The Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture Series invites prominent people to drive debate on significant social issues. The intention of the lecture is to encourage people to engage in dialogue in order to address current challenges. Previous speakers have included the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres; former US president Barack Obama; social entrepreneur Muhammad Yunus; former Irish president and philanthropist Mary Robinson; economist Thomas Piketty; and United Nations deputy secretary-general Amina J Mohammed. The most recent speaker was the Prime Minister of Barbados, the Honourable Mia Mottley, who spoke to this theme: Social Bonding and Decolonisation in the Context of the Climate Crisis: Perspectives from the Global South.
ANNUAL LECTURE THEME: LEADING FOR A JUST FUTURE The world is faced with a myriad of challenges, ranging from the soaring cost of living and high rates of unemployment to the threat of ongoing war and climate change-related destruction. The speed and volume of challenges can feel overwhelming, and our global interconnectedness often serves to compound these crises and their ripple effects. While addressing these challenges can consume global attention and discourse, what is still needed is a concerted effort towards the attainment of a just future. In short, what is needed is to simultaneously be resolving and managing the multiple crises of our time while also building towards not just any future, but a more just future. What this means, and how to work towards this, are questions we need to grapple with. However, to even begin to meaningfully grapple with these pressing questions, we need to imagine and call for leadership that can help cultivate and activate this more just future. In the absence of effective, unifying and inspirational leadership, a more just future remains far beyond our reach and can lead to regress. Against this backdrop, the annual lecture will seek to address key questions, including:
• What kind of leadership do we need both locally and globally?
• How do we actualise the kind of leadership we need to achieve a more just future?
• What is the vision for a more just future?
ANNUAL LECTURE SPEAKER: MALALA YOUSAFZAI
Malala Yousafzai was born on 12 July 1997 in Mingora, the largest city in the Swat Valley in what is now the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. The Taliban began to control the Swat Valley and quickly became the dominant socio-political force throughout much of northwestern Pakistan. Girls were banned from attending school and cultural activities. Determined to go to school and with a firm belief in her right to an education, Malala stood up to the Taliban. Her activism resulted in a nomination for the International Children’s Peace Prize in 2011. That same year, she was awarded Pakistan’s National Youth Peace Prize.
For her activism, on the morning of 9 October 2012, the then 15-year-old Malala was shot by the Taliban and was seriously wounded. On 10 October 2013, in acknowledgement of her work, the European Parliament awarded Malala the prestigious Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. In October 2014, Malala, along with Indian children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi, was named a Nobel Peace Prize winner. At age 17, she became the youngest person to receive this prize.
Today, through the Malala Fund and with her own voice, Malala remains a staunch advocate for the power of education and for girls to become agents of change in their communities.
ANNUAL LECTURE DETAILS
Date: Tuesday 5 December 2023
Time: 4:30pm – 6:30pm