The Brenthurst Foundation
Strengthening Africa's
economic performance

Team member

Lyal White

Research Associate

Prof. Lyal White established the research and advisory practice Contextual Intelligence in August 2020. Prior to this, he was the founding Director of the Johannesburg Business School (JBS) at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa, where he is a Senior Research associate and visiting faculty. The focus of the JBS under his leadership was on growing and scaling new business in Africa, committed to an innovative approach to learning that revisits the purpose of business that is both contextually relevant and sustainable.

His areas of interest and expertise cover a broad range of interdisciplinary fields, with a particular focus on comparative political economy and strategy in Africa, Asia and Latin America. He is widely published in news media, academic journals and books, and a regular commentator on radio, television and social media.

Having worked in a range of sectors covering themes from investment strategy, competitiveness, leadership and culture in new and complex markets to reform, growth and development in various geographies around the world, he has developed a keen interest in measuring and understanding the complexity and opportunity around context, and how this relates to a global mindset. How countries, firms and individuals improve their competitive performance balanced with purpose and impact is key. To this end, Prof. White has undertaken various studies and developed indices around institutions, metrics of performance and economic progress.

Prof. White has vast experience in ‘on-the-ground’ research and advisory in new markets – especially in Africa and Latin America. To this end, he has championed a diversity of initiatives and publications, and worked with a wide range of partners in various countries seeking fresh opportunities, always deeply conscious of impact on the social, cultural and political domain.

Prof. White has lived and worked in South Africa, Rwanda, Argentina, Colombia, Morocco and the US. He is a Research Associate at the Brenthurst Foundation and a board member and faculty on the Global Leadership Programme with the Conscious Leadership Institute, the Chair of the Eye Gym advisory board, and was elected to the board of the Association of African Business Schools (AABS) in June 2019.

Prof. White was previously at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) at the University of Pretoria, and has taught at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, Universidad de Los Andes in Colombia, Al Akhawayn University in Morocco, Science Po – Bordeaux, France, and the Kelly School of Business - Indiana University. He lectures regularly at CEDEP in Fontainebleau, France, Strathmore Business School in Kenya, and was a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) at UC Berkeley in the US.

Lyal is committed to purpose-driven business with a deep cultural understanding and impact. The right measures of performance are key. He is of the firm belief that strong institutions and connectedness builds community, and this will harness long-term prosperity for people and organisations across the globe.


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The Brenthurst Foundation

Strengthening Africa's
economic performance

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