Innovation is everywhere, apparently. From the most exciting tech start-ups to the most mind-blowing science to the dullest of business processes: “innovation” is second only to “disruption” in the ever growing archive of words that are losing their meaning through over use and mis-application.

So when we were approached by the organisers of Leaderex to curate a day-long program of events around innovation, we wanted to see what we could do to help give the word some meaning again.

Leaderex is one of the best tech and business conferences of the year, and it takes place on 24th August at Sandton Convention Centre. Billed as South Africa’s largest gathering of executives, professionals and entrepreneurs it features an main exhibition space with seven separate “masterclass” programmes running throughout the day.

In the Innovation masterclass sessions, we’ve put together a series of presentations and panels which cover a wide spectrum of subjects. We’re looking at how to identify and find real innovators in the townships and rural areas who operate away from the gaze of media, and what processes corporates can use to foster creative thinking at work. We’re looking at whether or not putting tablet computers in schools is real innovation, or whether education is a bit more complex than that.

In renewable energy, we’re looking at how banks can change the way they finance renewable energy now that the technology is more or less a solved problem, and no discussion of innovation would be complete without a session on the future of virtual reality in the workplace – but ours will be a bit more practical and hands-on than most.

The full program for the Innovation masterclasses is below, and you can find out about all the other events happening at Leaderex over here. Best of all, if you register to attend before 19 August, entry to everything including all speaking sessions is free.

So join us on 24 August as we try to put meaning back into the word innovation. It’s going to be great. The full agenda for Innovation is below and you can find out about the rest of the expo and conference stream here.

10.30 – The state of innovation in South Africa
11.30 – Can big business innovate?
12.30 – Can you teach digital innovation?
13.30 – From Facebook to the factory floor: How VR has a role to play in the business sector
14.30 – Can innovation save South Africa’s education system?
15.45 – It’s financial, not tech innovation we need for clean energy
16.45 – Finding and funding SA’s grassroots innovators

Adam is the Editorial Director at htxt media. He has been writing about technology for almost two full decades now. In a previous life, he was the editor of PC Format and Digital Camera Shopper in the UK, before going on to work as a freelance journalist for seven years. His work has appeared in or on Stuff, The Guardian, Linux Format, TechRadar,, PC Gamer, Green Futures, The Journalist, The Ecologist and The Review. Adam moved to South Africa in 2012 and loves 3D printers, MakerFairs and tech hubs. He hates seafood. None of his friends remember this when cooking.