Dr Francois Bonnci
Founding Director of The Bertha Centre for Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business
“As a doctor who has worked in many settings, seeing people of many nations, I try to keep the reality of what I do with my education and privilege for top of mind. I believe we have all the resources, intellect and capacity to shape our world to be more just and sustainable, but we need to be creative about how we organize ourselves, and share a purpose of what we want to create in society. Originally trained as a physician in South Africa, I also read for a Masters degree in Public Health (University of London) and a MBA (University of Oxford) as a Rhodes Scholar. I have worked in paediatric clinical medicine, in humanitarian and development programmes. As a Global Leadership Fellow of the World Economic Forum, I worked on developing public-private partnerships and innovations for development, later heading up the Forum’s own foundation work in social entrepreneurship in Africa and the Middle East. Together with colleagues, I have established an award- winning social venture building low-cost medical devices for low-resource settings.”
Why do you want to be part of UCT Upstarts?
“Upstarts speaks directly to the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s desire to inspire and challenge individuals, organisations, and systems to question what is, reimagine what can be, and to get behind and deliver those solutions that have the potential to transform the world we live in. Transformative change requires us to breakdown paradigms, draw on different skill sets and work across disciplines hence we’re encouraging multi-disciplinay teams to create new solutions together.”
HOW DO YOU ‘IMAGINE A NEW AFRICA’?
“I grew up with a family legacy of five generations in Africa in numerous countries from North Africa to Southern Africa. A New Africa for me will be much richer and successful if we reduce the obstacles of national or ethnic identities, reduce our individual desires, share a regional agenda, and rely on our own people to achieve great things. We don't necessarily need to "develop" along a linear model of the 20th century economic development, but we have the opportunity to "evolve" along a different path using community spirit (ubuntu), technology, and governance in the citizens' interest .”