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Our team

The valued members of our team are handpicked for specific projects to help our clients achieve their strategic business objectives.

Mags Shapiro

As part of the Next Generation consulting team, Mags Shapiro focuses extensively on GRI-aligned sustainability and integrated reporting, sustainability and CSI strategy development as well as project management. She is also an ethical trade consultant, trainer and researcher.

Mags combines a drive to improve, reduce waste, save the planet and engage with stakeholders in developing strategies, writing and changing hearts (and minds). She also performs magic with graphs and infographics!

Mags contributes to diverse assignments. She has extensive knowledge of global supplier and enterprise development processes, a deep understanding of complex industry challenges and an ability to work with stakeholders across multiple value streams. Mags is the founder of Social Capital SA.

Dhiren Govender

Dhiren Govender’s ability to work across industry sectors, geographic boundaries and multigenerational audiences ensures that Next Generation’s clients have deep insight into future markets, opportunities, products and services – truly providing shared value and social capital.

Dhiren is a hands-on young professional with more than 6 years’ experience in non-profit and public benefit management, both locally in South Africa as well as internationally, having worked on projects across Southern Africa, Asia and Europe.

Dhiren’s passion lies in the area where entrepreneurship, business and sustainability meet. He also has a penchant for youth leadership development as a strong believer in mentoring and reverse-mentoring as a means of bridging multigenerational communication gaps.

As the CEO of Brightest Young Minds (BYM), Dhiren contributes extensive insight into and knowledge of the global social investment and development sector. He is good at working with a large range of stakeholders and managing complex problems, systems and processes.

Wendy Lessing

With extensive experience in the development field, Wendy Lessing supports the work of Next Generation Consultants by offering fundraising and project management services to non-profit organisations, donor agencies and educational institutions.

Wendy has a wealth of experience working with international funders and developing organisations, providing technical and organisational capacity-building. During her time at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Wendy assisted in coordinating the business input into the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development.

Wendy’s deep insight into complex development processes and sustainability practices for non-profit organisations, her ability to raise and secure funding, as well as her knowledge of organisational management practices make her a valuable member of our consulting team.

Her diverse experience has equipped her with a wide range of skills. She has been involved with the Anglo-American Chairman’s Fund, Research Africa, Abbeyfield SA (as director) and the University of Cape Town (various development roles). She is a director of Words that Count.

Shanaaz Nel

For Next Generation’s clients, Shanaaz Nel delivers impactful campaigns, communication strategies and projects that directly affect the lives of millions in Africa and around the world. Her area of expertise is in the fields of agriculture and food, climate change, energy and water management.

Shanaaz is a proud Pan-African human rights activist and enjoys working with teams who are willing to break the mould. She was recognized as one of South Africa’s Top 100 Young South Africans by South Africa’s Mail & Guardian newspaper for her ongoing contribution to civil society initiatives and environmental activism. She applies the “work smart, not hard” approach to projects by tapping into a person’s strongest qualities and skills to achieve the best outcomes.

Shanaaz is an entrepreneur, development specialist and the CEO of Professional Evaluation and Research (PEAR), the first 100% female-owned, BBBEE level 1 business in the media monitoring and evaluation sector in South Africa.

Stephane Jacques Soami Mabiala

Stephane Mabiala has extensive experience in impact assessment and socio-economic research, as well as industry experience in the ICT, agribusiness, microfinance, banking and energy sectors. He is a qualified Francophone socio-economist, a good communicator (in English, French and Arabic) and knowledgeable about the African socio-economic sustainability sphere.

He brings a wealth of experience to Next Generation Consultants in the fields of socio-economic consulting, stakeholder engagement, research and investment management strategy. He is also a key author of the regional flagship Asia-Pacific Human Development Report.

Melanie Jackson

Melanie Jackson is a trained journalist who began her journey in resource mobilisation and cut her teeth on corporate social investment and public affairs.

As part of the Next Generation consulting team, Melanie focuses on grantmaking practices and raising funds for a variety of causes. Melanie assists organisations with the development of investment strategies, measuring the impact of their interventions as well as providing an outsourced management process for companies that do not have an in-house CSI resource. Melanie is a partner at Words that Count, a successful trainer and mentor.

Nicola Coundourakis

Nicola Coundourakis has extensive experience in research and strategy for CSI, the non-profit sector, academia and start-ups. Her contribution to Next Generation Consultants is working with local and international clients in creating organisational and project strategies and working in research areas such as socio-economics and monitoring and evaluation.

Nicola is particularly passionate about community economics, equality and human rights and the role of the public, private and non-profit sectors in creating a sustainable future for all. As such, she is a perfect fit for Next Generation Consultants.

