Keynotes

Mary Uhl-Bien

Mary Uhl-Bien is the BNSF Railway Endowed Professor of Leadership in the Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University (TCU). She is also a Fellow at the Lancaster Leadership Centre in Lancaster, England and has been a Visiting Scholar in Australia, Sweden, Portugal and Spain. Mary's research focuses on complexity leadership, relational leadership, and followership, and has appeared in such journals as Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Management, and The Leadership Quarterly. Her research has been funded with grants from organizations such as Booz Allen Hamilton, and she has conducted research in partnership with Lockheed Martin, Bank of America, Disney, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Stryker. Her work on complexity leadership theory and followership theory has been recognized with Best Paper awards. She is a founder of the Network of Leadership Scholars (NLS) in the Academy of Management, and served as Representative-at-Large and Division Chair for the Organizational Behavior (OB) Division in the Academy. She is active in executive education nationally and internationally, teaching for the Brookings Institute, the Gallup Organization, and universities in the U.S., Canada, Australia and Europe.






Johan van Zyl

Johan van Zyl is CEO of both African Rainbow Capital, a start-up investment business focusing on the financial sector, as well as its parent company, the black-owned and controlled Ubuntu-Botho Limited. Previously, he was the Group CEO of Sanlam (2003 to 2015), and Santam (2001 to 2003). He presently sits on the boards of a number of listed companies, both locally and internationally, including Sanlam Limited (as chairman) and Steinhoff International.

He originally trained as an agricultural economist and holds two doctorates, one in economics and one in agricultural economics. He started his career teaching agricultural economics at the University of Pretoria, ending up as Dean of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. He subsequently spent two years at the World Bank as coordinator of Rural Development. In 1996, he became Vice-chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria, where-after he entered the private sector in 2001.

He is a recipient of several management awards and other accolades, including being named one of SA's Top Leading Managers by the Corporate Research Foundation/Business Report; Cape Times/KPMG Personality of the Year Award; the MS Louw Award received from the AHI; Media24/Die Burger Business Leader of the Year; the Sunday Times Business Leader of the Year, the FAK Award for Exceptional Leadership and the AABLA Business Leader of the Year (Southern Africa).

He has a keen interest in economic development, and has published widely on rural development and agriculture. He is the author of more than 300 academic journal articles and several books.





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