Meet the Advisory Board: How Dion Chang believes CAPSI can serve as an enabler of the future of Africa

Dion Chang CAPSI Advisory Board

Meet the Advisory Board: How Dion Chang believes CAPSI can serve as an enabler of the future of Africa


Dion Chang CAPSI Advisory BoardDiscussions about the world of the future provide us with the opportunity to have progressive conversations, but require the right mix of ambition, information and strategy in order to yield meaningful outcomes. Having a conversation with a person who is invested in understanding and conveying what lies ahead, allows individuals and organisations alike to gain clarity of their vision and plans. Dion Chang is one such person.


Dion is the founder of Flux Trends, a trend analysis consulting firm that specialises in distilling data into decision-making tools for business leaders in various sectors. Dion is also a member of our Advisory Board and describes himself as a walking ideas bank and professional cage rattler. He recently shared his reflections and thoughts around how CAPSI can serve as an enabler to the fields of philanthropy and social investment.


You may be asking yourself how philanthropy and trend analysis go hand-in-hand, or how social investment and planning for the future fit in the same sentence. They do so quite fluidly. Dion believes that CAPSI’s mandate of bridging the gap in the study, research and practice of philanthropy in Africa requires us to have an understanding of the continent’s history, while remaining curious of the future that can be built. With this we can develop the necessary skills and competencies to navigate the disruption that the future possibly holds. Furthermore, by leaving the ivory towers that academic and social development institutions once thrived in, CAPSI will be in a stronger position to better achieve its goals and bring about depth of meaning in its solutions.


By being proactively conscious of the future, we are able to operate with a lens that enables us to prepare ourselves and our partners for a rapidly changing world, in a sustainable and responsible manner. The sustainability lens challenges us in the sector to change the way that we approach access to information in our societies, our channels of giving, mechanisms of distribution, support of advocacy and other supporting pillars. Dion understands that planning for development with the future in mind may allow us to accept the narrative that philanthropy and corporate social investment need to be an internal agenda as opposed to the external community-based series of activities. He challenges that traditional community activities that are executed as a compliance requirement yet do not take into consideration wellbeing of employees, volunteers and other stakeholders, present more harm than the positive message they convey.


He has spent an extensive amount of time studying Generation Z (Gen Z), the newest generation of citizens born between 1995 and 2015, who are currently between the ages of 5-25 years old. Research shows that Gen Z, the most digitally engaged generation, operate with a different set of values to other generations. For example, Gen Zs believe that brands should have a strong philanthropic mandate in their operations, while most of them desire to pursue entrepreneurial careers in favour of traditional employment. “Africa is a really young continent with enormous potential. By 2030, the Gen Z of today will be the entrepreneurs and business leaders of tomorrow. It’s therefore crucial that we develop new models and reframe philanthropy to drive us into the future.”


The question then becomes how we can use the information that we have about trends at play, the possible near future and the generation that will be leading us. How does this information enable CAPSI as we prepare to expand our competency through research, course work and our other interventions?


Essentially, CAPSI is now able to pursue its mandate and progress with context that sustainability as a practice needs to be built into philanthropy, while engaging a generation that holds the largest median of Africa that will form part of the philanthropy and social investment sector of tomorrow. “Taking 20th-century ideas into the future is not feasible. The trajectory of philanthropy will be driven by society’s desire to bring about change, seen in community and individual giving, volunteerism and similar activities,” says Dion.


We anticipate the philanthropists and social investors of the future to lead the sector with the blinkers off. To begin enabling the sector today for tomorrow, CAPSI will continue to serve as a source of knowledge, a cultivator of partnerships, and a catalyst for innovation and community engagement. We will do this in a manner that is cognizant of what is to come, in order to prepare the sector and its participants for the world of the future.

Share this article:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on email
Share on print


Get the latest CAPSI news in your inbox.


Download the journal

Fill in your details to download your copy of the journal now!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

The Carnegie corporation of new york

Established in 1911 by Andrew Carnegie, the Carnegie Corporation of New York is one of America’s oldest grantmaking foundations and promotes the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding.

Their work focuses on international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge, and the strength of our democracy.

The corporation supports CAPSI with research and development of a new cohort of scholars.

The Charles mott foundation

An automotive pioneer, philanthropist, and leader in the community, Charles Stewart Mott cared about innovation, fairness, and communities.

By working toward a world where each individual’s quality of life is connected to the well-being of the community, both locally and globally, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation continues this legacy.

A founding funder of the Centre, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation supported the establishment of the Chair and continues to support our programmes.

The Ford Foundation

As an investor in transformative ideas, individuals and institutions, the Ford Foundations is one of the founding funders of CAPSI.

