Open Seminar Series on Critical Conversations in Sustainability

‘Critical Conversations’ is a series of transdisciplinary seminars in Sustainability hosted by REGENT Business School, the Mercury and other stakeholders. The year-long series aims to creatively engage in critical discussions, provocative dialogue and idea-sharing around sustainable questions that delve into novel and innovative ideas that may assist in mobilising changes necessary for our planet to become a better place for all who live in it.


Managing Director of the business school, Mr Ahmed Shaikh is of the opinion that the cross-disciplinary character offered by the Critical Conversations Seminar Series is a rare opportunity to learn how to talk to others in the spirit of the intrinsic values captured in a quotation by Bertrand Piccard, when he said “In the 21st century, I think the heroes will be the people who will improve the quality of life, fight poverty and introduce more sustainability”. Everyone who is concerned about the status of mother earth and the future of humankind has a role to play in these critical conversations.


The joint coordinators of the seminar series, Professors Dhiru Soni and Anis Karodia couldn’t agree more with the sentiments expressed by Mr. Shaikh.


Shaikh made a special appeal to senior representatives of the business community and especially those interested in implementing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to attend.


The official opening of the series held on Friday 29 March 2017 was attended by more than a 150 guests and dealt with ‘Responsive and Responsible Leadership in Sustainability’. The occasion also hosted a stellar line-up of speakers representing the partnering organisations, including the Deputy Mayor of eThekwini Municipality, Councilor Fawzia Peer.


This was followed by a seminar moderated by freelance journalist, Lysse Commins, titled “Business beyond Usual – The SDGS and Inclusive Business”.


Leonardo Di Caprio’s awarding winning documentary – ‘Before the Flood’ was shown on 20 April 2017. According to Fred Kockott, a Roving Rovers reporter, the film categorically informed the viewer that Climate Change is happening. He said “It’s no coincidence that we’re seeing more news reports of horrible tornadoes at odd times of the year. So yes, climate change is happening and it’s terrifying. But what is there to be done about it?”


‘Before the Flood’ is very much an education and advocacy documentary. It’s a cliffs notes version of what’s happening to the world we live in, what going to happen to the world we live in and what we can do to prevent the worst possible outcome.


Viewers were really taken aback by what they saw. More discussions ensued after the film showing and Dr. Youssef Baker, the CEO of Iqraa Trust, a sponsoring partner of the series when asked to comment, said” “I am shocked, I didn’t realise that we have damaged our planet to such an extent. I believe we still have a chance to make reparations.”


On Wednesday 17 May 2017, the series features Bobby Peek and Desmond D’Sa and one other speaker yet to be named. Peek and D’Sa are two national environmental activists, well-known in local circles and recipients of the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize in a session titled ‘Raising Awareness, Engaging the Public through Activism and Changing Public Policy’.


When asked to comment, Professor Marvin Kambuwa a staunch supporter of sustainability and principal of REGENT Business School declared, “Environmental activism is important because our clean air, water, and earth can’t advocate for its own protection. But without a healthy environment, we can’t survive. So it is up to all of us to advocate for a better, more sustainable lifestyle. By bringing awareness of a better alternative, each of us can effect a much-needed change.”


World famous local artist and environmentalist, Andre Botha and his up-and-coming assistant, Jessica Bothma, an urban environmentalist in her own right will provide for an entertaining Colloquium evening (26 May 2017) when they present their work, ‘Rhino Burning’. Their session ‘Artists as Catalysts for Change and Sustainability’ will also feature an excerpt from a play on sustainability by local artists of the Sagiya Foundation. The CEO, Mr. Atlas Duma added that it will be a wonderful opportunity for his organization to test audience reaction to their play which was destined for major theatrical stages, nationally and internationally.


If you’re interested in learning more about Sustainability and the Global Sustainable Development Goals and how it concerns you, here is your opportunity to link-up with like-minded people and networks. The seminar series on Critical Conversations in Sustainability offers plenty of opportunities to get involved in the ‘sustainability debate’. The business community is especially encouraged to attend.

The seminars are free and open to the public. For entry, please send an e-mail to Ms Portia Ntetha or call 031-304 4626. Seats are limited, so book early.

Sandra Dunn - Digital Marketing

Sandra Dunn is social media and digital marketing coordinator, REGENT Business School

Opening Night for Critical Conversations in Sustainability Seminar Series draws a large audience

Dhiru Soni

31 March 2017

Sustainability Seminars

The audience in a contemplative mood at the Main Auditorium, REGENT Business School during the Opening Night of the Critical Conversations in Sustainability Seminar Series. Picture by Viva Productions

Held last Wednesday evening at REGENT Business School in Durban, The Critical Conversations in Sustainability Seminar Series Opening Night showcased a stellar line-up of speakers, and provided a raft of provocative ideas on what the Corporate Sector can do to mitigate the excesses of climate change.    The inaugural session for the seminar series provided a gathering place for individuals from private, public and non-governmental sectors and highlighted the need for a seismic shift in the mind sets for global sustainable development.

