Summit : Brightest Young Minds

By: Brightest Young Minds  11-11-2011




In the mean time, spread the word as this year’s summit promises to be: Active, Beneficial, Challenging, Developmental, Exhilarating, Fresh, Gratifying, Hope-giving, Inspirational, Jovial, Knowledge-expanding, Life-enriching, Motivating, Novel, Original, Paradigm-shifting, Quality, Refreshing, Stimulating, Thrilling, Uplifting, Valuable, Wonderful, x, Youthful and Zesty.

Brightest Young Minds is pleased to announce that we will be partnering with ‘The Chosen’, 2010 MTN Business Leading CEO Council. This is a unique annual event where South Africa’s top businessmen and women unite to discuss leadership issues and to mentor those who will succeed them.

The four-day Initiative features seminars, workshops and debates where 24 of today’s top leaders will help to mould 24 Protégés – those who are the leaders of tomorrow. The Protégés will be handpicked from the delegates who are chosen to attend this year’s Brightest Young Minds summit. The Protégés will gain invaluable exposure to those indefinable qualities that turn a good manager into a great leader. They will join debates about morality and ethics, honesty and compassion, and will network with the cream of business society in an invaluable step along their career paths.

Ranked by The Sunday Times as the top event on the business calendar for five consecutive years, the 2010 event is spearheaded by MTN Business as The Headline Partner, supported by further local and global Partner brands – such as Peotona, Badimo Gas, Pam Golding Properties, Hewlett-Packard, Jameson, The Hyatt Regency Oubaai, Heidrick & Struggles, MoneyWeb, GQ, Business Report, SuperSport International, Carte Blanche, Avis, Avis Chauffeur Drive, Clarins, Southern Right, Toast & Co – to mention just a few.

This is the only platform that allows future leaders to engage in constructive dialogue with the current leaders, and to forge invaluable relationships and associations.

Due to our partnership with ‘The Chosen’, 2010 MTN Business Leading CEO Council, the application deadline has now been extended to 22 July 2010!

‘The Chosen’, 2010 MTN Business Leading CEO Council is a unique annual event where South Africa’s top businessmen and women unite to discuss leadership issues and to mentor those who will succeed them. The four-day Initiative features seminars, workshops and debates where 24 of today’s top leaders will help to mould 24 Protégés – those who are the leaders of tomorrow. The Protégés will be handpicked from the delegates who are chosen to attend this year’s Brightest Young Minds summit.

The tenth annual Brightest Young Minds summit will be held from 7 – 11 September 2010 in Stellenbosch, Western Cape, and university students and recent graduates are encouraged to apply to attend.

The Brightest Young Minds organisation aims to channel the hearts and minds of young people into initiatives that can affect societal improvement and the annual summit is their flagship activity. One hundred delegates, representing the brilliance and diversity of our country, will be selected on criteria of innovation, leadership and academic accomplishments.

At the summit the 100 delegates will get the chance to interact with some of the top thinkers and most inspiring individuals in the country as well as have the opportunity to develop new ideas and innovative solutions to some of the challenges facing our society. The best of these ideas will be presented on the final day to a high-profile audience of business and public sector leaders.

Past alumni of the summit have included numerous Rhodes and Fulbright Scholars, thriving entrepreneurs and the founders of successful social initiatives. Ideas developed at the summit have been published in a book, been profiled in national media and lead to an award winning business idea.

According to Ralph Baumgarten, CEO of Brightest Young Minds, the theme for the 2010 summit is ‘2010: The Turning Point?’: “2010 is South Africa’s year. While the rest of the world has their eyes fixed on every single decision we make, the platform has been set for South Africa to enter the world stage. At the BYM Summit 2010, South Africa’s brightest young minds are sought, who’ll take initiative to tap into the extraordinary promise of South Africa’s entrance onto the world stage. It is up to our generation of young people to provide leadership that will remark 2010 as the turning point in our country.”

Applications for the summit are available on the BYM website ( and the closing date is 11 June. Successful applicants will be able to attend the summit free of charge.

The 2010 BYM summit presents a unique opportunity for anyone with a bright mind and passionate heart looking to do the exceptional.

The 2009 BYM Summit, held in Stellenbosch from 6 – 11 July, once again boasts with an impressive line-up of speakers.