They have supported the planning and establishment of the centre and continue to support our programmes and operations.

Their invaluable work includes providing grants, investing in individuals through fellowships, and challenging inequalities through civic engagement, creativity, free expression and more.

The southern africa trust

Established in 2005 to respond to high levels of poverty and inequality, the Southern Africa Trust aims to increase the voices and agency of the poor.

This is in the hopes that it enables them to reach the necessary audiences and influence regional public policies as unrepresented stakeholders.

They are a founding partner of CAPSI and acted as a fiscal sponsor for Mott and Ford grants in the establishment of the Chair.

Download the journal

Fill in your details to download your copy of the journal now!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Download the journal

Fill in your details to download your copy of the journal now!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Susan Maposa

With 22 years of professional experience in Africa and Asia, Susan Maposa has developed a wide range of skills and expertise in the fields of philanthropy and social development.

This has established her as a leader in her work with multilateral and bilateral agencies, non-governmental organizations, research institutes and universities as well as consultancy firms. Her experience includes programme conceptualisation, design, management, implementation, evaluation and documentation.

She describes herself as a “pracademic”, and is passionate about working across the field of theory and development practice building one into the other. Read Susan’s complete bio and an excerpt from her research project.

Wycliffe Nduga Ouma

Wycliffe Nduga Ouma is a PhD candidate and a Research Assistant at the Wits Business School in Johannesburg.

Mr. Nduga has worked as a Research Associate with the Kenya School of Monetary Studies, a Central Bank of Kenya Research Institute mainly concerned with the Monetary Policy, Exchange Rates Movements, and Balance of Payments. He has also consulted and conducted training on Financial Markets and Investments for Organizations such as Knight Frank Commercial and Residential Properties in Kenya. He was part of the broad team that conducted research and wrote the Integrated Economic and Development Plan (Document) for Turkana County, a regional government authority in Kenya.

For the better part of 2017, Mr. Nduga consulted in the Finance and Accounts Department for the Italian Chamber of Trade and Industry, Johannesburg. Currently, alongside the PhD dissertation, Mr. Nduga assists in Teaching and Facilitation of the Financial Investments Decisions for the MBA students, Finance and Accounting, Financial Risk Management, Research on the Connection Between Finance and Corporate Philanthropy, and advising on research and classwork for MBA and Master students at the Wits Business.

He has a passion for research and consultancy in the areas of Financial Markets, Financial Risk Modelling, Investments and International Trade.

Keratiloe Mogotsi

Pan Africanist, pracademic, researcher, lean six sigma coach, project management professional and African Philanthropy Lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand — Keratiloe Mogotsi does it all.

She is currently a lecturer here at the Centre on African Philanthropy and Social Investment at the Wits Business School. Her research areas include disaster philanthropy in Africa, venture philanthropy, African philanthropy and philanthro-capitalism in Africa.

As someone who is passionate about the continent and its people, she uses her skills as an educator and coach to excel in everything that she does.

Alan Fowler

As a co-founder and long-time associate of INTRAC, Alan Fowler’s professional life has seen many changes. From being an Organisational Development Advisor, Foundation Programme Officer and Researcher, he is now an academic as he serves as an honorary professor and Chair in African Philanthropy, a role the first of its kind, at the Wits Business School. 

A career spanning some forty years devoted to civic agencies and NGOs has produced eleven books and dozens of papers about their role in international development, as well as numerous capacity building materials, conference presentations, lectures, and seminars. Combining theory and practice as a ‘pracademic’ continues as the thread in his contribution to citizen-driven social justice.

Bhekinkosi Moyo

Dr Bheki Moyo is a writer, author, researcher and thought-leader with keen interest in questions of African resources, democracy and governance.

In addition to championing the African discourse on philanthropy, he has contributed to the growth of many African civil society formations and participated in most African processes of development and governance.

Over the course of his career, he has written extensively about African philanthropy, civil society, and governance. Additionally, he has extensive experience in leadership, management, and strategic roles.

Xolani Dlamini

As an experienced Digital Publisher specialising in academic/scholarly publishing, particularly Open Access journals, Xolani Dlamini has been involved in managing and publishing various academic journals in different fields of study.

Thandi Makhubele

Thandi Makhubele, the current Programme Manager (Acting) at CAPSI, joined us from the SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation) where she worked for twelve years in various departments, including TV News and Current Affairs and Supply Chain and Legal services.

She holds an Honours Degree in International Relations and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Security at the Wits School of Governance with a focus on Philanthropy and Women’s development.

In addition to volunteering with Hand of Compassion, providing help to young pregnant women and displaced women, she hopes to bring her passion for human development, security, and creativity to the Centre.