Calling all young South Africans who want to help build social justice and peace

PRESS OFFICE: UCT Graduate School of Business

The Bertha Centre at the UCT Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB), is calling on young South Africans to join a global community of peace makers at Build Peace 2020, a virtual international peace-building conference that gets underway this weekend.

Build Peace 2020, which begins Friday 6 November and runs until Sunday 8 November, is an annual global gathering of activists, academics, artists, policy makers and technologists, to share and advance knowledge on emerging challenges to peace in the digital era. This year, UCT GSB’s Bertha Centre – the first academic centre in Africa dedicated to advancing social innovation and entrepreneurship – has partnered with global non-profit Build Up to organise and host the conference online.

Bertha Centre Programme Manager, Fergus Turner, says the partnership with Build Up, a peace-building collective, is a natural fit. “We share a common interest in strengthening ties between peace builders, social justice workers and inspiring leaders who are catalysts for social and economic change, and human rights,” says Turner. “This year’s conference focusses on social justice and the coronavirus pandemic in the digital age as this plays out across three relevant sub-themes: identity polarisation, urban space and surveillance capitalism. Most importantly, Build Peace 2020 will be showcasing peace-building innovations, thinking tools and technology to address these challenges.”

The event was originally scheduled to be a physical event that would take place in Cape Town for the first time this year, but the pandemic has necessitated its shift online. The registration price, which is usually $100, will now be based on a sliding scale of donations starting at $15 (About R245), with free passes allowed on application and the opportunity to drop in and out into various workshops, sessions and performances.

Turner is encouraging young South African peace builders to take up this opportunity and register by Friday 6 November. “Build Peace 2020 is an amazing social justice initiative that is extremely relevant to all of society in this time of pandemic, but particularly the youth who are the engine of our future. Because this is now an online event, it means we can accommodate even more people and they don’t even have to be based in Cape Town. It is an opportunity too good to miss.”

Registered attendees will also get the chance to attend the conference next year, as it will again be held in South Africa. Turner emphasises that this will give them a valuable opportunity to build on the connections they make this year and build momentum for social justice in South Africa going forward.

To sign up for Build Peace 2020, please go to for more information on the conference programme and tickets.

For special conference invitation link for free tickets to students/activists, please use this link: