Dear Alumni and Friends of the GSB,
I hope that you and your families are well. As the year comes to a close, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the extraordinary (and extraordinarily warm) welcome that I’ve received from GSB alumni all over the world. I also wanted to share my excitement at what lies ahead for the School.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges for the GSB, it has also made clear the School’s unique and vital position in shaping the future of South Africa and beyond. This distinctive moment has not only disrupted long-held systems, approaches and beliefs around the world, but it has created a new urgency in discussions about issues such as diversity and inequality, business in complex environments, trade and investment in emerging markets, and the role of the private sector in society. As our alumni know so well, the GSB has long led global research and impact on these issues, and the School is now at the center of many of these critically important conversations.
My goal is to ensure that the GSB, as the leading business school in Africa, is at the forefront of this global reimagining of business practices and business education. The School and its alumni have an unparalleled understanding of the challenges and opportunities of working in complex environments, and we can lead these conversations as the world not only becomes more complex, but as more and more global attention turns to Africa. One of my plans is for the GSB to help tell the real story of business on the African continent – the exciting, innovative one that so many of our alumni not only live, but have helped to shape – and to use those insights to improve business and business education around the world.
The GSB cannot assume this leadership role without its alumni. In the past four months I have had the distinct pleasure of meeting many of you at the virtual reunion, at the first of our new series of alumni webinars, through the GSB Foundation and the Alumni Board, and in individual meetings and phone calls. I continue to be inspired by the passion, commitment, and talent in the GSB community – very much including our alumni – and I am keen to set a course to help enhance, coordinate, and communicate these remarkable insights and activities. There is certainly work to be done, both internally and externally, but there are also tremendous opportunities, and I look forward to sharing the School’s vision and progress with you in the coming months.
I hope that our collective goal, as a community, will be to create a School that can have a broader and more lasting impact on South Africa, on the African continent, and around the world than any one of us could on our own – the goal that the GSB Foundation was founded to achieve. As we chart the future of the GSB, I look forward to engaging with you on behalf of the School and the Foundation, to hearing your insights and experience, and to working together to ensure that the GSB has the global influence and standing that will allow it to achieve its tremendous potential and lead for generations to come.
Wishing you and your families a safe, restful, and cheerful festive season and new year!
Dr Catherine Duggan
Director of the UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB)