Conference overview

After more than a decade of convening over 400 stakeholders to share insight and exchange ideas about how to ensure lasting impact in development, the Trialogue Business in Society Conference went fully virtual in 2020. In light of continued uncertainty about the pandemic, we are excited to hold an exclusively virtual conference again this year, with the programme spread over three mornings on 22, 23 and 24 June.

Thanks to a specially-designed interactive online platform, the important networking and exhibiting elements of the event, though adapted, remain a key feature of the conference. The virtual experience also presents many exciting new benefits, including accessibility to a broader and more diverse audience and input from more continental and international speakers.



Presented in partnership with Momentum Metropolitan

The journey from compliance to purpose – Plenary discussion

Volunteering through a global pandemic – Case study

Destigmatising Mental Health in corporate culture – TriTalk


Presented in partnership with Vodacom

How ICT can support gender empowerment – Plenary discussion

How tech can support women in farming – Case study

Tech innovations addressing the scourge of gender-based violence – TriTalk


Presented in partnership with ABSA

The nexus between social and environmental sustainability – Plenary discussion

ForFarmers Group – organised to determine their own destiny – Case study

The unequal burden of climate change – TriTalk


Presented in partnership with MTN SA Foundation

MTN Awards for Social Change – Plenary discussion

MTN Donors Den – Plenary discussion

The key themes will be aligned to the overarching focus of the conference taking place over the three mornings on 22, 23 and 24 June.

Day 1 (22 June): Purpose-driven organisations gaining momentum

Presented in partnership with Momentum Metropolitan

Purpose-led organisations have risen to the challenge of this Covid-ravaged period. They have proven clear on their ethos and committed to their staff, customers and suppliers. They are able to see well beyond today’s bottom-line, to the more equitable and sustainable future that they understand their responsibility in helping to build. Sessions under this theme will explore ethical and empathic leadership; the importance of embedding purpose into the core of the business; how purpose-led organisations have – and should – respond to their stakeholders; purposeful investment, beyond the CSI department; how employee volunteerism has been impacted by Covid-19, and corporate responsibility in supporting mental health.

Sessions under this theme will unpack:

  • The importance of embedding purpose into the core of the business
  • Ethical and empathic leadership
  • How purpose-led organisations have – and should – respond to their stakeholders
  • Purposeful investment, beyond the CSI department
  • How employee volunteerism has been impacted by Covid-19
  • Corporate responsibility in supporting mental health

Day 2 (23 June): ICT for gender empowerment

Presented in partnership with Vodacom

The role of ICT in development and the urgent need to fast-track gender equity are issues that, while they have long been on the national agenda, have been significantly amplified by the pandemic. Conference sessions under this theme will explore how women and girls can gain the necessary access and skills to leverage ICT resources to enhance their safety, education, livelihoods and wellbeing. This theme will also unpack how the public, corporate and non-profit sectors must work together to ensure that ICT bridges – rather than deepens – the gaping socioeconomic divide, prioritising women and girls.

Sessions under this theme will unpack:

  • How South Africa and Africa are faring in achieving global and local goals for gender equity, particularly in the workplace, education and health, as well as how technology can support achievement of these goals and the role of business in civil society in supporting this journey
  • How women are using technology to start and/or bolster their businesses
  • New careers in tech, and the expertise, insight and creativity that women bring to the technology sector
  • How tech can be embedded into education and how a diversified approach to teaching STEM subjects can help to address gender disparity in this field
  • What tech tools and connectivity can do for women and girls who experience gender-based violence, and how these tools can be made more widely accessible
  • Tech innovations that are improving the accessibility and provision of healthcare for women and girls, particularly in rural areas

Day 3 (24 June): The nexus between social and environmental sustainability

Presented in partnership with Absa

As the devastating effects of climate change grow, so does the urgency for all sectors of society to interrogate their activities and influence to ensure that they are being both environmentally responsible and responsive. Sessions under this theme are intended to provide broad overview and global insight, underpinned by local perspectives on why and how responsible business and development practitioners can and should consider environmental issues in their social development work.

The Trialogue Business in Society Virtual Conference programme includes the audience-favourite MTN Donors Den pitching session, which will take place on the afternoon of Thursday, 24 June 2021.

If your non-profit organisation (NPO) is registered with the Department of Social Development, works with youth, and uses technology to enable or enhance its programming, then we invite you to enter the MTN Donors Den for a chance to win R25 000, R15 000 or R10 000 in prize money. NPOs selected to pitch will also receive complimentary tickets to attend the full three-day conference.

ENTER BY 23 MAY 2021

Trialogue Business in Society Virtual Conference 2021 will take place on 22, 23, and 24 June 2021, from 8.30am – 12.30pm daily.

The programme features expert speakers, plenary sessions, exhibitions and plenty of networking opportunities. Plenary sessions, including keynote addresses and panel discussions, will provide overviews and framing of the selected themes, and offering delegates varied levels of engagement.

Each morning will follow a similar format:

  • Keynote address covering the theme at a high level
  • 10-minute executive overview by theme sponsor
  • Panel discussion, drawing on diverse perspectives and facilitating discussion and Q&A
  • Practical case study
  • TRI Talk: 15-minute TED-style talk
  • Breaks for networking and visiting virtual exhibition stands
  • Full conference, including a swag bag couriered to you: R1 500 (ex VAT)[Swag bags are available to South African delegates only; subject to availability]
  • Two days: R1 000 (ex VAT)
  • One day: R500 (ex VAT)

Group discounts:

  • Bookings for 3-5 delegates from the same organisation will receive a 30% discount
  • Bookings for 6+ delegates from the same organisation will receive a 40% discount

Virtually on

Yes, both non- and for-profit development-related organisations can exhibit online at a cost of R5000.

Please direct further inquiries to

We invite speakers based on their work’s alignment with our themes.

Please direct further inquiries to