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The 2018 South African Council of Shopping Centres (SACSC) Annual Congress, taking place at the Durban International Convention Centre from 17 – 19 October, will see world class speakers focusing on the latest trends and research findings by industry experts. Themed around ‘game changers’, this year’s Congress will help delegates navigate innovation and disruption in the industry.

2018 SASC to focus on innovation and disruptionThis year’s line-up of speakers will see the likes of Lebo Gunguluza, Polo Leteka, Gil Oved, Vusi Thembekwayo and Vinny Lingham of Dragons’ Den South Africa fame address delegates at the Business Lunch. Other speakers include Jeremy Gardiner, leading economist and a seasoned SACSC Congress speaker who will put a spotlight on current affairs, economics and investment markets as well as the state of consumer finances and debt levels; inflation rate; interest rates and the exchange rate. Alan Knott Craig, who spoke at last year’s SACSC Research Conference, will speak about the changing internet and where it will be in the next five years.

UBER’s Shavaye Govender, head of Strategic Partnerships & Uber for Business for sub-Saharan Africa will speak on the current trends in retail transportation, which include the history of Uber and the drivers of exponential growth, current mobility trends in the retail industry and how the vision of Uber fits into the lifestyle of shoppers. Zak Venter, the founder of the influential South African brand S.P.C.C (Sergeant Pepper Clothing Company) will speak on the story-telling of brands.

According to Venter, every brand has an authentic story to tell, the best brands find a unique way to capture an aspect of their customers' humanity and reflect this back to them through honest, authentic, engaging communication and brand narrative. He will share his start-up story and unique ability to inspire a movement through authentic storytelling in the digital age.

In addition, billionaire Chief Executive Officer for the Mars One Project, Bas Lansdorp, will be sharing his thoughts and insights. The Mars One Project aims to send a group of people to inhabit part of the red planet in 2032.

In his talk at the 2018 SACSC, Bas Lansdorp will discuss Mars exploration and how the mission is feasible. This is mainly because it is a mission of permanent settlement, and there is no return trip. He will also explain the business model for a manned mission to Mars and the complexities of finding a crew of four that can actually leave their friends family and planet behind for settling on Mars.

Mars One has a renowned advisory board including a former NASA Chief Technologist, an astronaut, and a Nobel prize laureate. With several completed feasibility studies by Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company and Paragon Space Development Corporation, Mars One Foundation has built a firm basis on which to continue its mission.

41-year-old Lansdorp has a passion for ambitious projects and he is known for being a serial entrepreneur.

Lansdorp received his masters of science degree in mechanical engineering from Twente University in 2003. He then worked for five years on his PhD research in wind energy at Delft University of Technology. He abandoned his research to start his first company, Ampyx Power. Ampyx Power develops a novel method of wind power generation that is cheaper than coal. He sold part of his shares in Ampyx Power to finance the start of Mars One.

“The shopping centre and retail industry is full of game changers. Throughout the world, we have seen retailers and shopping centres alike doing things differently and changing the game. This year we celebrate the game changers and help others change the game. More than 1500 delegates over three enthralling days, world-class speakers, presentations, insightful information and networking will be at the 22nd SACSC Annual Congress – an industry event not to be missed,” says Chief Executive Officer for the South African Council of Shopping Centres, Amanda Stops.

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