R 5,200
R 6,000




CULTIVATING OPTIMISM – How to get your inner cheerleader to SHINE in challenging times Who is the inner (cheer)leader? It’s the resilient, rational, emotionally attuned and self-compassionate part of ourselves. It’s our own personal cheerleader who does not ignore what is wrong but focuses more on what is right. What are the barriers to the inner (cheer)leader? In times of stress and uncertainty, we can find it difficult to access this mode. We have developed default- settings that can too often react with a flight, fight or freeze mode. These settings may have helped us in the past but are now keeping us stuck in a behavioural cycle that can be limiting and self-defeating.

How do we strengthen the Inner (cheer)leader?
Our inner critic is the greatest force working against the inner (cheer)leader. This voice can be critical, demanding and guilt-inducing. Learning skills to turn down the volume of our critic is vital for our inner (cheer)leader to have a strong voice, regulate our emotions and to cultivate optimism. When faced with a crisis, we need to change the narrative from “Can we do this?” to “HOW can we do this?” We need to stop comparing ourselves to others and doubting our own abilities.

Nicky interweaves her personal story with key concepts in Psychology to look at how we are able to face adversity and challenge with hope, optimism and curiosity. She delivers a message that is authentic and captivating, with lessons that are easily translated into actions in our careers and personal lives. With her witty sense of humour and natural speaking ability, Nicky not only keeps the attention of the audience, but also spurs them to action!




Tackling the summit is very different from arriving on the summit. In both life and business the majority of time is spent focusing on that future achievement and forgetting that the preparation is an important part of the journey.

  • confronting fear
  • dealing with comfort zones / effective zones
  • moving forward without guarantees
  • innovate, not imitate
  • increasing efficacy
  • working flexibly

If the dream is alive these factors tend to take care of themselves. Instead of chasing the mountaintop, I’ve learnt to let it come to you. All that’s needed is a different approach to the challenge.



Jean Baxen is Deputy Vice Chancellor: Academic and Professor at Sol Plaatje University, Kimberley, South Africa. She has served in leadership positions in a number of higher education institutions in the country and is the author of numerous research reports, peer-reviewed and accredited papers, and book chapters on aspects of education in South Africa. 

She is author of Performative Praxis: Teacher Identity and Teaching in the Context of HIV/AIDS (2010) and co-editor of the volume HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa: Understanding the Implications of Culture and Context (2009). Jean Baxen is an active member of the education community in South Africa and internationally, and sits on a number of editorial boards, advisory committees, and review panels.


Hubert Mathanzima Mweli

Mr Hubert Mathanzima Mweli is currently the Director-General for Basic Education. He has a number of qualifications which include a Bachelor of Arts in Education with Honours, a Bachelor of Administration in Industrial Relations with Honours, and a Master’s Degree in Development and Management. 

He is a seasoned educationalist who has risen through the ranks of the education sector . He has been involved in the development of key education policies and has a number of successes under his belt. Whilst Head of Department in the North West, the province went from being in the bottom three provinces to the top three in the Grade 12 examination results. He balanced the budget of the Department from a deficit of R1,2 billion occasioned by the cross boundary municipal disestablishment during 2007/8 financial year, and led the team that took the Department from a Disclaimer Audit Opinion to an Unqualified Audit Opinion with a Certificate of Merit of Excellence for 2008/9 financial year issued by the Auditor General.



We are all born with the potential of a Leonardo de Vinci or an Albert Einstein.  Yet, our education system fails to unlock the genius in us due to the “intelligence trap”.  Creative thinking skills provides a way forward for education and unlocking human potential.

Microbiologist and water expert Prof Cloete is the Vice-Rector: Research and Innovation at Stellenbosch University.

Before taking up this position in September 2012, Prof Cloete served as the Dean of the Faculty of Science at Stellenbosch University. He is also the Founding Director of the Stellenbosch University Water Institute.

