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Innovation in South African business


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Innovation is at the heart of good business and in dire financial times, it is often the best thing we have to keep going and succeed. Now the South African Jewish community has started a new body to help social innovation: the South African Young Jewish Innovators Gathering aims to mix good business sense and socially conscious activism for the good of all. 

Founded by Guy Lieberman, the SAYJI are guided by the idea of bringing highly intelligent people together to come up with ideas. The organisation was inspired by the Schusterman Foundation, that seeks to spread the joy of Jewish living, giving and learning around the world. The founding meeting of the organisation will be addressed by Shaka Sisulu, the grandson of the late Walter Sisulu, a key founder of the African National Congress.

Of course, the importance of innovation and knowledge are being acknowledged as crucial in South Africa this year. The state of the nation address on 9 February had the title Knowledge Economy and Development Opportunities. South Africa's mineral wealth is considerable, but whether we are saving our money in Bullion Vault or investing in extraction, but innovation and knowledge should not be neglected either. 

The state of the nation address is generally credited as being much more pragmatic than Jacomb Zuma usually focusses on. Although much of his speech focussed on building infrastructure, the importance of the knowledge economy. Amusingly, Zuma consulted an iPad during his speech - for the second year running. 

Higher education and training are key to development - we have the physical resources, but just need to make the most of them ourselves. Organisations like the South African Young Jewish Innovators are good examples of communities getting off their feet and creating positive social change using knowledge and innovation. If this ideas spreads further, the whole of the country should benefit.

Date Posted: 2012-02-16
Posted By: GBN Online
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