Innovations That Inspire


Recognition Year(s): 2017
School: Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria
Location: South Africa

 Innovation Statement

Nexus is a civic leadership program offered by GIBS for middle-to-senior managers who wish to amplify their influence by engaging in and across diverse South African communities, bridging cultural differences, creating learning dialogues, and driving societal impact.

Call to Action

Organizations in which individuals work are microcosms of society. The South African landscape is unique given its diversity, energy, and emotional underpinning—scared by a fractured past—yet characterized by a future full of opportunity. Critical to the success of the future of the country is improved understanding within South Africa and between South Africans. Organizations are crying out for leaders who not only understand the country’s past but, more importantly, have the competencies with which to lead South Africa into a successful future.

Through the implementation of these leadership competencies—underpinned by a holistic understanding of South Africa’s past, current composition, existing challenges and opportunities, and, most importantly, an understanding of their fellow men and women—young leaders have the opportunity to lead the country through their organizations.


Nexus is a personal, professional, and civic leadership program targeting middle-to-senior managers from corporate, social, and government sectors set on creating positive professional and societal impact. Candidates must demonstrate a willingness to engage in diverse South African communities and to learn dialogue processes for effective engagement. Delegates engage in the program for approximately one and a half days per month over a period of eight months.

The program combines experiential engagements, effective workplace communication technologies, and small group work sessions. A series of cumulative written assignments enables delegates to integrate their learnings into workplace-ready results.

Topics covered include:

  • Identity versus diversity
  • Effective use of dialogue in the workplace
  • Learning from South African history
  • Inner-city discovery experience
  • Weekend leadership retreat
  • Understanding the present
  • Creating new realities
  • Community engagement


The program deeply changes the lives of the participants. Because of the myriad experiences, the diversity of contact engagements, and the diversity of exposure throughout the program process, delegates have reported experiencing major shifts in both mindsets and behaviors.

The greatest and most notable impact is the personal development that the delegates undergo as a direct result of the program. Delegates describe obtaining a deeper sense of clarity in purpose and newfound confidence in their ability to succeed in life. Their success does not come from the accomplishment of commonly accepted material achievements but rather from the accurate alignment of their behavior with their central purpose. As a result of this alignment, delegates feel empowered to lead themselves, lead others within their organizations, and lead within their communities.

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