With roots in critical discourse analysis, Nicola has specialised in public and development management with the view of working holistically and cross-sectorally. She is a published researcher and has contributed to public discussions on intersectionality, philanthropy and the future of the non-profit sector.

Michelle Festus

Next Generation utilises Michelle Festus’s extensive expertise in gender equality and women’s rights and benefits from her more than 20 years’ experience in the development sector.

Michelle has personal experience of the health and healing benefits of tai chi and its impact on change processes. She integrates this mind/body practice into social justice work for personal as well as organisational transformation. Michelle is the director of an independent consultancy and the owner of a tai chi practice.

Jaco Pienaar

Jaco Pienaar’s contribution relates to organisational development, media research and analysis, knowledge management, research, data management, methodological design, information systems, process development, systems thinking and project management.

He has experience with multinational clients and companies across all industries, including FMCG, financial, technological, media, oil and gas, natural resources, public relations, government, academic and automotive.

His knowledge of industry mapping, media (traditional and digital) insight and measurement adds value to our team, as well as his strong focus on research, analysis and writing.

Mandisa Melaphi

Mandisa Melaphi is a highly skilled development practitioner with 10 years’ experience in the research and policy spaces. As part of Next Generation’s independent consulting team, she is a social investment strategist who focuses on sustainable business practice. She also assists Next Generation’s clients with designing and curating social investment strategies that demonstrate shared value and provide a clear return on investment.

Drawing on an intricate knowledge of transitioning societal and commercial landscapes, Mandisa focuses on research and analysis of influencing ecosystems in strategic engagement areas, data collation and impact assessment of existing programme portfolios, as well as strategy design aligned to corporate objectives.

Mandisa’s knowledge and insight about the African continent, working with Pan-African organisations, international development agencies and indigenous communities are invaluable.

Philile Gumede

Philile Gumede’s contribution to the Next Generation team is her extensive insight into complex economic, environmental and social aspects and the African youth. She has more than 10 years’ experience in community and social initiatives solutions and is a co-founder and projects director of Mveli CSI Solutions, a fellow of the Aspen Global Leadership Network – Young Africa Leadership Initiative (YALI) and a publisher of The Social Investor magazine.

Philile enjoys opportunities to collaborate with other experts on CSI consulting projects. She has experience in network development, knowledge capture and social innovation programme design. Her personal community leadership project is on social leadership training and development of urban marginalised youths.

Suzaan Rossouw

As part of Next Generation’s independent consulting team, Suzaan Rossouw excels in the corporate social investment sphere with a keen interest in human rights impact assessments. She has extensive experience in a variety of industry sectors, including mining, resources, energy, water and manufacturing. This ensures that she can contribute to the future sustainability and risk management practices of clients.

Suzaan is South African, but refers to herself as a citizen of the world and a daughter of Africa. She is a legal practitioner by trade, environmentalist through specialisation and social responsibility investigator by choice. She is an avid researcher and enjoys writing.

Her value to Next Generation’s clients is her experience in corporate and commercial law and her specialist knowledge of the environmental, mining and sustainability spheres. She is currently pursuing a postgraduate degree at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) in business, management and administration.

Lungiswa Mzimba

Lungiswa Mzimba’s enthusiasm for the ways in which brands can leverage opportunities and engage communities to responsibly deliver on their promise and advance a more human economy adds tremendous value to Next Generation’s clients. Her brand, marketing, communication and advisory services are aimed at helping brands re-imagine sustainability.

Lungiswa is a founder of and brand consultant at Border Frontier. Her passions include branding, communication and sustainability. Building brands that are purpose-driven, creatively engaging, business-orientated and socially impactful is Lungiswa’s contribution to the team.

Andile Gumbi

Andile Gumbi’s contribution is in social investment, development strategy and programme development. He also assists with customer satisfaction, research, impact assessments, enterprise supplier development and stakeholder management.

Andile’s background is in social sciences. He has extensive experience in the social service organisational (non-governmental and not-for-profit) sectors. As owner of Skhunyana Consulting, he specialises in research and policy, strategy and enterprise supplier development. He also has experience in the public sector.

Ruth Singer

Ruth Singer assists with the project management processes of Next Generation’s various assignments. She conducts and assists the consultants in their roll-out. She considers herself a consultant in training.

Ruth has a background in geography and environmental sciences and is an alumnus of the University of the Witwatersrand. She has previous work experience in urban food security, NPO management, cultural and archaeological heritage and complimentary healthcare. She completed a course in business sustainability management through the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.

From urban food farming to high-end retail, Ruth is focused on solidifying her knowledge and expertise in corporate sustainability and social and environmental development. She is driven to learn, understand and evolve in the development space in South Africa and beyond.

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