The session opened with a minute of silence in respect for fallen hero and icon of the liberation struggle in South Africa, Mr. Ahmed Kathrada. The Programme Director, Professor Marvin Kambuwa then introduced the major objectives of the seminar series and urged representatives and delegates from partnering organisations and the corporate, public and civil society sectors to make concerted efforts to realise the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Managing Director of REGENT Business School, Ahmed Shaikh said, “The Future of Earth will depend on the sustainable efforts put in by a collective of all stakeholders today”. “Within this context, the Critical Conversations Seminar Series in Sustainability” Shaikh said, “Reflects REGENT Business School’s commitment to help shape future business leaders who will be at the vanguard in encouraging the ‘Triple Bottom Line’ approach towards sustainability”.

Held at the main auditorium of the new Institute of Entrepreneurship Building, the event drew a record 150 delegates from across Durban’s socio-economic spectrum.
Councilor, Fawzia Peer, the Deputy Mayor of eThekwini Municipality delivered a stirring keynote address on ‘Responsive and Responsible Leadership in Sustainability’. She reminded those present that the Leaders from Corporate Sector had a responsibility to assist both government and civil society in achieving a sustainable planet, a notion that proved to be one of the seminar series’ motifs.

Indeed, Dr. Mahmoud Youssef-Baker, the chairperson of Iqraa Trust, an economist by profession and a former leader of an International Banking organisation the issue of corporate social responsibility has to be given the prominence it rightfully deserves. For too long the ‘profit bottom line’ dominated the narrative of business. In order to become responsible, leaders from the corporate sector had to play their part in sustainability. Representatives from NEDBANK and Indoni, a non-governmental organisation also passionately supported the need for sustainability.

All the participants condemned those denying the effects of climate change.
The programme director then handed the floor over to Fred Kockott who was assigned the position of moderator for the session. Fred informed the audience that he arranged for short video clips to be shown. The one was narrated by famous actor Morgan Freeman and was titled, “Our Future”. The other,”Business can play a Profitable Role in Combating Climate Change” was narrated by Andrew Winston.

However, prior to the screening of the videos, Fred Kockott In a presentation that encapsulated the spirit and intention of the conference challenged the audience to think about the welfare of generations to come, quoting 87-year-old, Native American, Oren Lyons.

“In our way of life, in our government, with every decision we make, we always keep in mind the Seventh Generation to come. It’s our job to see that the people coming ahead, the generations still unborn, have a world no worse than ours – and hopefully better. When we walk upon Mother Earth we always plant our feet carefully because we know the faces of our future generations are looking up at us from beneath the ground. We never forget them.”

Oren Lyons is a leading human rights and environmental activist, and author of numerous books.

Immediately after the showing of the video clips, the moderator engaged with the audience in meaningful banter. The session then came to a close after a vote of thanks was passed by Professor Anis Karodia who also reminded the participants that ““A shared view of where we are going will make it easier to overcome incumbency issues”. “It will also enable us to work with government on transition pathways to achieve sustainability.”


Dhiru Soni is the Director for Research and Innovation and the overall coordinator for the Critical Conversations in Sustainability Seminar Series at REGENT Business School

Message of Condolence for Struggle Icon and Friend Ahmed Kathrada

The Management and Staff of REGENT Business School are deeply saddened by the passing away of struggle icon Ahmed Kathrada who was also a friend to many at our institution. It is said that when a person departs from this earth, he or she never truly leaves, for they are still alive in our hearts and minds, through us, they live on. Prayers and fond memories are what we have to remember our dearly departed. From the REGENT family, Barbara, please accept our condolences, Ahmed will not be forgotten. Our thoughts are with you. You can be proud that we stand on the shoulders of a man amongst men and can assure you that he will be truly missed. May the love of family and friends comfort you during these difficult days, our most heartfelt condolences.

We pray that his soul returns to the maker.


Directors of REGENT Business School and colleagues in private higher education at a recent breakfast meeting with Ahmed Kathrada.

The International Journal of Management Perspectives (IJMP)

The International Journal of Management Perspectives (IJMP) is an annual academic journal of REGENT Business School, South Africa. Manuscripts submitted for publication in IJMP should focus on management perspectives with a view to promoting research and discussion on issues relating to management and business in the context of regional and global development, and more specifically, issues related to the political, social and economic development. The journal encourages critical thinking and discussion.

Kindly click on the download link below to access the International Journal of Management Perspectives (IJMP).


RBS Graduation ceremony held at the Westville Correctional Services Centre.

On Wednesday, the 5th October 2016 REGENT Business School conducted their first ever Graduation ceremony held at the Westville Correctional Services centre in Durban to honour Graduands from the Medium E (female) section of the prison.

A similar graduation ceremony was simultaneously conducted at the Medium B (male) Prison.

Six students altogether from both sections of the Westville Correctional Services Centre, two female and four male students, had successfully completed their studies in one of the following programmes; the Higher Certificate in Business Management (CIBM), Higher Certificate in Islamic Finance, Banking and Law (HCIFBL) and the Postgraduate Diploma in Management (PG DIM).

The Muslim Prison Board KZN played a supportive role in facilitating the communications between REGENT Business School and the officials at the Westville Correctional Services Centre.

