Our Flagship Event

The BYM summit was the most anticipated event for young social entrepreneurs. Every year, up to 100 new young leaders, between the ages of 20 -32 years of age, were selected to attend the summit. The selection process was ‘blind’, in the sense that the panel did not know your name, age, race or location; it was a tough and rigorous process, with those only the demonstrating the highest level of quality, leadership and positive impact to society were chosen.

These candidates got to attend an intense 5-day summit. Each year the summit had a different theme, which was influence by the prevailing sentiments with society or the local and global economic climates. Delegates got to teach and inspire each other and, most importantly, act together to come up with ideas and practically implementable solutions to help try to solve society’s issues. Delegates got to be inspired by established leaders, which in the past have included the like of the now-late Ahmed Kathrada, Advocate Thuli Madonsela, Michael Jordaan, Ketso Gordhan and many more.

The delegates participated in leadership development and lean start-up methodology up-skilling. Beyond the summit, delegates used those skills to improve their efforts to change the world. The culmination of the summit is a team challenge, in which the delegates apply their new skills as they work in teams to design practical solutions to social challenges in the form of sustainable initiatives or businesses with a social impact. With all the viable solutions, BYM would help connect them to the marketplace to develop there solution further.

Just providing some examples of the solutions BYM’ers (delegates) had designed, were solar powered technologies, worked on genetically modifying microscopic worms to disinfect water, innovative technologies, successfully lobbied for policy systems to support entrepreneurship, launched their own radio stations and designed revolutionary township schools.

After the summit, delegates officially become part of the BYM network and became “BYM Alumni” who have access to things like intra-network mentorship, leadership development, networking, meet-ups and webinars and in some instances access to funding and business support. Alumni can also volunteer to assist the BYM Board in the execution of operational activities.

Past summits were held in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Sandton. Some of the JSE listed companies, just naming a few, have sponsored BYM: Anglo American, MTN, Barclays, Absa. If you are interest in becoming a volunteer or “BYM Associate”, partnering with BYM or sponsoring the organisation, please contact us on info@bym.co.za or use the ‘Contact Us’ form on the site. Please also reach out to us, if there is any content that you have from a past summit that you attended, that you would like showcased on this site.

Some key quotes from past delegates:

“It helped me understand what the market was looking for in young professionals.”

“I was able to discern another individual’s method of thinking or logic, without imposing my own. It’s helped manage people / staff, think creatively, be solutions oriented & resolve conflict.”

“Great networking experience that led to direct career growth and also attractive funding opportunity for our NGO.”

“A professional & social network as well as reputable companies and individuals that I have since used at my work place.”

“I made a lot of connections and expanded my network within Africa which has helped me in my career and personal growth.”

Some Past Speakers SPEAKERS

Thuli Madonsela is a South African advocate and the Public Protector of South Africa. Advocate Madonsela. She received unanimous support from the multi-party assembly after being appointed by President Jacob Zuma in 2009. Advocate Madonsela is especially well known for her investigation into the public spending on President Zuma’s private homestead in Nkandla.

When Siyabulela Xuza was a young child, he almost set his mother’s kitchen on fire while experimenting with homemade rocket fuel. To date, he has garnered worldwide acclaim for that same rocket fuel, has presented in front of dignitaries such as Steve Wozniak and Michelle Obama, met the King of Sweden and attended a Nobel Prize ceremony. Oh, and he has a minor planet named after him at age 25. His thesis at Harvard centered on creating a storage platform based on micro fuel cells and based on this he is currently developing a sustainable model for energy storage based on micro fuel cells in South Africa.

Ketso is committed to addressing inequality through business. Among other things, he voluntarily took a ZAR 1 million pay cut and convinced his top 60 managers to take pay freezes in order to be able to decrease inequality within his firm. Prior to serving as the CEO of PPC Cement, Ketso was the Executive Director of Private Equity at FirstRand Limited. His most recent role was as an Advisor to the Minister in the Presidency, responsible for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation.

Jonathan is a young entrepreneur and property developer best known for his development of the Maboneng Precinct in downtown Johannesburg. In 2009, he bought and redeveloped the building known as Arts on Main. The area has subsequently grown to cover 5 developments. Liebmann recently returned from the World Economic Forum in Addis Ababa, where he represented Johannesburg and Maboneng on a global stage. He has also received a Halala Award in 2009 for Play Joburg and again in 2012 for Working and Buying Joburg.

Awethu was conceived by Yusuf Randera-Rees while at Oxford University and has been operating for the past five years. It aims to become the world’s best business partner to talented entrepreneurs from under-resourced communities, and has been recognised as one of the world’s most innovative social enterprises. Awethu has already created over 350 jobs, lists Archbishop Desmond Tutu as its Patron, and is now scaling rapidly with significant support from the South African Government.

Yusuf attended Oxford as a South African Rhodes Scholar, and before that worked in a volatility trading group at Credit Suisse in New York and Zurich. He grew up in Johannesburg before getting his AB (Honors) in Economics from Harvard University. That said, he’s a passionate South African who grew up in Joburg and has barely left Braamfontein for the past five years! For more information on his project, visit www.awethuproject.co.za.

As a trained Clinical Psychologist, Mardia is an expert at crafting company culture. After beginning her career in London, Mardia moved back to South Africa and helped develop the HR function for both M-Net and ‘Mutlichoice.’ She then moved to T-Systems in 1998, helping to build the company from 210 to 934 employees by 2001. In 2005 Mardia was appointed CEO of T-Systems SA and then Managing Director a year later. By 2010, she lead T-Systems SA to become the largest ICT Outsourcer in SA, with over 2700 employees. Mardia has been recognised as Nedbank Business Woman of the Year, the IT Web ICT Personality of the Year and as a recipient of the SITA ICT Legend Award for her contribution to ICT Development.

Arnold is an accomplished Chemical and Materials Engineer, holding his PhD in Engineering from the University of Cape Town. He has held various leading positions in the R&D Sector and even applied his innovative thinking to the transport industry. He was the Vice-President of Stellenbosch University until March 2012 when he started his position as Rector of TU Chemnitz in Germany. He serves as a Member of the Academy of Science South Africa and is a past Member of the National Advisory Council on Innovation. Arnold is also a BYM Advisor. He currently holds 58 patents.

Neil Jacobsohn, Senior Partner of FutureWorld International, is a life-long communicator with a passion for the future. He has been an award-winning journalist, a digital entrepreneur, a company director and professional marketer. Unusually, he combined entrepreneurship with corporate success. He has served as chairman, executive director on a number of listed and unlisted company Boards. A former Managing Editor of Business Day, Chairman and CEO of Johnnic Digital and Group Marketing Director of Johnnic Communications, Neil is a founding member of the FutureWorld Network. He’s an energetic and entertaining speaker, strategist and facilitator, who presents for corporates and learning institutions around the world, including the London Business School, Oxford’s SAID Business School and Duke Corporate Education.

Alayne graduated from the University of Cape Town and began her early career as a teacher and diplomat. She served in South African missions in New York, Washington DC and London. She also spent two years as the spokesperson for the trilateral negotiation effort that led to Namibia’s independence. She completed an MA in communication theory is the United States, and worked in the dot com boom in Seattle for two years before joining the Microsoft Corporation. For the next six years she was the executive producer for Bill Gates’ enterprise summit and customer interaction round-tables. In 2009 she returned to South Africa to set up her own consultancy in executive search and development and joined the World Design Capital team in January 2013. Alayne has been a BYM advisor since 2009.

The now late Ahmed Mohamed Kathrada (21 August 1929 – 28 March 2017), sometimes known by the nickname “Kathy”, was a South African politician and anti-apartheid activist. Kathrada’s involvement in the anti-apartheid activities of the African National Congress (ANC) led him to his long-term imprisonment following the Rivonia Trial, in which he was held at Robben Island and Pollsmoor Prison. Following his release in 1990, he was elected to serve as a member of parliament, representing the ANC. He authored a book, No Bread for Mandela – Memoirs of Ahmed Kathrada, Prisoner No. 468/64.

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