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Keynote Speakers

Furuhashi, International Lean Practitioner, Japan

Furuhashi is regarded as a guru in the implementation of the Toyota Production System as well as organisational transformation and leadership development.

His area of expertise is Flow Management: Transforming operation & management systems through the flow concept, including:

  • Transforming business processes by “Flow Concept” in manufacturing industry, i.e. production preparation, production, delivery, supply system, etc.
  • Transforming organisational and management system to meet new environment.
  • Diffusing flow management tools and technique, which is developed in manufacturing industry, to other sectors, such as service industry

In his work he has supported organisations in South Africa, Great Britain, India, Italy, Romania, Mexico and China, and we look forward to hearing his inspirational take on Lean Management.

Furuhashi will present two keynote presentations: ‘Enhancing Global Competitiveness: Two Pillars for Flow and Quality‘ and ‘Visionary Leaders for Manufacturing in India: Reflections from an 11-year Programme to Develop Leaders’.


Kim Barnas, CEO Catalysis, USA

Kim is the author of ‘Beyond Heroes’ and CEO of Catalysis (a not-for-profit organisation  transforming healthcare). Her mission is  to transform  patient experiences, make quality more transparent, and reduce healthcare costs. She advises top leaders through her coaching, tools and frameworks for successful Lean implementation. We are pleased to have her share her insights and experience with us.

Kim will give two keynote presentations: ‘Lean Leadership: Lessons from the Fieldand Lean Management Systemand will facilitate a workshopAn Overview of Creating a Lean Management System‘. Please see: Lean Summit Africa Presentation Abstracts and Lean Summit Africa Workshops for more information.


Dave Brunt, CEO, Lean Enterprise Academy, UK

Dave is the Chief Executive with the Lean Enterprise Academy UK and has walked, mapped, taught and coached lean in over 500 value streams across almost every conceivable environment. He is the author of ‘Creating Lean Dealers’ and has, since the early 1990’s, been both applying and researching Lean. He has supported many organisations in their lean journey and we look forward to hearing more about his work in Africa.



Summit Speakers – International

Jeff Foster, Director of Performance Improvement, Sandiego Zoo Global, USA

Jeff Foster serves as director of performance improvement for San Diego Zoo Global, and is responsible for maximising the organisation’s operational efficiency. As part of his role, Foster works to implement and maintain continuous process improvement techniques and practices at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, allowing the organisation to continuously develop more effective and profitable business practices.

Foster joined San Diego Zoo Global in 2011, prior to which he served as an operational consultant within Operations Support for the North American division of Starwood Hotels and Resorts. His Six Sigma and Lean experience provided insights for Starwood to improve hotel operational performance and maximize room revenue. He was also part of the 4-person team responsible for Lean program implementation at 440 properties across North America. He has over 20 years of process improvement, leadership development and coaching, and hotel operations experience with multiple hotel companies including Hyatt, Marriott, and Walt Disney Resorts. Foster is certified in Six Sigma, Lean, Organisational Capacity, and Leadership Development methodologies.

Jeff will present Lean Zoo: Developing Problem-Solvers


Kobus Malan, President Mid-Market, Sandvik Mining & Rock Technology, Global (2018)

Kobus Malan has a broad range of lean experience, beginning his lean journey in 1998 with reading the seminal book Lean Thinking. His lean leadership journey has taken him from South Africa to China to Australia to Sweden and then again to China.

He has led successful, but also less successful, Lean transformations in several companies in different countries, covering Lean Manufacturing, Lean Management and Lean Product Development, over a period of 20 years.

Kobus will give two presentations: 1. Reflections on a Global Lean Transformation Leadership Journey and 2. Implementing Lean Product Development.


Sudip Pal, Lean Leader, Ericsson India Global Services, India

Sudip is working as the Lean Leader and Senior Manager – Service Delivery Transformation for Ericsson India Global Services, SDU BDGS. With 20 years of experience his areas of expertise span across a wide spectrum of the IT landscape – from System Integration to IT Service Delivery, from IT Advisory Services to Program Managements, from Lean in Agile to Automation. He is a recognized Lean Expert by the Asian Productivity Organization – Japan, Quality Council of India, and National Productivity Council – India. He has mentored many big Lean deployment programs for some leading global IT companies in last 8 years; such as, improved cash flow & profitability, increased win rate, sales engagement process, scaled Agile, etc. In the last 2 years Sudip has completed several high potential and critical transformation programs in the areas of Agile, Automation and IT Service Delivery Transformation Model. He has also groomed many candidates to become successful Lean Coaches in the industry.

Sudip has participated in European Lean IT Summit 2013, 2017 and Turkey Lean Summit 2017 editions presenting case studies on Lean IT Transformation. At the Turkey Lean Summit he also organised a well-received Lean IT Simulation workshop.

Sudip will be presenting Transforming ICT Service Delivery through Lean, as well as facilitating a workshop titled Lean IT Simulation – Transforming IT  Processes with Lean Principles.


