BY Fast Company 1 MINUTE READ

Celebrity innovator and head of WeWork in South Africa, Stafford Masie, will be the keynote speaker of Fast Company’s inaugural event, the Most Innovative Companies conference and awards ceremony taking place on 5 March 2020 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Masie is no stranger to the South African innovation community. He spent 7 years in the US where he played a significant role in the global open source software arena and was responsible for international partnerships and corporate technology strategy for a number of international territories including: Latin America, the Middle East, sub Saharan Africa and Southern Europe.

He returned to South Africa in 2004 as country manager for Novell and in 2007, developed and launched Google’s initial local presence in South Africa and shortly thereafter, was appointed as Google’s regional Africa director. Stafford and his Google team established the local office, launched the Google business ecosystem, in addition to being responsible for the launch of, localised Google Adwords,,, Google Maps StreetView, and more.

As the main focus of the conference will be how innovation can enable South Africa to achieve its National Development Plan 2030 goals, Stafford Masie will outline how South Africa can innovate its way out of its current social and economic challenges. He will be joined by other leading industry speakers including Jayshree Naidoo, CEO of and founding member of YIEDI and ex-chairperson of the Southern African Innovation Network. Naidoo will speak about the importance of skills development in the process of developing an innovative nation. The Conference will also be addressed by South Africa’s leading corporate innovation leaders such as Accenture’s Innovation Studio leader, Rory Moore and Phathizwe Malinga who head’s up Sqwidnet.

Delegates at the event will have an opportunity to also share their insights about innovating South Africa.