Frank Talk, an Innovative Initiative for Young Professionals

In September 2010 the Steve Biko Foundation will launch Frank Talk , an innovative dialogue series for young professionals.Titled after the pseudonym under which Steve Biko wrote, this forum is designed to bring together young people from various sectors for discussion around salient issues impacting South Africa's political, economic and social development.

Although it may not be immediately evident, as South African society is known for its consultative nature, an initiative such as Frank Talk is a timely and needed endeavor. While there are a number of forums in which individuals can engage one another around relevant topics, there are a few that are cross cutting. To date, dialogue tends to happen within silos based on private or public sector affiliation, gender, student status or organizational membership ; but rarely between various constituencies.

Even less common , are discussions around social issues or policy reform for those who are not public sector or development professionals. This is particularly true for Frank Talk's target audience, those aged 25-40. For this generation, many of whom may not have histories of engagement with struggle organizations or current affiliations with socially relevant institutions , an initiative such as Frank Talk would fill a much needed void, creating a space for young people to engage one another around salient issues and refine their thinking.

Frank Talk will be comprised of the following elements:
. A monthly dialogue series ;
. A quarterly current events publication featuring contributions by topical experts and lay people ;
. A dynamic internet platform that will enable regular engagement with relevant topics as well as interaction among participants.

This blog will serve as a vehicle through which program participants can interact with one another on a continuous basis. We will also feature original articles and sourced materials that are of relevance to South African development. We encourage all participants to register their input and to submit any questions or any ideas for future articles and discussions.

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