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New CEO for innovation precinct

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Wits University has appointed Lesley Williams as the new CEO of the Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct.

Vice-Chancellor of Wits, Professor Adam Habib, says: “Through Tshimologong, Wits is enabling the development of a new generation of digital technology experts, innovators and entrepreneurs. The Precinct is providing space for our country’s most creative young minds to develop the new digital technologies that are crucial to South Africa’s economic growth and international competitiveness. As CEO, Lesley has been mandated to ensure that this initiative achieves its full potential.”

Williams describes herself as being: “enthusiastic about collaboration with particular passion for shaping the future of business that contributes to social innovation and enables participatory leadership.” She has spent 17 years actively engaged in setting up and running collaborative work spaces and associated programmes. In 2010, she established “Impact Hub Johannesburg” as the first Impact Hub in Africa and now one of over 100 Impact Hubs in major cities around the world. Impact Hub is a community of spaces, people and programming with an impact mission. She has served on the global Impact Hub Association Board. In 2011 she was named by the Mail & Guardian as one of its “Top 200 Young South Africans”.

Professor Barry Dwolatzky, head of Wits University’s Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) and founder of the Tshimologong Precinct, adds: “I’m really excited to welcome Lesley as our CEO. She brings a wealth of experience and boundless energy and enthusiasm to this important strategic initiative. Going forward my own role will be to support Lesley and her team in various ways with a particular focus on growing strategic relationships both locally and internationally.”