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Leadership and Public Innovation

Activate! is a leadership and public innovation incubator that develops skills, builds opportunity and connects a network of young leaders from across South Africa over the next five years. The Activators! attend a three-year packed programme that blends intense residential input with a range of enriching practical experiences in their communities that stretch and challenge them. Activate! promotes public innovation through developing a network of 5,000 young leaders tackling South Africa’s toughest challenges.

Inspiring Action Activators! are catalysts for positive change and aspire to:

“It’s been a shift in my way of thinking. I introduced the washing line innovation to my colleagues.” Wandisa

Spark and drive innovation at local and national levels

Act as agents of change and role models in their communities

Expand access and create ladders of opportunity for other young people

Connect across divides to achieve more through combined efforts

Respond innovatively to challenges facing their communities

Participate effectively in policy development and debates at local and provincial government

Activate a further cohort of peers to tackle social challenges and risk tolerance

Equipping with Skills and Tools The programme provides skills that enable our Activators to:

“Convert thinking from an ‘if… then... ’ to a ‘ now… how...’ mindset.”

Think innovatively

Solve social problems

Create, fine tune and deploy projects and programmes that make a difference

Craft networks that leverage social capital

Assemble appropriate teams and manage teamwork effectively

Draw off the experience and knowledge of social entrepreneurs who have led the way

Gain practical experience in deploying projects and facing failure

Use appropriate internet tools and technologies to connect and communicate powerfully

Navigate and contribute to the socio-political environment

Results of the programme The result of the programme are dynamic youth with a positive vision who are determined, motivated, fired up and passionate and driven to get things done. The results of the Activators! activities on the ground and the positive impact that results within communities will be the measure of our success. A charged up network able to: think innovatively; manage projects; grow ideas into reality; manage teams; lead towards change ; tackle some of South Africa's many challenges and together turn ripples of (local) symptomatic change into waves of (national) systematic change; develop ladders of opportunity ; impact positively in communities across the country.

Year 1. An intensive modular residential programme that brings together youth activators across South Africa Broad themes of the programmes are:

Sphere 1 My identity: developing a strong sense of self and selfworth.

Sphere 2 Our identity: Forging a strong identity as a network of change makers.

Sphere 3 Mastering innovative thinking and project management tools.

Sphere 4 Socio-Political navigation: Exploring the socio-political environment.

Sphere 5 Deploying ripples and waves of innovative change, at local and national levels.

Years 2 and 3. Graduate Programme The year 2 graduate programme connects activators to inspirational thinkers and doers – people willing to share their profound political, social and innovative insight and experience and knowledge with a new generation of change agents. All graduates of year one will be invited to participate in a series of activities events and opportunities in a second and third year programme that includes:

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Seminar Series Speakers Programme Connection to precedent setting opportunities for further growth and development Mini-course Programme

“Lots of connecting, networks and exchanging of ideas with other activators. I have also been better at looking after myself.” Jusaida

Special features Activate! Annual Innovation Showcase: Activators come together at the end of the year to celebrate, share their experience, grow connections, graduate and most importantly, share project ideas . Activate! Intranet System: keeping Activators connected to each other using customized applications and technologies. Activate! Personal Profile Section: a place for Activators to upload, update and share their information and their work .

Activate! Opportunities Resource Bank A one-stop connection to useful resources that includes links to study opportunities, career opportunities, reading and other reference material. The site will include not only contact details but info sheets on each resource describing what their process of selection looks like. We anticipate that Activators will actively add to and grow this resource.

Selecting Activators Activate! looks for driven young change-makers who are keen to take on the challenge of transforming the communities and South Africa as a whole – active community leaders who wish to define and map out their own future in a way that has a positive and lasting impact. In order to qualify to be a part of the Activate! Programme, participants need to be South African citizens, between the ages of 20 and 30 who can clearly demonstrate their commitment to tackling big issues, passion to problem-solve, and potential to lead.

Applications can be made online at

WESTERN CAPE TEAM Injairu Kulundu Activate! Leadership and Public Innovation Head Office: Unit C3B Westlake Square, Westlake Drive, Tokai 7945, Cape Town T: 087 820 4873 M: 072 904 0473 F: 0866 915 657 KZN TEAM Mdu Manci Activate! Leadership and Public Innovation KZN Office: Office D24, 3rd Floor, 1 Victoria Embankment, Durban, 4001 T: 087 820 4875 M: 082 704 4244 F: 0866 915 657 GAUTENG TEAM Terence Modiba Activate! Leadership and Public Innovation Gauteng Office: Office 114, Royal Place, Corner of Kerk and Eloff Streets, Johannesburg 2001 T: 087 820 4874 M: 076 545 0040 F: 0866 915 657

Applications open on August 1st 2012 for the 2013 intake.

Activate Brochure  
Activate Brochure  

An overview of the Activate! Leadership Programme