The Department of Correctional Services staff who were present at the female Graduation ceremony had very motivating and supportive messages for the female Graduands and the inmates attending the ceremony.

The Durban Correctional Services Social worker at the Medium E facility, Mrs Dhlamini recognised the efforts of REGENT Business School in bringing the graduation ceremony to the students. She eluded to the fact that this was a very first such event held at a female correctional services centre. She said that historically students would study through a college and they would receive their certificates via the post. There was no ceremony to recognise the student’s efforts or to motivate the other inmates. She was direct in motivating the audience to make the effort and commit to educating themselves. She lauded REGENT Business School for being the only institution to recognise their students and for their commitment towards student’s success and achievements.

The head of the Durban Correctional Services, Mrs Mkhize expressed her heartfelt gratitude to REGENT Business School for making education accessible to the inmates of Westville Correctional Services Centre.  She said that she saw the graduation ceremony as being an affirmation of the commitment and dedication the students had in completing their studies. She recognised the female offenders for their efforts and in achieving their qualifications despite the harsh conditions they found themselves in.  Mrs Mkhize further indicated that the parole board looked favourably upon and encouraged students who had undertaken some sort of study during their time in prison. She finally expressed her pride in the achievements of all the students graduating.

REGENT Business school representatives addressed the audience of approximately 50 inmates on the study options available to them and received questions that the inmates had.   The morning’s proceedings ended with refreshments for the inmates.

Graduation 2016

Reflective of the educational purposes that we espouse, at REGENT Business School (RBS) we began with the end in mind, building foundations of hope, nurturing aspirations of greatness and formulating dreams into reality. Efforts that culminated into a day that we were all proud of as the assembled audience gasped in awe and cheered from the heart as the hall echoed with names of future leaders, in confirmation of an achievement of a lifetime.

The 2016 RBS Graduation ceremony attracted some 2000 plus attendees from afar as Angola, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Namibia, DRC, Lesotho, Tanzania and Nigeria. Students acknowledged every moment in celebration of their unique experiences of years of learning. The highlight of which, was when they crossed the stage to receive their award for their toil and sacrifices towards the achievement of academic success.

To make the graduation ceremony more reflective of RBS’s aspirations for all of its students, by acknowledging them in a meaningful way, we revised proceedings to focus on the individual students rather than formalities and speeches, thus allowing us to finish in record time, leaving graduates with time to revel in their achievement with fellow graduates, families and friends, over a scrumptious lunch. After 13 years of public schooling and 3 to 4 years of tertiary studies, a commitment of this magnitude deserves reflection.

All institutions of education publicly state and believe that every individual can learn, and have high expectations for all their learners to succeed and achieve. If this is the end we have in mind, then we are striving for a life of rich possibility for all. At RBS we want every graduation to have the capacity to contribute to the common good of society, by consistently producing graduates of exemplary caliber, accomplished by a student centric approach to teaching and learning together with establishing a bond with our students, as not only academic but as life coaches too.

To return to the point about ‘beginning with the end in mind’, these accolades achieved are a worthy end to keep in mind. Dedication and commitment from both Institution and learners towards a common goal, and the achievement thereof deserves this acknowledgement. We at RBS celebrate their achievements, appreciate them as unique individuals and speak with optimism of their future. RBS is proud to say that all of our graduates have achieved something of worth and meaning, for that is what we at RBS set out to do. Join us in this magnificent journey to consolidate, enhance and provide education in the Republic of South Africa.

Brics Masterclass

The Centre for Entrepreneurship and the Institute for Local and Global Research Initiatives (ILGRI) at REGENT Business School in partnership with the South Africa’s Department of International Relationships and Cooperation (DIRCO), THE Embassies of the BRICS nations in South Africa, the Durban Chamber of Commerce, eThekwini Municipality, the Management College of Southern Africa (MANCOSA) and other Corporate and Public Sector Organisations is hosting a BRICS Masterclass on 16 September 2016. The occasion will also be used launch the BRICS and Emerging Markets Business Schools’ Association and provide an opportunity for delegates to interact with the Trade Missions of the BRICS countries.


Interaction and Trade between the BRICS Nations

Theme: Doing Business with the BRICS

Date: 16 September 2016

Venue: The New Centre for Entrepreneurship Building – REGENT Business

School – 35 Samora Machel Street – Durban

Time: 07h30 for 08h00 to 12h30

Cost: R500 per person


The morning will commence with a Reception and Welcome at 07h30 and a Breakfast at08h00 during which the BRICS and Emerging Markets Business Schools’ Association will be officially launched in South Africa. The Masterclass will commence at 09h30 and conclude at 11h00. Thereafter delegates will be able to interact with the BRICS Trade Missions.  A Finger Lunch will be served before the event draws to a conclusion at 12h30.

The Andries Botha (South Africa’s World Famous Artist) Exhibition on Sustainability will feature throughout the day

Seating at this Prestigious Event is Limited. To reserve a seat and register for the event, please contact

Ms Portia Nthetha:


Ms Alison Thomas: