Register now: UP to host first Nobel Prize Dialogue in Africa on 18 May

Posted on April 30, 2021

A free online event featuring Nobel Prize laureates discussing the future of working life will be hosted by UP, and is now open for registration.

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the challenges that face present and future generations of workers into stark relief.

The implications of working life in the future will be discussed with Nobel Prize laureates and experts on 18 May 2021 during the Nobel Prize Dialogue, which will be hosted by and broadcast from UP.

Registration for this free online event is now open.

Organised by Nobel Prize Outreach and UP, the meeting aims to bring science and society closer, and stimulate creative thinking by gathering a unique constellation of Nobel Prize laureates, key opinion leaders, policymakers, students, researchers and the general public. Three Economic Sciences laureates – Christopher Pissarides, Joseph Stiglitz and Abhijit Banerjee – will be joined by Physics laureate Brian Schmidt and Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus.

Many questions will be raised during the dialogue, such as: what is the “new normal” for working life; what benefits does diversity bring to the workplace; how does an ageing global population change the labour market; and how is the COVID-19 pandemic changing the nature of work?

The Nobel Prize Dialogues were inspired by the Nobel Week Dialogue, which has been taking place in Sweden since 2012 on the day preceding the Nobel Prize award ceremony. Since then, the events have been organised in many countries across the world, but this will be the first time that one takes place in Africa.

Other speakers include Dr Akinwumi A Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group; Professor Eeva Leinonen of Murdoch University; and lawyer Nicky Newton-King, former CEO of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

“Partnerships such as the one with Nobel Prize Outreach help in the sharing and co-creation of knowledge,” said Prof Tawana Kupe, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of UP. “COVID-19 has meant a change in the way we work, with mental health issues on the rise. The workplace is also changing in the face of the fourth industrial revolution.”

Prof Kupe said he looks forward to what promises to be robust discussions around the benefits of diversity in the workplace and the contribution of ageing populations to the workplace. The University of Pretoria Senate is also set to consider the approval and launch of a Centre for the Future of Work two days after the event. 

“We are very much looking forward to this cooperation with the University of Pretoria and the first Nobel Prize Dialogue in Africa,” said Laura Sprechmann, CEO for Nobel Prize Outreach. “We will be joined by five Nobel Prize laureates and several other speakers, sharing insights that will help us to understand the challenges we are facing for working life in the future.”

To register for event, please visit


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