Imagine what would happen if everyone worked together?
What are the game changers that will put the country on a trajectory to success?
How do we heal our woundedness as a nation?
What does it look like to show up for change?
What is the ideal South African identity?
Asking the right questions that will allow South Africa to unleash its full potential, was the central theme that youth leaders and stakeholders from the private,public and non-governmental sectors grappled with at the ACTIVATE! Exchange, the discussion forum of the ACTIVATE! Change Drivers, a youth leadership network, at the District Six Museum in Cape Town on 08 October 2013.
“We think we’re no longer in a state of war just because there aren’t bullets flying everyday but we are in a state of war – a state of psychological war – in which my identity has been disposed. We have to spend time making the correct diagnosis otherwise we will continue to sweep up the water while the tap remains on,” said Tumi Jonas, currently completing an Honours degree in Psychology at the University of Cape Town as well as the founder and secretary of ONE PATH AFRICA, a global peer-to-peer leadership network.
As a second-year Activator, Jonas is one of the growing body of young leaders that form the ACTIVATE! network that was founded in 2012 to identify and equip a critical mass of entrepreneurial and socially-aware young leaders between the ages of 20 – 30 with the skills and support that will enable them to become the change-makers needed to secure the country’s future success.
A core challenge to all South Africans, and the youth in particular, will be to face the issues of our wounded society with honesty so that we can reach an understanding of the structural reasons for marginalisation and then begin to build an inclusive identity based on a sense of solidarity, belonging and purpose, rather than on race or class, said David Harrison, the Chief Executive Officer of the DG Murray Trust and former director national HIV prevention programme, loveLife.
“The ACTIVATE! Exchange affords us a platform to table the critical issues and to kick start a process to formulate strategies and touch points to address these collectively,” says Christ Meintjes, Chief Executive Officer of Activate!
“Facing some of these issues may be challenging and even painful – the idea of our collective woundedness and sense of feeling small in the face of each other, for example became a key discussion point yesterday in response to the question of “why are we not standing up” – but it did equally allow us start formulating positive responses, and in this case, to conclude that there is a potential for power in the vulnerability of woundedness because it opens up the ability to connect.”
Among the speakers at the Cape Town ACTIVATE! Exchange were:
David Harrison, Chief Executive Officer of the DG Murray Trust, who founded the Health Systems Trust, a non-government organization supporting health services development in South Africa and headed up LoveLife, a national HIV prevention programme for young people before joining DGMT. He also started the South African Health Review of Health and Health Care in South Africa, which is published every year.
Zamandlovu Ndlovu, communications specialist with the National Planning Commission (NPC) responsible for the external communication of the NPC’s work and the National Development Plan’s progress. She is a patron for the Citizen ZA movement and an honorary member of the Golden Keys Society.
Miranda Simrie, Director at KS & Partners Management Consulting who has worked in economic and social development, SMME support, and enterprise development for more than 10 years. She has been credited for conceptualizing and developing the 2012 Cape Town Entrepreneurship Week and has been recognized for her role as Principal Researcher and co-author of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2011 South African report.
Zikhona Tumi Jonas, a second-year Activator, psychology honours student as well as founder and secretary of ONE PATH AFRICA global peer-to-peer leadership network.
Akhona Mbenyana, a second- year Activator with extensive experience in the field of sustainability and environmental education, training and development. He has worked for SANCCOB, Omni HR Consulting, and has volunteered for organizations like Greenpeace Africa and Climate Action Partnership (CAP).
Cindy-Lee Cloete, a second-year Activator and Environmental Education Director at Nature’s Valley Trusthas a National Diploma in Nature Conservation from Cape Peninsula University of Technology and a passion for Environmental Education.