Imperial and Risk Insights host official launch of World Economic Forum New Champions Chapter in South Africa

15 June 2022

Imperial and Risk Insights are proud to have jointly hosted the official launch of the World Economic Forum (WEF) New Champions Chapter in South Africa, which took place on 14 June 2022 in Johannesburg, South Africa. In August last year, the WEF announced both Imperial and Risk Insights as its strategic partners for the first ever WEF New Champions Chapter in South Africa. This initiative forms part of the WEF’s New Champions Community which mobilises and capacitates invested corporate leaders to improve the state of the world.

"As Imperial, now owned by DP World, we are honoured to have partnered with the World Economic Forum and Risk Insights to create one of the first country chapters in South Africa of the Forum’s New Champions Community where we are focussing on bringing together social impact projects to create sustainable jobs in our country," said Mohammed Akoojee, Chief Operating Officer of DP World Logistics and also serving as Group CEO at Imperial. "DP World is one of the World Economic Forum’s 12 strategic partners unlimited and Imperial’s involvement in the New Champions community is an extension of this partnership. The New Champions community South Africa Chapter aims to amplify global initiatives on South African soil and ensure meaningful engagements within the South African business community to drive and accelerate impact on the ground, and we are looking forward to playing a significant part in this initiative". 

A recent WEF report published in collaboration with the University of Cambridge, the National University of Singapore and the Entrepreneurs’ Organization highlights that small and mid-size enterprises represent around 90% of all firms globally, and, by some estimates, contribute to up to 70% of employment and global GDP. These businesses are shaping the nature of growth, innovation, and sustainability in our global, regional, and local economies. With this in mind, the Forum has been working with its New Champions Global Community, a group of innovative and forward looking mid-sized companies, which are leaders in their respective areas and are mindful of their impact on society and committed to building a better future for all.

"We are thrilled to work with incredibly inspiring New Champions’ members who are creating the first Local Chapter of our growing community. This is an opportunity for the Forum and our members to extend their support to the local SMEs," said Julia Devos, Head of the New Champions global community, World Economic Forum.

Imperial and Risk Insights have chosen three initial initiatives for the WEF South Africa Chapter, which are focused on critical issues in the country: Health and Wellbeing, Education, Gender Equality, Innovation, Sustainable Infrastructure and Climate Action. Attendees at the launch event – which included executives, decision-makers, and thought leaders from South Africa’s business community – were encouraged to pledge their support for these initiatives to enhance sustainable impact in South Africa.

"At Risk Insights we are privileged to be a part of the World Economic Forum New Champions community at such a critical juncture of climate change and the rise of stakeholder capitalism. Risk Insights will continue its impact contribution towards a sustainable future through framing ESG principles for South Africa," said Andrey Bogdanov, Principal and CEO of Risk Insights and Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum New Champions Local Chapter South Africa. "New Champions South African Chapter will focus on addressing key issues to sustainable growth for SMEs to promote innovation and progress towards a sustainable future for all."

More information on the WEF New Champions, as well as the chosen initiatives for the South Africa Chapter – 'Step Up to a Green Start Up’, 'Unjani Clinics Network’ and 'SA Trail Network NPC’ – can be accessed via:

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