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Leading with Heart

Feeling is our superpower; yet so many institutions expect people to check their emotions at the door.

TEDxCapeTownSalon 2019: Leading with Heart explores the role that empathy, compassion and other emotions play in driving sustainable solutions that impact human beings. We challenge the belief that the heart has no place in business and instead, turn to the doers themselves, to find out more creative ways to enhance the quality of human life. 


David Parry-Davies: After a successful corporate career, this writer, speaker, host of The Eco-Logic Awards and editor of The Enviropaedia publication turned to his ‘heart's-calling’ in 1997. David is extremely passionate about raising public understanding of current environmental challenges; empowering individuals and businesses to adopt more sustainable practices; and encouraging people to re-evaluate their own role and responsibility towards Natures community of life on Earth.


Giancarlo Beukes is a mechanical and biomedical engineer, inventor, entrepreneur and co-founder of a multi award-winning medical devices start-up called Impulse Biomedical. Along with his business partner and fellow TEDx speaker, Gokul Nair, the vision that led to founding Impulse Biomedical was to develop affordable healthcare technologies for developing and emerging markets, with the aim of ensuring accessibility for all to necessary life-saving technologies. 


Gokul Nair is a co-founder of Impulse Biomedical, a start-up company spun out from the Medical Devices lab at the University of Cape Town, which commercialises affordable healthcare technologies for the developing world.

When we asked what gets him out of bed in the morning, his response was “Healthcare and its accessibility.” Nair adds that, “Healthcare is a core human right, and after reading and trying to grapple with the historic, political and economic nuances of why people cannot access basic healthcare (especially on our continent) I have had a passion for trying to rectify some of that.”


Ruth Hall, a Professor at the Institute of Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies at the University of the Western Cape, is an accomplished academic whose research on land and agrarian reform in South Africa spans 23 years. Passionate about social justice, Ruth says her mission is “to make land reform sexy” , and is excited about the opportunity to present her case on the matter at our salon event on 19 October, Leading with Heart

With four university degrees under her belt (including a Doctor of Philosophy in Politics from the University of Oxford), three postgraduate dissertations on land reform in South Africa, her doctoral work has influenced the development of South African land redistribution policy and practice. She is now an expert advisor to President Cyril Ramaphosa to reshape policy on land and respond to the controversial question of land expropriation without compensation.


Dr. Rufaro Nyamuda is the founder and CEO of KeepSafe Schools, considers herself a calculated risk-taker and concerns herself with the long-term sustainability of new healthcare and technology advancements. She’s taking to the TEDx stage to share her idea that children can and should be empowered to create safer schools.

Rufaro is motivated by helping people from all walks of life, because of her background as a medical doctor and where she comes from. She obtained her medical degree from the University of Cape Town, is a strong advocate for product development in African countries, and strongly believes that great potential exists in these emerging markets.