Southern Africa's leading human capital forum

25-26 October 2017, Johannesburg, Radisson Blu Hotel Sandton

Southern Africa's talent can unlock doors for business and for the wider economy. Multiple key stakeholders join with business and HR leaders together at the Talent Agenda Series Southern Africa HR Conference to map the human capital landscape, discovering and discussing the key trends, developments and challenges. Join up to 200 senior HR and business leaders to discuss of-the-moment issues in a variety of engaging, interactive sessions, delivered by speakers you need to hear from, representing business, suppliers, thought leaders and more.

The conference was excellent. Incomparable.
— Africa VP of HR, Schneider Electric

Southern Africa Human Capital Conference speakers


The conference addresses the current trends and challenges, best practices, cultural implications and future human capital needs determined by our steering committee of experienced regional HR experts in Southern Africa. Themes and sessions will include employee engagement, leadership development, compensation and benefits, employer branding, training and development, recruitment and workplace design. A handful of our sessions and themes are featured opposite, but for the full and frequently updated agenda, please see the link below.


The Talent Agenda Series Southern Africa HR Conference is a key gathering for HR leaders and other progressive business executives who put human capital at the heart of their approach. The attendees will include 200 senior HR and business leaders, including Chief Human Resources Officers (CHRO), Heads of Human Capital, CEOs, HR Directors, Managing Directors, General Managers, Talent Managers, Country Managers, Employer Brand Managers, Heads of Talent Attraction, Corporate Communications Heads and a variety of other related roles. 

Seeing CEOs and HRDs collaborate at these events shows HR accorded the right strategic input and importance.
— HRD, Sparkwest Steel Industries


The 2016 Talent Agenda Series Southern Africa HR Conference brought together some of the region's key human capital thinkers. A variety of interactive formats showcased themes including EVP and leadership development, with a CEO panel featuring several high-profile leaders from across the region a particular highlight.

Great event! Content rich and current to develop my regional HR team.
— HRD, Aggreko International Projects



Speakers at the talent agenda series Southern Africa Conference have included:


Call for Papers: Talent Agenda Series Southern Africa Conference 2017

Ready to lead the talent agenda in Southern Africa?

The Talent Agenda Series HR Conference in Johannesburg is focused on key issues in talent across Africa, delivered by thought leaders and the most experienced practitioners. Benchmark and share high level human capital knowledge with peers in multi-speaker panel discussions, case study experiences, high-level keynote addresses, and interactive and practical small group workshops.

Address the most pressing strategic, practical and operational issues surrounding human capital management including: capacity development, leadership development; optimising recruitment strategies; candidate motivations & EVP; change management; driving diversity; performance management; talent development and business innovation.



Winning at Talent: Mastering Disruptive Trends in Southern Africa

Day 1 

Morning Session


Futurist’s Keynote Address­­­

New World Order: Global Trends, Regional Drivers & Disruptors of Tomorrow

Evaluate the socio-political challenges, digital and technological developments, demographic shifts and economic constraints that are driving the upheaval traditional business models across the globe. Assess the impact this will have on Southern African markets and the risks and opportunities you need to anticipate in order to stay ahead of the curve.


Keynote Capacity Development Review

Promoting Trade, Economic Transformation & Regional Integration: The Roadmap to Southern African Success  

Explore the role of key trade and development stakeholders in innovating and promoting trade, economic transformation and regional integration. Consider the macro-drivers impacting businesses across infrastructure, manufacturing, industry, agribusiness in the region, and how financial investment and advances in sustainability and good corporate governance will boost industry and infrastructure to promote the required growth in the Southern Africa region, and across the continent.


Interactive Panel Discussion

Investing in Southern Africa: Unlocking the Potential of the Region’s People, Organisations & Industries

Moderator: Christopher Gilmour, Chairman, The Investment Analysts Society of South Africa

Panellists: Portia Thokoane, Head of HR Africa, Eaton Corporation 

Henk Mulder, Managing Director & CEO, Zanaco

Matt Higgins, Director, Venturemates Africa

Candice Watson, Area Head of Talent, British American Tobacco South Africa 


Careers in Africa Insight

Employer Value Propositions

Alex Mugan, Managing Director, Global Career Company


Southern African Employee Insights

Attracting, Engaging, & Retaining Talent: Sustainable Employee Engagement as a Tool to Improve Business Performance

Review the results of advanced analytics and exclusive evidence based research to explore ways of creating and leveraging an employer value proposition (EVP) that attracts, engages and retains the right talent pool for your business. Examine the practical steps you can take to build a superior employment deal, implement necessary change, and shape a high-performance culture that produces an engaged workforce, equipped to achieve your business objectives and deliver measurable results.


Networking Break Plus Speedy Networking

Take 20 minutes of your day to ensure you pick up with the contact details of those who can help you solve your human capital challenges. This fast paced session puts you face-to-face with practitioners, speakers and solution providers and ensures that you leave with key business card that help you to expand your network to share and receive best practice. Don’t forget your business cards.

Portia Thokoane, Head of HR Africa, Eaton Corporation

Blair Mackenzie, Head: Human Resources, sub-Saharan Africa, Ericsson Sub-Saharan Africa


Executive Industry Comment & Response

Surviving & Thriving in the New Era of Business: Adapting to the Rise of Millennials, Digitization & the Gig Economy  

What is keeping your executive board up at night? Hear what leading executives view as the game changers to their industry, and where the business needs to innovate and quickly adapt or risk becoming obsolete. Gain candid, high-level insight into how businesses can prepare themselves to anticipate the unforeseen, and how human capital can be leveraged as a tool to exploit golden growth opportunities. 


Interactive Panel Discussion 

Redefining the Talent Management Frontier for a Multi-Generational Workforce 

How will the talent mix of Millennials, Gen X and Babyboomers transform the workplace and traditional ways of working? What are the tools and systems you need to manage the potentially incompatible perspectives, differing needs and conflicting expectations of the different generations? How can you prepare your leaders to avoid stereotyping and unconscious bias and get the most from your teams? Evaluate talent management for fostering a culture of innovation throughout, creating collaborative, effective and motivated employees and inspiring the results your business needs.

Moderator: Elizabeth Warren, Partner, Change Partners

Panellists: Taryn Marcus, Group Executive: Organisation Effectiveness, Imperial Holdings

Precious Murena, HR Director, Zimbabwe, Lafarge

Alicia Retief, PV, SSA Resourcing Partner, CITI


Afternoon Session

Quick Fire Case Studies

Capacity Building - Nurturing Customer Service Skills By Reaching The Unreachable

Moderator: Geoff Jacobs, Chairman of the Board, Dinaledi Educational Coaching

NANDOS: Proven techniques to reach the unreachable

WOOLWORTHS: Learning & development strategies from an iconic & inspiring brand

SMOLLEN: Smart phones pilot - communicating with previously unreachable staff - Top 10 lessons learned

VIRGIN ACTIVE: Building commerce partnerships for good customer relationship management


Followed by an Interactive Open Discussion:

How collaboration can benefit all. Issues arising from low standards of educational achievement from school leavers affects many different industry sectors in the same way - hospitality, retail, mining - these all have the same challenges when it comes to literacy levels and educational standards of staff presenting themselves into the workplace. There's a compelling argument for collaboration. How can the literacy gap be bridged? Do corporations have a responsibility to develop a minimum standard of literacy? Where are the opportunities?


Digital Analytics: Turning Digital Transformation into a Competitive Advantage

Hear the latest thinking in ways of embracing and embedding digital technology platforms to improve HR processes. Understand how metrics from HR analytics can be used to benchmark performance, add value to day-to-day work and demonstrate ROI. Evaluate ways of upgrading skills to take a futuristic and predictive approach to HR analytics that contributes to data management, sourcing, learning, business planning and growth. 


Networking Break


Interactive Panel Discussion

Blending Local, Diaspora & Expatriate Talent Pools: Achieving a Melting Pot of Success

Moderator: Chris Wilson, Group Human Resources Officer, Safal Group

Panellists: Blair Mackenzie, Head: Human Resources, sub-Saharan Africa, Ericsson Sub-Saharan Africa

Tswelo Kodisang, Chief HR Officer, Tiger Brands


Champagne Roundtable Discussions

Select a topic of your choice and join in an expert-led small, interactive group discussion with your peers over a glass of Champagne.

•    Employee Engagement
•    Talent Management
•    Leadership Development
•    Digital HR Analytics
•    Recruitment Strategies

Tobias Becker, Senior Vice President; Head of Africa Program, ABB LTD

Chair’s Remarks & Close of Day 1


Networking Drinks Reception

Meet and network with senior HR and business leaders from across the region. Reconnect with old friends and make new contacts whilst you digest the takeaways of the day over a drink in a relaxed environment.


Day 2 

Morning Session


Breakfast Briefing

Elevating Women in Business

Join like-minded peers and share breakfast, experiences and strategies for raising the position of women across all sectors of Southern African industries.  

Open to male and female advocates of diversity, and chaired by a panel of recognised thought leaders in the field, the discussion is dedicated to sharing, developing and disseminating human capital strategies that contribute to the necessary movement towards change for women in business. 

Make the most of this informal and invaluable opportunity to network, challenge your way of thinking and be part of a unique human capital focused community that continues long after the conference. 

Panellists: Brighton Mwiinga, Head of Human Resources, Prudential Life Assurance Zambia


Welcome & Summary of Day 1

Interactive Panel Discussion

Creating, Communicating & Leveraging a Strong Employer Brand: Harmonising HR, Marketing & The Business

How can you build an employer brand that attract the right talent, reflects your organisation’s culture and shapes conduct and behaviour within the organisation? Consider which stakeholders should be involved in making the change happen, and how best to create a harmonised, multi-functional approach to convey and embed the message of the brand. Evaluate creative and innovative ways for incorporating social media in your sourcing and recruitment campaigns that manages your EVP to appeal to both local and ex-patriate talent pools. Explore the best strategies to stay ahead of competitors from within, and outside of, your sector and build a brand that considers your staff as a customer and presents you as an employer of choice.