He has promoted more than 100 MSc and PhD students, authored five books, holds 10 patents and has more than 160 scientific publications to his credit.  Prof Cloete also serves on the editorial boards of several journals.  He is a past Vice-President of the International Water Association (IWA) and past Chairman of the IWA Strategic Council and currently an IWA Governing Board member.  He is also a Fellow of the IWA and a Senior Fellow of the Water Institute of SA (WISA).  Prof Cloete was a board member of the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Water Research Commission Board.  In 2016 Prof Cloete was appointed by the Minister to serve on the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) Council.  In 2017 he received the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) South 32 award for Research leading to innovation.  He was also selected as one of the Legends of SA Science by ASSAf, during 2017.



Finding the Diamond in the Rough: Mindful Optimism (Synopsis/teaser)

Carrots or Sticks!  Good or bad!  Positive or Negative!  Our brains are hardwired with a negativity bias.  But, there is a hidden power in everyday positive experiences able to change our brains and therefore our lives – for the better.  In this presentation, school leaders and educators will learn simple strategies to re-wire the brains of their staff and students for hope, joy and happiness

Gavin is a passionate educator and school leader who used the research in education, psychology and neuroscience to create a Mind Brain Education Science School. He shares the practical application with schools, corporates and leaders in order to improve performance and quality of life. Gavin and his wife Heather have raised two boys. He speaks from experience and practice. His guidance is simple, humorous, but dynamic. His new book, Zip the Crocodile, captures the essence of mind, brain, education science for teachers and parents and is designed as a bedside reference for raising, loving and teaching kids.



Joseph James Ndlebe was born and in Soweto, South Africa. He qualified as a teacher with a Secondary Teachers Diploma majoring in Biology (Cum laude) from Soweto College of Education. He also holds a BA, B Ed (Education Management) and Advanced Diploma in Education Management from the University of South Africa. He further completed a Diploma in Human Resources Management from Damelin College. 

James taught at several high schools in Soweto, moving from teacher, HOD, Deputy Principal and eventually principal. He managed an ABET Centre for 10 years in the afternoon and evenings while teaching full time. He worked at several districts at the Gauteng Department of Education as a Circuit Manager and Chief Education Specialist responsible for Circuit Managers respectively.

James was appointed at the Department of Basic Education as the Director for Education Management and Governance Development which included school management, Governance, Representative Councils of Learners and District Development. He coordinates the work of principals and SGB associations in South Africa.

He developed many policies and guidelines in the field of school management that are still used to guide school principals (appointments, training, induction), governing body activities (elections, training, operations), learner admissions.

He contributed a chapter in the book called Leadership: Perspective from the Front Line. and wrote the foreword of the book by Dr Jaco Deacon, Financial Management in Public Schools.

James was an executive member of the Education Management Association of South Africa. He has addressed too many conferences locally and internationally. He is a well-travelled educationist who has been to among other countries, the USA, France, Britain, Singapore, China, Cambodia, Belgium, Netherlands, Mauritius, Thailand, Dubai and Malta.


Roxy Marosa

Roxy Marosa was born and bred in Kimberley in the Northern Cape. She studied Personnel Management at Cape Technikon (renamed to the Cape Peninsula University of Technology) in Cape Town, South Africa. 

She acquired marketing and sales skills over ten years working in the retail, building and tourism industries. During this time she developed her passion for people development and started her
journey of personal transformation in 1999, through international organisation, Landmark Education
and Insights. Between 2000 and 2003 Roxy participated in Landmark Education’s leadership programs
in the UK, simultaneously leading successful seminars in South Africa. She embarked on speaking engagements with United Nations, speaking on international platforms, which had her talks published. 
In 2007 Roxy launched herself as a brand Roxy Marosa. She launched a TV talk show Roxy Marosa Talk Show off air, and soon attracted South African television broadcaster E-TV.

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Linda Benwell – Project Director
Tel: 021 590 7900

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