The Knysna Literary Liaison panel discussion and dinner at Ile De Pain on the 7th of November was a resounding success.

Ling Dobson, founder of the NPO Knysna Literary Festival that hosted the evening, said tickets for the evening were sold out. “The high profile panel with Moletsi Mbeki, Marek Hanusch from the World Bank and Mari Harris from IPSOS left the guests with some food for thought, and a willingness to actively contribute to improve the current state of affairs.”

This was reiterated by local Knysna resident Pat Mulder. “We are all positive rather than negative, and determined to do something pro-active. A group of us have already met and are organizing an interactive discussion group.”

The evening was facilitated by JJ Thabane and he thanked the Knysna Literary Liaison for hosting this type of in depth discussion. “The dialogue proved that South Africans can think out of the box to find lasting solutions. The future looks bright, thanks for hosting such brains!”

Dobson said panel member and World Bank Senior Economist Marek Hanusch reiterated findings of their recently launched Systematic Country Diagnostics about the importance of skills development going forward. “He said skills are imperative for success and that investing in skills is the key to overcome the legacy of exclusion. Proceeds of this evening will be contributed to fund educational bursaries for scholars at Knysna Primary School, our commitment as the Literary Liaison to lay the foundation for well educated South Africans with a variety of skill sets.”

Markus Färbinger from île de païn, the culinary hosts of the evening, said they thoroughly enjoyed being part of the event. “A boutique economic forum focused by respected industry experts, guests were actively participating through poignant questioning. A menu designed around “thinking outside the box” offered delightful surprises and the unique wines gave a glimpse of what South Africa is able to accomplish at its best.