‘In order for us all to be part of tomorrow’s discoveries and breakthroughs, we must invest today in the development of our brightest minds. STIAS is meant to be a beacon of hope in this regard. Despite the challenges Africa is facing, it has great potential to deal with these and find enduring solutions. The grant of the Foundation for STIAS is not only an expression of our belief in this potential, but is also given in the hope that others will support this initiative. We have an obligation to ensure that the search for new knowledge continues and that Africa plays its rightful role in this regard’ — Dr. Peter Wallenberg.
STIAS (The Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study) is situated on the historic Mostertsdrift farm in the heart of Stellenbosch. The idea for such an Institute was first conceived in 2000 and was immediately positively received by the local and international research community. However, it was only in 2005 when a donation from the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg foundation enabled STIAS to build a modern research and seminar centre that the Institute came into its own. Here, sustainable architecture and beautiful, tranquil surroundings have been fused to form a ‘Creative Space For The Mind’ where top researchers and intellectual leaders are nurtured and encouraged to find innovative and sustainable solutions to issues facing the world and in particular the country and the continent of Africa. To counter the loss of its best minds and promising young leaders, it provides the opportunity for high-level research and intellectual development in an international context. It is attracting some of the world’s leading scholars and researchers and is enjoying international growth and recognition.
STIAS, a creator of new knowledge
In today’s knowledge society it is key to be able to access the latest reliable, appropriate, future-orientated, groundbreaking knowledge and to be able to process the technologies and know-how that flows from this knowledge. At the same time it is critical to nurture a future generation of independent thinkers and leaders. Leaders are those who not only understand the realities of a changing world, but who also have the ability and skills to implement these new advances to the benefit of their communities.
Therefore South Africa must not only be a consumer of knowledge but also a producer of new knowledge, in order to fulfill its leadership role.