Ali Conn of SA Harvest has been named one of “Africa’s 100 Brightest Young Minds”. This is a prestigious honour endorsed by a United Nations (UN) initiative, which underscores the significance and impact of BYM on the African continent and globally.
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Brightest Young Minds (BYM) is a prestigious awards organisation that recognises and celebrates Africa’s 100 brightest young minds. Its mission is to identify and honour young individuals who are making a positive impact in their fields and communities and to provide them with a platform to showcase their work and achievements. The organisation is committed to supporting the growth and development of young talent on the African continent and creating a brighter future for all.
As a recipient of this award, Conn has been recognised for his exceptional contribution to the food rescue and hunger relief organisation SA Harvest, which is dedicated to improving food security and nutrition in South Africa through a unique model of food rescue and systemic intervention. The organisation’s ultimate goal is to end hunger in South Africa.
The recognition of being selected as one of Africa’s top 100 brightest young minds is testament to Conn’s hard work, dedication, and impact, both through his involvement with SA Harvest and his individual achievements.
Conn is a former creative producer who has previously worked on international productions including X Factor UK, Nitro Circus, Afropunk and others, and has also worked with Qatar’s leading independent production house, servicing documentaries for companies including National Geographic and Animal Planet. He has worked with stars such as The Rolling Stones, Ed Sheeran and Cristiano Ronaldo. In 2015, he changed tack to respond to the dire hunger crisis in South Africa and founded the non-profit UPcycle Project, which was later invited to join the Western Cape’s greening initiatives.
Then, in 2019, Conn joined SA Harvest, a non-profit organisation that aims to create equal access to nutrition and eliminate waste in the food chain in South Africa.
Conn champions innovation, design, and storytelling and amplifies SA Harvest’s voice where it matters. He has contributed to SA Harvest, having rescued 11 million kilogrammes of food and delivered 36 million meals to communities in need in just 39 months. In 2022, he was selected for the list of “Top 200 Young South Africans” by the Mail & Guardian and “Africa’s 100 Brightest Young Minds” by the BYM organisation.
Conn says of the award, “It’s incredibly humbling to have been selected for this award, however it’s the SA Harvest team who deserves the recognition. What the team has done in the past three years is absolutely breathtaking – each and every one of the SA Harvest team members are my inspiration and I’m so proud to be part of a team that’s changing the country’s food landscape for the betterment of all South Africans”.
“Ali Conn is not only exceptionally bright, he is also an unusual, out-of-the-box thinker,” Says Alan Browde, CEO and founder of SA Harvest.”This attribute, combined with his powerful creativity has made a significant impact on SA Harvest’s ability to make a difference to millions of lives over the years. He deserves this accolade and the SA Harvest is proud of him.”
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