The Transnet Foundation once again partnered with Trialogue; (one of only a few consultancies in South Africa that exclusively focuses on corporate responsibility issues) on its annual conference held on the 24th and 25th of May 2016 at The Forum, in Bryanston. With more than 18 years of experience in the corporate social investment space, they are undoubtedly at the forefront of new developments in sustainability and CSI.
The Transnet Foundation once again partnered with Trialogue, one of only a few consultancies in South Africa that exclusively focus on corporate responsibility issues on its annual conference held on the 24th and 25th of May 2016 at The Forum, in Bryanston. With more than 18 years of experience in the corporate social investment space, they are undoubtedly at the forefront of new developments in sustainability and CSI.
This year’s event was bigger than the ones held before, while continuing to create unique opportunities for learning, networking, collaborating and innovating on issues impacting the effectiveness and sustainability of CSI and development initiatives in South Africa. The conference, themed Collaboration for Impact, addressed how challenging, yet crucial, effective collaboration can be when striving to make a meaningful and lasting difference in CSI and development in South Africa.
The first day kicked off with Trialogue’s Nick Rockey’s presentation highlighting CSI spending patterns and trends, giving delegates an opportunity to reflect on how their own organisations are faring in relation to the rest of the CSI landscape in South Africa. This was followed by Prof. Brian O’Connell, retired rector and vice-chancellor of the University of the Western Cape doing a keynote address providing insights and perspectives on the state of the country and the role that each sector of society has to play and helping to realise a more equitable and prosperous democratic South Africa.
Prof. O’Connell was followed by a panel discussion around funding innovations whose panelists included Ian Ross from Hollard, Susan de Witt from the University of Cape Town and Andrew Millson from Community Capital Africa. More topics were covered including monitoring and evaluation where panelist Neissan Besharati form the Centre for Learning on Evaluation and Results, University of Witwatersrand said learning and accountability are paramount to monitoring and evaluation while Namhla Saba from Investec, stated that people must report on the negative and positive challenges to constantly improve on one’s project, not what you think funders want to see.
The final day kicked off with Dr Ben Ngubane current interim Chairman of Eskom speaking about State-owned Enterprises’ Commitment to Economic Development with regards to the NDP. "Companies are finding it difficult to make a bigger difference, it is more important for organisations now to continue in making a difference. The time is right for partnerships with state-owned entities or otherwise.” In closing Dr Ngubane said as a collective, we can become a powerful source of growth and change. “Together lets reach out and help this country survive.”
As a conference sponsor and partner, Transnet Foundation’s Head, Cynthia Mgijima said: “We are obviously proud sponsors and partners of the Trialogue Conference 2016, as we have been doing in years past. Every year, CSI practitioners, academics and industry captains converge to discuss hot issues in the corporate social investment arena from a South African perspective and experiences. There is always something to learn and take out of the panel discussions held in this conference. We look forward to the next one in 2017.”