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2013 South African Summit Recap

November 22, 2013

sa_summit_logo_cg_2013The Golden Key 2013 South African Summit was all about: Lead – Inspire – Grow. More than 200 Golden Key members, chapter officers and chapter advisors, nationally and internationally, attended this event at The River Club Conference Centre in Cape Town over the two days, 20 and 21 September. Delegates had the opportunity to network and listen to incredible speakers, attend workshops, engage with corporate representatives and enjoyed an enriching personal experience.

It was an honour and a privilege to have Brad Rainey, Executive Director of Golden Key HQ, and Dr. Derek Swemmer, Chairman of the Golden Key Board of Directors, present at the conference. Golden Key celebrated 13 years of existence in South Africa. The South African staff under the leadership of Charlene Gunter, Director, along with her team, Stephan Gericke, Chapter Relations Officer, and Natasha Maharaj, Membership Services Coordinator, are pleased with the Summit and wish every delegate all the best with their future endeavours.

arrival1The first day of the conference started with the official welcoming to the conference. The key note speakers on day 1 were Marlene le Roux, a Director at Artscape, who shared her life history as women’s activist during the Apartheid history and her personal struggle with polio. Later, Travis Gale, Director of Appletree, spoke about his personal life experiences and how to equip yourself with personal motivation and drive to succeed in life. He peddled over 16500km’s through 4 continents to raise R1.7 million for children living with HIV/Aids in KwaZulu-Natal in 2000 and how he survived the tsunami in 2004.

speakersDay 2 involved key note addresses from Prof. Charl Cilliers, Director: Centre for Student Counselling and Development at the University of Stellenbosch, who had every individual on their toes with his inspirational message of Essential skills to flourish in life. And lastly, Cathy Sims, founding member and Executive Director of SAGRA (the South African Graduate Recruiters Association), shared her wisdom on graduate recruitment and development based on her extensive Talent Management history. All of our speakers were incredible!

The following workshops were presented by guests and delegates over the two days:
• Managing and engaging chapter members at a distance – Colt Tallent, George Ureke and Amanda Wilson
• Using knowledge processes to Lead-Inspire-Grow organizations: practical applications of theory – Melissa Altimirano, Janis Davis, Joshua Moore and Debbie White
• Intercultural competence: It’s significance in the globalized world – Tariro Anifasi and Tafadzwa Kachara
• Dialogue as a conversational and leadership tool for social change – Mbavhalelo Sundani
• Tverpia: exploring cultures – Dr. Derek Swemmer
• Life in, out and after varsity – Sisi Kubheka, Tatiana Latilla and Katie Mathebula
• Networking and Mentorship – Daniel Bumblauskas
• 10 Steps to Career Success – Beverley Hancock
• Considering Social Entrepreneurship – Dr Sanele Poswa
• Starting in Canada – Making a global impact with service projects – Derek Zhang and Phyllis Tang
• Social Entrepreneurship: Leadership for social change in the 21st century – Nyarai Chirinda
• The fear of the youth to start investigating – Mbavhalelo Sundani and Billy Tshanjane
• The psychology of civic engagement and pro-social behavior – Prof Christopher Walther

workshops         workshops2

EXPOProfessional development in the form of a Career Expo along with a networking lunch was held with the following representative: Oasis Group Holdings, Bain & Company, Exxaro, TeachMe2, Standard Chartered, PWC, Human Alliance and Rotman School of Management.

To support the Service pillar of Golden Key , a service Initiative in co-operation with the Western Cape Golden Key chapters (University of the Western Cape, University of Cape Town and University of Stellenbosch) partnered with Nooitgedacht Primary School. We made 800 stationary bags filled with a ruler, pencils, a pen and highlights and 300 colour-in books along with crayons and educational posters. The Principal, Mr Carolissen, attended the service project and handing over.

An Awards Gala Great Gatsby Themed Dinner concluded the Summit in style! We recognised all our active and hard-working, committed chapters, announced the Chapter Standards and awarded special Recognition Awards to those chapters who go far beyond their goals. The slogan was: “Great Role models Engage Actively Together. Great Actions Transform Success Beyond Yourself.”

gatsbydinner2 gatsbydinner3 gatsbydinner4

It was truly a wonderful experience and many new friendships and connections were made. You can find even more photos on the Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/gkSAsummit2013.

Not only did members from South Africa attend, but there was also an international presence as members from North America and the Asia-Pacific region attended. Amanda Wilson, the American Public University GK Chapter Advisor, traveled with two student officers to attend and present. Amanda described her favorite part of the Summit:

“I was attending a presentation about social change. After just having toured the country-side, driving through the townships and experiencing the magic of South African culture, I sat watching the future leaders (i.e., the top 15% of students in the country) devise plans to enact change that included integrating service into their communities to make a difference; teaching people to advocate for the value of education; and brainstorming ways to utilize their natural resources in a responsible and efficient way as a country. The passion of the presenters, the activity in the audience, and the overall synergy of everyone at the Golden Key conference was absolutely beautiful and inspiring! They believe, like Nelson Mandela said, that education could change the world, and that’s what was happening, right before my very eyes.”

Read more about Amanda’s journey here.

Nearly 20 Golden Key members were awarded $2,000 each to attend with our South Africa Conference Travel Grants. Check back on the blog tomorrow and throughout the week for highlights on some of the travel grant winners’ experiences!

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