Meet the Speakers

Johannesburg 2023

Special Session Speakers

Workshop Facilitators

Keynote Speakers

Prof Jeff French

iSMA President, CEO Strategic Social Marketing, Emeritus Professor Kings College London & Brighton University

Jeff French is a recognised global leader in the application of behaviour change and social marketing. Jeff has extensive experience of developing leading and evaluating behaviour change projects, social marketing programmes and the development of communication strategies at international, national, regional and local level.

With over 30 years experience at the interface between government, public, private and NGO sectors Jeff has a broad practical and theoretical understanding of national and international health and social development issues.

Jeff and has published over 70 chapters, articles and books in the fields of behaviour change, social marketing, community development, health promotion and communications. Jeff is a visiting professor at Brunel University and Brighton University and a Fellow at Kings College University London and teaches at four other Universities in the UK.

Jeff was the Director of Communication and Policy at the Health Development Agency for five years from 2000 – 2005. In March 2005 From July 2006 through to July 2009 Jeff set up and managed the National Social Marketing Centre for England. In August 2009 Jeff became the Chief Executive of Strategic Social Marketing Ltd.

Strategic Social Marketing works with clients from all over the world in the private, NGO and public sector on the development and evaluation of social behaviour change programmes. Strategic Social Marketing also provides consultancy services to some of the world’s biggest corporate communications and research companies.

Jeff continues to act as the principle adviser to the National Social Marketing Centre and the Department of Health behaviour Change and Social Marketing policy team. Jeff also acts as an advisor to a number of national policy committees, the EUCDC Knowledge and Resource Centre in Health Communication project, and is a member of the organising committee of the Global Social Marketer’s network. Jeff is a member of the editorial Boards of the International Review on Public and Nonprofit Marketing and the Journal of Social Marketing.

Jeff is Conference Chair of the World Social Marketing Conference. His new book ‘Social Marketing and Public Health Theory and Practice’, published by Oxford University Press is now available. Jeff is also the author of the NSMC’s new guide to procuring and managing the delivery of social marketing service.

Babafunke Fagbemi

Executive Director, Centre for Communication and Social Impact

Babafunke Fagbemi has had over 29 years of an illustrious career, developing and managing Social Behaviour Change initiatives for health and social development.

As the pioneer Executive Director of the Centre for Communication and Social Impact (CCSI), for the past 15 years, Babafunke provides leadership and oversight for malaria, family planning, WASH, nutrition, disease epidemics, ending violence against children and women, NTDs, peace and conflict resolution, good governance and anti-corruption. With her at the helm, CCSI has grown from a small team to a fully functional multidisciplinary SBC team of over 300 in its headquarters and in the field.

In addition to her primary role at CCSI, she further spearheads many capacity-building initiatives and is well known for her role in building the capacity of over 500 communication practitioners through the annual Leadership in Strategic Communications Workshop. The workshop, modelled after Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs Leadership workshops has become a cornerstone in CCSI's capacity-building mission and is a unique opportunity for health and development communication professionals in the continent and beyond.

Babafunke holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy (B. Pharm) degree (1989)  of University of Ibadan, a Master of Communication Arts (M.C.A.) degree (2000) from the Communication and Language Arts Department of the Faculty of Arts, University of Ibadan and, a Masters of Business Administration (2017) MBA from the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom.

Globally acclaimed as one of the leading lights in Africa on Social Behavior Change (SBC), she has dedicated the past decade to building the next generation of strategic communicators. Highly respected in the industry, she has led the provision of SBC support to government at national and subnational levels, playing critical leadership roles including support for risk communications during health outbreaks.

An entertainer at heart, she is resourceful and creative.  Babafunke has Executive produced notable media projects, partnering with ‘A’ list celebrities from Nigeria’s Nollywood and music Industries to create campaigns for Childbirth spacing, Family planning, and Malaria advocacies. One such collaboration is the popular music video “Get it together” on family planning, an alliance with local music icons Paul of P Square and Tiwa Savage. To date “Get it together” has almost 7 million organic views on YouTube.

She has authored in various capacities contributing to the SBC body of knowledge. Recently, she was nominated as a Goalkeeper for the Bill and Melinda French Gates Foundation joining a global community of change makers working towards the attainment of sustainable development goals. She made the 2022 edition of Nigeria Women Annual:100 Leading Women and received the Wise Women Awards for the 2022 Christian Woman in Leadership Award.

Having raised 3 creative-inclined children, Babafunke has a passion for working with children, devoting 35 years to date serving as a Sunday School Teacher. She currently heads a very vibrant children’s church unit in a renowned Pentecostal Church in Nigeria.

She is passionate about making a difference where it matters most!

Her hobbies include music, badminton, and photography.

Cal Bruns

Owner, Chief innovationist and Creative Director, Matchboxology

In his first career, Cal spent 20 years across 5 continents as a highly awarded creative director with a global advertising agency Leo Burnett. Seventeen years ago, he pivoted to co-found Africa's first Human Centered Design firm; Matchboxology.  By bringing those communities and individuals closest to challenges into the problem-solving process, Cal and Matchboxology have helped public and private sector leaders improve impact across public health, entrepreneurship development, policy, vulnerable community resiliency and social behavior change across 18 countries. Matchboxology's communications campaigns and engagement designs have been cited by USAID as best practices.  He has lived in South Africa for the past 23 years and in addition to his HCD work has produced and directed numerous ethnographic and documentary films and is a passionate but very average senior surfer.

Prof. Doug Evans

The George Washington University

Doug Evans is Professor of Prevention and Community Health & Global Health at The George Washington University. His research focuses on the use of branding and digital technologies as behavior change strategies. He designs and evaluates social marketing campaigns using these strategies, and is currently working in Sudan to conduct a 4-year outcome evaluation of the Saleema campaign to promote women's and girls health.


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