Moderator: Omar Ben Yedder, Group Publisher and Managing Director, IC Publications  

Panellists: Nick Hales, Global CEO, Savanna Tobacco


Interactive Panel Discussion

Change Management, Change Agents & Changing Company Culture: Shifts Towards Innovation & Improvement


Interactive Panel Discussion

Leadership Development: Successfully Identifying, Shaping & Retaining Leaders of the Future

What are the competencies and qualities are required to drive businesses in the new working world? Examine how the different ways in which a future leader is defined and consider whose role it is to recognise, reward and retain high potentials. Address the role of data and analytics in building a successful leadership programme.

Moderator: Elizabeth Warren, Partner, Change Partners

Panellists: Tobias Becker, Senior Vice President; Head of Africa Program, ABB LTD  

Joan Peters, Leadership Development Manager, Volkswagen

Elanie Kruger, Regional Human Resource Director, G4S Africa


Keynote Address

Coffee Break

Extended Interactive Workshops

Extended Interactive Workshop 1

Business Critical Talent Management

Break out into smaller groups led by subject matter experts and filled with invaluable data and practical exercises. 

An opportunity to dig deeper into your topic of interest and collaborate with like-minded peers. Work together to develop key practical and strategic solutions that can be applied in your business

Extended Interactive Workshop 2

Digital HR

Break out into smaller groups led by subject matter experts and filled with invaluable data and practical exercises. 

An opportunity to dig deeper into your topic of interest and collaborate with like-minded peers. Work together to develop key practical and strategic solutions that can be applied in your business.

Extended Interactive Workshop 3

Workplace Culture

Break out into smaller groups led by subject matter experts and filled with invaluable data and practical exercises. 

An opportunity to dig deeper into your topic of interest and collaborate with like-minded peers. Work together to develop key practical and strategic solutions that can be applied in your business.

HR Leaders of the Future

Day 1


Chairman’s Welcome & Introduction

90 Minute MBA

Future HR Leaders: General Business Managers with a Human Specialisation

Designed to provide a pan-regional and international outlook of the skills and knowledge needed to define your career, overcome potential hurdles and reach the top level of the HR function and the business. 

Prepare yourself to undertake a key big-picture strategic role by broadening your thinking on the totality of business and your relationships between key functions including: 

  • Accounting 

  • Management 

  • Finance 

  • Marketing 

  • Operations 

  • Legal  

Explore how to develop and demonstrate your knowledge of your business’ objectives and how to align the HR function to achieve these. Explore how to discuss and deliver HR metrics in a way that informs the business and positions you as a professional taking steps towards an authoritative seat at the board level.


Networking Break


C-Level Q&A 

Future HR Leaders: Exceeding the Executives’ Expectations

This interactive question and discussion session gives you first-hand exposure into the board’s view of HR and what you need to know, and do, to set yourself apart.  

Benefit from lessons learnt and gain the high-level vantage point of experienced C-Suite executives on the skills they value at the top level of their organisations. Use this to determine how to focus your self-development from a functional level, and what you can do now to clear the pathway to future advancement.


A Guide to Building Your Personal Brand  

Future HR Leaders: Effective Communicators & Influential Decision Makers

To succeed as an HR leader requires the successful management of a host of stakeholders across a range geographies, nationalities and reporting lines as well as effective collaboration with peers from many different functions. 

This session focuses on preparing you for business leadership by building your personal brand and selling yourself as such. Consider the communication styles that work with different individual and company types. Discover the brand building strategies you can adopt to shape the organisation and market’s view of you as a credible, influential and effective future business leader.


Open Discussion

Discussion takes place throughout the workshop but take this opportunity to raise questions on any other professional issues. Take advantage of your Chairman’s vast experience, and the different experiences of your peers from other industries, sectors and company types.

Closing Remarks & Close of Workshop



Raise Your Profile as an Event Partner

Do you want to meet decision makers, increase your brand presence or promote your product, solution or expertise to the senior Southern African HR community?

The Talent Agenda Series HR conference brings together Southern Africa's senior HR professionals, business leaders and C-Suite from the leading organisations spanning the whole spectrum of the region’s industries.

 Become a Talent Agenda Series event partner and take advantage of a bespoke package tailored to meet your precise criteria and business objectives. Below are just some of the ways you can increase your profile and network with new business partners. To find out more get in touch here




The Talent Agenda Series Southern Africa Conference 2016

In November 2016 over 200 HR and business leaders gathered for the second annual Talent Agenda Series Conference based in Johannesburg. This conference was a great success focusing on HR hot topics such as change management, HR confidentiality and developing future leaders. The final day ended with a choice between two beneficial workshops: The Future of Work Implications for HR, run by KPMG and Compensation & Reward, run by Willis Towers Watson.

The Talent Agenda Series Southern Africa Conference 2015

November 2015 saw the gathering in Johannesburg, South Africa, of 200 HR and business leaders to lead the talent agenda, across a series of events including a HR Conference, Employer of Choice Awards and Recruitment Summit. To discover more about the sessions and speakers, or to download the programme, please scroll to the bottom of this page.

Johannesburg 2015 Session Highlights and Downloads