New South Institute Co-founders Featured in Forbes Africa Publication


We are delighted to announce that the work of the co-founders of New South Institute (NSI) has been recognized in a recent article published by Forbes Africa. Titled “Safe Passage: Innovating Organizational Risk Assessment in South Africa,” the article highlights the groundbreaking efforts of Dr. Ivor Chipkin and Jelena Vidojevic in revolutionizing the field of organizational risk assessment.

The Forbes Africa article emphasizes the significance of their contributions in addressing rampant corruption and the aftermath of state capture in South Africa. Chipkin and Vidojevic have employed innovative techniques, combining data modeling and social science methodologies, to develop algorithms capable of efficiently analyzing organizational datasets, identifying patterns, and predicting performance outcomes.

Their journey began with a pivotal moment in a café in Belgrade, where they discovered the potential to automate social science methodologies and utilize mathematical descriptions for their research. Collaborating with data engineers and actuaries Laurence Rau and Daniel Saksenberg, they founded Safe Passage, a company dedicated to navigating organizations through times of corruption and law enforcement challenges.

The article highlights one of their key findings: the correlation between the decline in technical performance at Eskom, South Africa’s state-owned power utility, and instability in senior management. By analyzing a range of data sources, including financial, HR, and technical data, Safe Passage can provide comprehensive insights into organizations, enabling them to manage risks, detect fraud, optimize operations, and forecast demand.

Safe Passage’s innovative approach extends to predictive maintenance, where models are developed to provide early warnings for system failures or breakdowns. This capability allows organizations to reduce operational costs, increase revenue generation, and enhance customer relationships.

Dr. Ivor Chipkin, now the head of the New South Institute (NSI), expresses optimism that their work can help address the challenges faced by Eskom, which has significant implications for South Africa’s economy. Leveraging their algorithms and predictive capabilities, Safe Passage can provide timely warnings of potential power outages and contribute to resolving Eskom’s crisis.

The recognition of their work in Forbes Africa validates the groundbreaking nature of their research and its transformative potential. NSI remains committed to advancing innovative solutions that address the challenges faced by organizations in South Africa and beyond.

To read the original article published by Forbes Africa, please click here.

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