Global Forum Companion Program
One of the unique features of the Fortune/TIME/CNN Global Forum is a complimentary three-day program for delegate spouses—with some events open to delegates as well—that is as carefully planned and memorable as the Forum itself. The 2010 program, cosponsored by the International Marketing Council of South Africa, provided privileged access to some of the most interesting people and places of the host city
Cape Town is the Mother City of South Africa. Located at the confluence of the Pacific and Indian oceans, this oldest of South African cities was the southern gateway to the African continent for traders and settlers from other continents. Today, it is a vibrant modern metropolis—the seat of government, a bustling port, a sports capital, a hub of the motion picture industry, and a major tourism destination—with a rich blend of cultures, reflected in its 11 official languages. Our guests had the opportunity to get in touch with the real Cape Town through interactive experiences—way beyond those of a casual visitor—that showcase the diversity of the city’s people and its heritage.
Saturday, 26 June
ROBBEN ISLAND TOUR AND CONVERSATION
Since the 17th century, this two-square-mile island off Cape Town has played many roles in South Africa's history: military base, hospital, maximum-security prison. Robben ("seals" in Dutch) Island is best known as the place where former South African President Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years of incarceration. For its prisoners, the island became the campus of an alternative university. With Mandela's release, 20 years ago on February 11, this tiny fragment of real estate assumed a new set of roles: a monument to the triumph of the human spirit, a symbol of the new South Africa, and, since 1999, a venerated World Heritage Site. It is the perfect place to begin exploring South Africa's transformation and converse with some of those who played a part in it.
Our visit was hosted by Ahmed Kathrada, who spent 18 years in Robben Island Prison for his role in the anti-apartheid movement. He went on to serve as Parliamentary Counselor during the Mandela presidency and to chair the councils of Robben Island and its museum. Following the tour, which included a visit to what may be the world's most famous prison cell, we sat down for coffee and conversation with well-known South African author, Antjie Krog.
WELCOMING RECEPTION AND DINNERS IN THE HOMES OF DISTINGUISHED SOUTH AFRICAN LEADERS
Open to all Delegates and Spouses
Sunday, 27 June
MORNING SPOUSE ACTIVITY:
ARCHITECTURAL HERITAGE AND SCENIC TOUR
Cape Town is an architectural mosaic - mixing the modern with traditional African, Asian, and European elements and styles - framed by the natural beauty of Table Mountain and the surrounding oceans. Its iconic Cape Dutch style is rooted in the architectures of Holland, Germany, the French Huguenots, and Indonesia. Our scenic/architectural overview tour of the city was curated and guided by Anya van der Merwe Misczewski, an acclaimed architect and professor at the University of Cape Town School of Architecture and Planning. It culminated with tea at Groote Schuur Manor House, the former presidential residence. Built in the 17th century as a granary for the Dutch East India Company (VOC), Groote Schuur ("big barn") later became the home of Cecil Rhodes, who bequeathed it to the nation.
GOURMET FOOD AND WINE EXPERIENCE
Vergelegen ("situated far away"), South Africa's leading "icon" wine estate, welcomes its guests into a world that harmonizes past and present. Built on land granted to the governor of the Cape in 1700, the estate - with its stately homestead, historic trees, octagonal garden, and lush valley - has developed a unique culture over the centuries. Wine has long been part of that culture. Vergelegen has twice won the coveted Chateau Pichon-Longueville-Comtesse-de-Lalande Trophy for best red blend. Readers of South Africa's leading wine magazine have voted it the country's best winery for five successive years. Lunch, prepared by a leading South African chef, was accompanied by a show of prêt-à-porter fashion from South Africa's top designers.
OPENING RECEPTION, GALA DINNER, AND ENTERTAINMENT
Open to all Delegates and Spouses
Monday, 28 June
EARLY MORNING SPOUSE ACTIVITY:
TABLE MOUNTAIN SUNRISE
For our morning activity, the group rode the cable car through the cool morning air to the top of Table Mountain and watched all of Cape Town, its glorious beaches, and Robben Island—two-thirds of a mile below—emerge in the dawn light. The product of six million years of erosion, the flat-topped mountain that forms Cape Town’s dramatic backdrop is South Africa’s most recognized and photographed landmark. This striking icon is the planet’s only natural site forv which a constellation is named: Mensa (“the table”). The group had exclusive access to the viewing platform and will enjoyed a mountaintop breakfast.
MORNING SPOUSE ACTIVITY:
ART, CRAFT, AND DESIGN
Our exploration of the South Africa’s rich legacy of art, craft, and design was hosted by the Cape Craft & Design Institute (CCDI), a not-for-profit organization established in 2001 to develop and promote craft as an economic engine. For many of the 40,000 South Africans who work in craft—textiles; bead-, wood-, and leatherwork; ceramics; and objects made from natural and found or recycled materials—it is their point of entry into the mainstream economy. A group of local artisans and designers shared their inspirations and success stories, providing an interactive demonstration of techniques. We also toured the South African National Gallery, which houses outstanding collections of African and European art. The country’s premier art museum, it has redefined its mission in recent years to focus on collecting contemporary South African art.