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SAMRA Annual Conference 2016 is upon us!

We are about to find out what green fashion, Robben Island and Twitter trolls have in common!

Speaker Profiles * Presentation Summaries * Final Programme

Craig Jacobs of proudly African label, Fundudzi by Craig Jacobs and thought leader on design, believes that sustainability and the organic movement reflects a return to African values, culture and social mores. In Africa has Always Been Organic, Craig delves into the cultural landscape of the continent to sign post how African innovation can be re-tooled into assets for a Green economy. He believes that the secret to sustainability and innovation in a rapidly changing world has been a secret Africa has known for more than a millennium. Using a ten point framework, the founder of leading eco and ethical label Fundudzi by Craig Jacobs shows how we can change the way we live and do business by going back to the way things were done over one thousand five hundred years ago. As an African thought leader for eco design, Jacobs is able to lucidly explain how businesses can incorporate his simple yet illuminating principles into their corporate culture to create a point of differentiation while reflecting the needs of a growing African market.

Passionate about both exploring and conducting qualitative research in Africa, Lesley Croskery started In Focus Qualitative Research in 2003 in Cape Town. Deliberately small they remain focused on getting the best out of their research, working mainly in South Africa and Kenya. Prior to this, Lesley joined Research International South Africa in 1994, after 6 years of conducting multi-country research at Taylor Nelson Healthcare in the UK. Married, with 3 teenagers, Lesley achieved her black belt in karate 2.5 years ago and blows away the cobwebs by riding along Noordhoek beach on her aging ex racehorse.

Sanchen Henning needs no introduction. She has already won a number of SAMRA Annual Conference Awards, and is without exception a most entertaining speaker. Sanchen is a senior lecturer, University of South Africa School of Business Leadership (UNISA SBL), and registered as Research Psychologist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa. She has also worked at SAA, and as researcher the Military Psychological Institute and Telkom SA. Sanchen completed a Phd in Consulting Psychology in 2009. She will be presenting Youth from the Cape flats redefining the “ship” in Personal leadership: a Robben Island experience. The purpose of the study was to explore the perceptions of youth after a leadership development programme on Robben Island. Orphaned learners, aged between 13 and 18 years, took part in a variety of activities to build psychological strengths and leadership skills through experiential learning. They had the opportunity to visit the various heritage sites that reflect South Africa’s longstanding, multi-layered cultural and political history on the island. The primary research objective was to construct a conceptual framework based on the experiences and perceptions of the learners 4 months after the event. A secondary research objective was to provide the Robben Island museum management feedback regarding the effectiveness of their educational programme for youth. Twenty eight learners took part in the study through purposive sampling. In total, 13 themes were identified from the data which included anecdotes, poems and drawings. The themes were categorised into 3 levels of analysis, each at a higher level of conceptualisation. The first level analysis comprised 8 themes and the acronym SHIP described the second level analysis, namely, Self-awareness, Hope, Influence and Passion for Progress (P2). These 12 themes were integrated into a 3rd level theme, namely Personal Leadership.
Dr Alain Tschudin is the Executive Director of Good Governance Africa (GGA), a Pan-African, registered NPO with a focus on improving government performance in Africa. He decided to pursue this line of work because of the urgent need to empower citizens, the private sector and governments alike with independent, fact-based knowledge. GGA achieves this through research, publications and advocacy work. From the Queen’s breakfast, through the Tempest, to the 2016 Local Elections – the critical value of research in facilitating positive transformation(s) is about asking questions which has always been central to satisfying the curiosity of our human nature. In this the “information age”, with its “sharing economy”, asking anything and sharing everything has become the norm. Much as we would like to think we have all the answers, sometimes we simply don’t and at other times we only manage to figure things out in part. However, the fact remains that knowledge is power. So in our current era, where the digital divide separates the technological haves and have nots, the burning question becomes, how do we empower all people by promoting inclusive access to information? Research holds immense potential as an agent of positive change. The challenge for us as researchers lies in how we reflect and act – critically – on our reality. At Good Governance Africa, an independent, pan-African, registered not-for-profit organisation, our sole aim is to improve governance on the continent. To this end, I’ll be sharing our team’s experiences of research on national and local government in South Africa; the good, the bad and the ugly. Warts, twitter trolls and all, we remain inspired and upbeat about the profound value of applied research and fact-based knowledge to enable conversations and build relationships that truly improve the lives of all people.

SAMRA Annual Conference 2016

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