so generously. We look forward to the 2024 edition of the GSB Alumni Reunion Weekend on 18-20 October.