Social Innovation in South Africa: a dialogue between Francis Petersen & Francois Bonnici

Whether in mega cities or rural communities, people all over the world have demonstrated their power to make lasting change. All over the world, people are coming together to address societal challenges and innovate together to advance the needs of their own communities. It is the resilience, strength and collective power of citizens, who best understand their communities, that make places thrive. 

Nowhere is this more true than in South Africa. Throughout its complex history, people have come together to make change happen. With elections looming and a growing population of young people, this is a pivotal moment, especially for the next generation. 

In this conversation, Vice-Chancellor Francis Petersen from the University of the Free State and Francois Bonnici from the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship delves into the stories of South Africa’s past, present and future and discuss what it means for social innovation in South Africa and the continent. 

This conversation is being hosted in the lead up to our Global Social Innovation Indaba in South Africa in partnership with UFS in fall 2024. For more information about the event, please visit