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Lesley Williams


Lesley believes that living your full potential is a basic human right regardless of the life you were born into. This belief drives her work. She has over 17 years of international experience in designing ecosystems and networks as well as developing hubs for innovation and change. Her specialist skills include process facilitation, change management, innovation and stakeholder engagement.

She is currently CEO of Tshimologong Precinct, a Wits University initiative that propels skills development for employability and entrepreneurship in the digital economy through collaboration with provincial government, corporates and entrepreneurs. She is the Managing Member of Lesley Donna Williams Consulting (PTY) Ltd.

Lesley co-founded Impact Hub Johannesburg in 2010 – the first in Africa and now one of over 100 Impact Hubs in major cities around the world supporting social entrepreneurs. She has served on the global Association Board and has supported several teams in their development process.

Born out of a need to address Xenophobia in South Africa, Lesley convened I AM AFRICA in 2015, a movement to support ordinary people in their drive to transform Africa for the better.

She is currently participating on the inaugural class of the “Obama Foundation Leaders Progamme: Africa” as part of 200 emerging leaders from across the continent to explore new ways to take on the biggest challenges in their communities. Lesley is a recipient of the 2018 InspiringFifty award, an initiative by the Kingdom of the Netherlands to recognize the 50 most inspiring women in South Africa’s science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) industries. She became a recipient of a 2015 Unashamedly Ethical Award in the Business Category and in 2011 was selected onto the list of the Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans. In 2009 she was selected as one of 60 young global leaders on a BP Antarctica Expedition focusing on Climate Change.

Lesley’s work has been featured in a range of local and international media outlets.