Erwin Telemans, CEO, Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation in Tanzania (CCBRT), Tanzania

As CEO of East Africa’s largest Disability Hospital I was faced with the usual challenges of scarcity in resources and increased demand. Traditional management and leadership resulted in some short-term gains but not enough to meet customer demands, achieve goals – and restricted the organisation’s growth and development. As I was searching for an alternative Lean management first came to my attention in 2011 and since then it has been an incredible learning journey in which I made lots of mistakes and some good decisions. Today it is my obligation to share this experience with fellow leaders of African institutions and show them how Lean has opened up opportunities that we never thought would even exist.

Erwin will present: A 7 Year Journey of Leadership & Organisational Transformation’


Summit Speakers – South Africa

Sarah-Anne Alman, Manager, UCT Graduate School of Business, Solution Space

Sarah-Anne is the Founder and Manager of the Solution Space at the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business. The Solution Space provides an ecosystem for early-stage startups and a research and development platform for corporates.

Sarah-Anne has previously consulted and provided strategic advice to a variety of clients, from private investors on feasibility studies, to corporates on social innovation and entrepreneurship. Originally trained as a designer, Sarah-Anne’s experience was in the Media and Publishing industry within research and development, new product planning and project management for the Penguin Group London.

Sarah-Anne holds an MBA from University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, a BA (Hons) from Central Saint Martins, University of London.

Sarah-Anne will present Myths of Lean Start-up


Stephan Drees, Operations Manager, Nibbly Bits

Stephan Drees is Operations Manager at In2Food’s Nibbly Bits. After 27 years’ of working in pastry industry Stephan turned to management and leadership.

Stephan will present ‘How Nibbly Bits Empowered its People and Transformed its Managerial Culture’.


Michael Grant, Chief Technical Officer, DataProphet

Mike is a registered professional electrical engineer with a PhD in machine learning with more than a decade of industrial experience and is a senior honorary lecturer. He has worked in the manufacture of electro-technical protection devices (circuit breakers) with the production system producing in excess of 8,000 unique devices daily. He worked on the design and assembly of enormous vehicles, and in heavy industry with production volumes in the order of thousands of tonnes per day.  In all of these applications Mike has brought the power of machine learning to bear: defect detection in the case of automated tested of circuit breakers, optimised assembly system designs, and predictive analytics to eliminate defects in the case of engine blocks.


Mike will present Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to improve quality: a collection of case studies.


Webster Kushata, Owner and Chief Dreaming Officer, Nzum Nzum Group

Webster was born in Chiredzi Zimbabwe. He matriculated in 2005 and dropped out of University in 2006. He left home in 2007 for Malawi, Mozambique and Swaziland before arriving in Cape Town in 2010. He started Nzum Nzum Group in 2011, opening his first business leveraging off technicians who fixed gadgets for a mark-up.

Webster attended Entrepreneurship and Empowerment in South Africa at UWC in 2013 and attended a life changing course at Raymond Ackerman Academy for Entrepreneurship 2016. He is the recipient of the Raymond Ackerman Academy Graduate Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

He was voted one of the Top 5 Entrepreneurs by Salesians Life Choices and Caban Venture Capital.

Webster will present ‘From R3.50 to the Sky‘.


Timothy London, Senior Lecturer, Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town

Timothy has spent most of his career in higher education helping leaders determine their own, and their organisation’s, purpose and values, then build their leadership and organisation to match those aims. He currently works at the UCT Graduate School of Business’s Centre for Values Based Leadership doing that for students (MBA, MPhil, PGDip, PhD) from for-profit, non-profit, SOE, and government backgrounds, as well as corporate clients through the GSB’s Executive Education department. I built a Master’s degree in Collaborative Leadership in Northern Ireland around these ideas. He has published on these issues in a co-authored book, chapters in edited books, and a journal article. The main gist of what he works with people on is deciding on a purpose, then getting their structures, culture, and people all aligned to serve that purpose.

Tim will present ‘Building Blocks for Leading Lean Organisations’.


Dr Bhavna Patel, CEO, Groote Schuur Hospital

Dr Bhavna Patel is the Chief Executive Officer at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, a 975 bedded, 3764 staffed hospital. She qualified as a medical doctor at the University of Cape Town and was in private practice for 8 years before completing her specialist degree in Public Health. She also holds a BSc degree, a Fellowship in Family Medicine and a Masters in Bioethics and Health Law. She has been working in a management capacity at Groote Schuur Hospital since 2001, starting as a registrar, then as the Manager Medical Services, then as the Senior Manager Medical services and now as the CEO, since 2013. Her interest is in leadership development and continuous improvement processes.

Dr Patel will present ‘Leadership and Continuous Improvement at Groote Schuur Hospital‘.


Tjaart van den Bergh, General Manager: Continuous Improvement, Omnia

After completing his degree in Chemical Engineering in 1999 Tjaart van den Bergh started his career in the steel industry in South Africa and in the Netherlands. Having occupied various management positions, he completed his MBA during this period. He then joined Omnia fertilizer and continued to develop and is now General Manager: Continuous Improvement. The position allows him to use certain tools, methodologies or concepts using his experience and strengths to improve the culture of the business.

Tjaart will be presenting on the topic ‘How did Omnia integrate and entrench change?’.