SA Innovation Summit
Margaretha van Schalkwyk started her career as a diplomat at the then Department of Foreign Affairs in 1992 after completing a degree in Political Science. After marrying a fellow diplomat she left the service and entered the private sector working in a number of industries during postings in Brussels, The Hague and New York, but always with a strong focus on project management, training and development. After returning to South Africa in 2011, she joined the Research Institution for Innovation and Sustainability (RIIS) working as project manager on a number of projects, including rolling out open innovation platforms within South Africa as well as a joint cross-border project with Namibia and Zambia. Last year, Margaretha joint the SA Innovation Summit, a sister company of RIIS, as Operations Director and COO. Apart from running various projects throughout the year, Margaretha is responsible for the logistical and operational coordination and execution of the annual SA Innovation Summit hosted in September – a conference attended by more than a thousand delegates from 25 countries, 18 universities, 90+ industries offering a multi-levelled programme ranging from thought leadership sessions to entrepreneurial competitions, business matching platforms, hackathons and various other networking platforms.