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The imperative for human-centered leadership in South Africa

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Jenna Delport
Jenna Delport
I’m a tech writer, world traveller, avocado-eater and dog lover, not always in that order.

Duke Corporate Education (Duke CE) will host its annual Davos of Human Capital 2019 event on 11 July in Johannesburg, South Africa. The event will explore how we can shape the interaction between humanity and technology to build leadership for a better world. 

More than 500 senior leaders and HR professionals from across Africa will engage in this high-impact, one-day conference with the goal of defining the future for business in an era of artificial intelligence (AI) and digital disruption.

 “Many jobs and sectors will cease to exist – no industry or organisation is immune,” says Sharmla Chetty, Duke CE’s President for Global Markets. “New and unimaginable opportunities will arise. This brings with it a fear of change, particularly in a country with high unemployment and challenges within our education system.” 

Chetty adds, “It is incumbent upon us as humans to proactively explore how we should be adapting so all stakeholders can benefit in the midst of this disruption. This is why we decided to use our annual Davos of Human Capital event to hear from leading minds and learn how we can transform and thrive in the digital era.”

This year’s event will also feature an exciting keynote address from Sophia the Robot, the world’s first humanoid robot, and her creator David Hanson, PhD of Hanson Robotics. Sophia is Hanson Robotics’ most advanced human-like robot, created by combining breakthrough innovations in robotics, AI and artistry. 

Sophia the Robot, the world’s first humanoid robot, and her creator David Hanson, PhD of Hanson Robotics.

“Sophia was created to be a research platform for ongoing AI and robotics research. We invited Sophia and Dr. Hanson to address this important issue of digital disruption facing our country. Sophia will provoke us to think and talk about how we step over the threshold and start better understanding AI and machine learning,” says Chetty.

The Davos of Human Capital 2019 will also feature sessions with leading experts on digital disruption and technology. It is an immersive conference experience including exposure to new technologies and fresh ideas, practical tips and takeaways for shaping the future of business.

Delegates will also have a once in a lifetime opportunity to take a selfie with Sophia. Duke CE is asking each delegate to bring a children’s book to be donated to the Rally to Read Foundation. Once a book has been added to a growing book tower, the delegate is able to take a selfie with Sophia.

In addition, Duke CE launched Million Young Minds, in partnership with the Thabo Mbeki Foundation, Nedbank, MTN and Hanson Robotics. Through a Facebook Live stream, the goal is to engage one million youth in South Africa around a dialogue about the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the possibilities of technology shaping the future of the country. 

For more information about Million Young Minds, visit

For more information about the entire event, visit

Edited by Jenna Cook

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