The theme for this year’ summit is ‘Opportunity in Crisis’ and delegates will be briefed on the financial, socio-political and environmental crises facing society and then challenged to develop solutions and projects in response.

These are just some of this year’s contributors:

  • Mr Gordon Smith – Chief Investment Officer, RMB Asset Management
  • Mr Abdullah Verachia – Frontier Advisory
  • Mr Michiel le Roux – Chairman, Capitec Bank
  • Ms Judith February – IDASA
  • Prof. Crian Soudien – Deputy Vice Chancellor, UCT
  • Prof. Edgar Pieterse – Director, African Centre for Cities
  • Mr. Peter Willis – South African Director, Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership
  • Mr Stef Raubenheimer – CEO, South South North
  • Prof. Mark Swilling – Academic Director, Sustainability Institute
  • Dr. Ailsa Stewart-Smith – UCT Graduate School of Business
  • Mr. Martin Feinsten – Enablis

Over and above these contributors, representatives of the four main sponsors, Stellenbosch University, DBSA, Maconomy SA and Johnson & Johnson will also give presentations to the delegates.

For any information on this year’s summit, please contact Ralph Baumgarten on +27(0)82 882 3120

  • Dimension Data
  • Media 24
  • Lourensford Wines
  • Project Personera
  • FinWeek
  • Roodezandt Wines

She describes this generation as growing up amidst ‘unprecedented prosperity’ with access to ‘better, more rounded education’. Furthermore they are: ‘extreme[ly] technology savvy’, ‘very family orientated’, ‘demanding and outspoken employees’ with an ‘overdeveloped sense of entitlement’, they ’struggle to deal with failure or criticism’ and ‘flounder if left unmanaged or unsupervised’.

I’ll agree with the technology savvy.

The rest of the description might ring true for young people in the USA or some other homogenous, developed country, but it sounds a little off-tone for the vast majority of young South Africans.

One only needs to look at the tragic outcomes of our school system that fails the majority of its learners and the extremely high levels of unemployment among young people to see that this generation is not some privileged class.

It is also important to remember that the South African Generation Y has been growing up in times of major transition: a political transition with profound social impacts, accelerating urbanisation (lagging the rest of the world) and widening and deepening globalisation.

In my opinion, all these transitions present exciting opportunities, but they most definitely also bring new challenges. The SA Gen Y is the group that has to build a unified, non-racial society bridging the prejudices and mistrust of previous generations. They also have to develop and maintain their own cultures and customs while being integrated with and relevant in the global society. And while globalisation affords this generation with more opportunities, they need to more competitive and more adaptable as a consequence of international competition.

Don’t get me wrong – not for a moment do I wish to exchange the challenges faced by South African young people with those faced by their parents. But, we need to acknowledge that the environment and challenges are different and that this generation will inevitably do things in a different way. And they’ll have to, because much of what they inherit in terms of the economy, environment and global stability is not looking pretty.

So the real important question is: Will Generation Y, specifically in South Africa, falter or will they besides ‘gallingly emerging as a more powerful force in the workplace’, Wierzycka’s words, rise up to be a powerful force for good?

My bet is placed.

The experience will not be galling, but enlightening.

Other products and services from Brightest Young Minds


Events : Brightest Young Minds

Date: Friday 14 November 2008Venue: 27 Buitenkant St, Cape Town CBDTime: 16:30 for 17:00 til lateSpeaker: Edgar Pieterse, Director of the African Centre for CitiesCase Study: presented by Zayd Minty, CoordinatorCost: R100 (includes snacks, dinner & drinks)For info. You are warmly invited to join us for an inspiring “Playshop” on the theme of Social Entrepreneurship that will showcase local projects and remarkable individuals in the field.


General : Brightest Young Minds

The scene is thus set for what will undoubtedly be a week of intense discussion and debate; delegates will have the opportunity to engage themselves, their peers and the speakers in addressing some of the obstacles that our society faces today. To this end, we would like to encourage all our alumni to inform and motivate young and inspiring individuals to apply for the 2011 BYM Summit, applications of which are open now.


Project news : Brightest Young Minds

Recognised as an opportunity for fast-tracked access to funding, mentorship and global exposure, the competition focuses on technology and innovation in the fields of biotechnology, telecommunications and media, information and communication technology, ‘clean’ technology, healthcare and social entrepreneurship.