Who we are


RIIS is the pioneering open innovation firm in South and Southern Africa.

We are driven by a single purpose – to consistently empower people, organisations and communities to innovate, and thereby to create a better world. We achieve this by rigorously understanding the long term strategic needs of our partners, and working with them to design an innovation journey that is achievable, valuable, and fully supported.

This results in the delivery of technical and social networks and platforms that connect people with challenges, to those who have solutions – the underlying principle of open innovation (OI). Beginning with the implementation of the first custom-designed platforms in South Africa, RIIS has delivered six open innovation platforms and completed over 100 open innovation engagements across South Africa, Namibia, and Zambia; we are currently in the design phase of an implementation for West Africa, based out of Lagos.

Further speaking to our mission of changing society through collaboration, RIIS has established two other innovation network organisations. The first is the SA Innovation Summit – the largest innovation event in South Africa with 500 delegates during its main sessions, and several thousand exhibition visitors. RIIS spun the Summit out in 2012 into a separately held organisation.

The second organisation is the SA Innovation Network (SAINe), a non-profit organisation dedicated to building collaboration and enhancing professional innovation management across South Africa. To maintain the independence of the network, RIIS voluntarily gave up management involvement with SAINe in 2016 Regards.





Where we come from


RIIS was established with the aspiration to create a better world through innovation - we believe that the greatest impact we can have is to assist our partners and clients to innovate faster and more successfully. This partnership philosophy is at the heart of what we do, and distinguishes us from traditional management and strategy consulting firms.

Through pioneering open innovation platforms and ecosystems across Africa, to setting up regional and national innovation networks, and even creating the largest innovation event in South Africa, RIIS has always been determined to create an environment in which innovation flourishes, and more importantly, leads to meaningful impact on society.

We have a few principles and values that drive us, and which are critical to our efforts to create value and have impact:

Entrepreneurialism: never giving up in an effort to deliver what we believe in, irrespective of the challenges ahead of us

Professionalism: building robust, replicable and highly effective approaches towards innovation that can be both taught, and improved on, over time

Innovativeness: continuously striving to find better ways of thinking, working and delivering across the whole business 

Competence: ensuring that we remain at the leading edge of innovation thinking, along with how this integrates with best corporate management practices

our innovative team


Davis Cook


Davis is responsible for ensuring the creation, and delivery of strategic, long-term benefits for partners, clients, stakeholders, and shareholders.

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Margaretha van Schalkwyk


Margaretha van Schalkwyk is responsible for managing projects on various levels, while always taking the time to mentor team members. 

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Rinus Schwim


Rinus is responsible for managing open innovation projects, creating business value to clients, maximising growth and improving business performance.

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Gerhard Woest


Gerhard is responsible for managing innovation projects, creating value through continuing development, always striving to maximise growth and improve business performance for all stakeholders.

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Susan Botha


Susan is responsible for ensuring the creation and delivery of all media and marketing collateral, as well as public relations engagement. She is tasked with creating and implementing the social media and press strategies for various projects.

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Daniel Morapedi


Daniel is responsible for the smooth running of RIIS’ computer systems within the limits of requirements, specifications, costs and timelines. He is also responsible for supervising the implementation and maintenance of the company’s computing needs, as well as implementing and managing IT procedures and operations.

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Akhona Bashe


Akhona is an Innovation and Entrepreneurship Strategist. She has worked across various areas including Financial Services, Academia, NPOs, and Management Consulting.

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