Our Work

We believe the following is necessary to realise the transformation we envision for South Africa: clear and animating ideas, a new political culture and focused, credible and modernizing leadership.

Our work has three pillars

Developing transformative policy and political reform alternatives

Solving South Africa’s crisis needs fresh ideas grounded in our constitutional and democratic values. The Rivonia Circle’s policy development program will reimagine our political institutions and culture, social policy, and political economy to support a more inclusive, just and prosperous society.

Finding and training public leaders who are willing to transform South Africa’s future

New ideas need forward-looking, innovative, and modernising leaders who care about South Africans, their well-being and the country’s future. Our leadership programme will prepare them for public leadership, in partnership with leading local and global institutions.

Facilitating inclusive public dialogue and democratic action

For far too long, discussions on South Africa and the country’s future have been the preserve of the few. Rivonia Circle’s dialogues will facilitate the participation of ordinary people across the country in the conception and realization of the future they imagine.

We are building our work In FOUR MODIALITIES. Over time we will launch work In each modality.



dialogue platforms about various important issues among communities of people from all backgrounds. Using toolkits developed the Rivionia Circle team, circle conversations can be hosted on any platform and with any group.

CIRCLE CONVERSATIONS are guided by principles such as:

  • Participation
  • Equality
  • Mutual respect
  • Compassion
  • Focus
  • Solutions-driven

The aim is to promote social listening, finding new ideas and building communities that develop opportunities to take action for change. Platforms include:

  • Spaces
  • WhatsApp communities
  • Facebook groups
  • Traditional Webinars
  • Community meetings
  • Activist knowledge exchange
  • Home-based meet ups

Look out for the launch of the following modalities soon


traditional and action-oriented research methods that centre the voices of people unearthing expert knowledge from communities and academics.

RESEARCH CIRCLES are not limited to gathering information passively but include community-based projects that promotes learning from and through the work of activist, community members and academics trying to solve problems faced today in ways that will shape policies tomorrow.

RESEARCH CIRCLES projects include:

  • The Democracy Builder Project that works with communities to solve local problems through active citizenry
  • South African Futures 2035 – Scenario Planning
  • Policy Reference groups convene thinkers, activist and policy makers who transform ideas into policy alternatives

The platforms and outcomes of RESEARCH CIRCLES include:

  • Case studies of best practices
  • Community based action-research
  • Surveys and Focus groups
  • Public lectures
  • Seminars


The TRAINING CIRCLES – we invite leaders from all backgrounds in society to be upskilled as community activist, political activist and potentially people working in public service, even if they had never considered political leadership.

Building a capable state requires that the best leaders in the country are willing to take up public leadership. Training opportunities that equip people with skills and networks to build their agency as change makers.

Content will cover leadership, public service, activism and media skills.

TRAINING CIRCLES will be enabled by:

  • Development of training toolkits
  • Train the trainer sessions
  • Partnerships with existing training programmes


opportunities for artists, creatives, emerging talents and professional producers to, in the words of the great Nina Simone, reflect the times. Art can be used to educate, conscientize, inspire and communicate about policy and political ideas.

The following tools will be used to support and encourage political artistic expression: 

  • Artist political and policy workshops producing content
  • Improve theatre community workshops
  • Art installations / mobile art installations
  • Writing and video content submissions and anthologies
Get Involved to be notified about opportunities to participate in these exciting work modalities.