SPL (School of Public Leadership)
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

16th International Winelands Conference


IMPORTANT NOTICE: Abstract submissions closing date has been extended to 19 January 2018

Call for papers open: 21 August 2017

Registrations open:  28 August 2017

Abstract submissions open: 28 August 2017

2nd Announcement and call for papers 15 September 2017

Closing date to submit abstracts: 19 January 2018

Notification of abstract acceptance: 15 December 2017 (or as soon as possible)

Early bird and group (more than 5 participants) registration cut-off date: 12 February 2018

Late registrations closure: 21 March 2018


Globally, since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the pendulum has been swinging with accelerating momentum from “thinking globally and acting locally" to the inward-looking voices of own interests foremost, for example expressed by Johnson's “Brexit" and Trump's “America First". Not only international politics, but limits and current use of strategic resources such as water, food and fossil fuels are contributing to a sense of crises.


Some people and even nations, feeling threatened by such global forces now seek solutions in closing ranks and building new walls of separation, meeting migration with hostility and even opting for trajectories of strife, unleashing a new arms race between global superpowers. Governments struggle to maintain credibility by failing to satisfy the needs of the middle class for creating stability and predictability and by failing the poor through lack of improving their plight.


Is humankind escalating itself into self-destruction? In South Africa, as elsewhere in many countries, “state capture", “parallel state" and “xenophobia" in political discourse serve to define a growing sense of failure amidst conditions of uncertainty. It is the duty of public leaders to combat the cause of the disease and not its victims. The failure of public values, ethics, institutions and distorted markets call for a critical evaluation of public management paradigms.


It is necessary to map a course through turmoil and uncertainty and separatism whereby the acknowledged failures of public values, ethics, institutions and markets are countered from the bottom up.  Is it mere theory, or does it frame real-life solutions and already offer best practices? Do we search for one big global enlightenment, thereby missing the thousand blooms of success springing up from between the grassroots? Are we looking up to the top, when looking down to the masses would be more enlightening?


The 16th International Winelands Conference on Public Policy, Management and Development, to be held in the beautiful university town of Stellenbosch, South Africa, in April 2018, provides a platform for scholars and practitioners to engage with these questions. Since the first conference in 1987, these biennial conferences provided opportunity for exploring South African and global public value policy and service issues, best practices and trends. The Winelands Conference series is one of the most prominent events for academics and practitioners in its field of study in Southern Africa and is recognised globally. The 15th Conference in 2016 explored governance of transitions in a complex world, and the 2018 theme offers a logical progression.


Day 1: Look down, not up!

Context - setting plenary papers by invited guest speakers.

Day 2: Look around.

Contours of a mindful response in public policy and management. Parallel sessions.

Day 3: Look ahead.

Parallel sessions and a concluding plenary session.


R 5 000 for early bird and groups of more than 5 participants

R 5 500 for late registrations

R 4 500 for speakers

R 3 000 for full time students providing proof of registration & registered postgraduate students presenting papers

SPONSORSHIPS:  Please contact us if you are interested in sponsoring this exciting conference, a social function of the conference or one of the parallel sessions.


CALL FOR PAPERS:  The academic committee welcomes the submission of abstracts for presentation as oral communications. Abstracts submissions are now open.

When submitting an abstract, authors are requested to indicate under which of the following sub-themes they are submitting:


Global forces and its emerging self-destructive consequences. In this subtheme we are looking for scientifically responsible analysis of political, economic, environmental and societal forces that play a role in the demise of public value and increased state fragility, socio-economic malaise for the poor and middle class, the risks of local and global environmental unsustainability, morality and ethical leadership as well as uncertainty and anxiety.

Contours of a mindful response in public policy and management. In this subtheme we are looking for an exposition of theories and practices that provide a response in times of failure of public values, ethics, institutions and markets.  In particular we are looking for papers on the use of network and complexity theory in public policy and management, but will also accept contributions with an explicit focus on values and ethics, institutional functioning, history of thought and grassroots action.

Looking ahead with hope. In this subtheme we are looking at papers that offer contribution on the sources of and prognosis on renewal and healing.  In particular we are looking for papers that offer contributions on the micro-trends of renewal and case studies of hopeful grassroots action. We are also interested in the results of research programmes cross-cutting to the abovementioned themes.


The conference will offer presentation-style sessions followed by questions and answers as well as speed sessions followed by round-table discussions with the presenter.

If there is sufficient interest, ongoing PhD and Master's theses research projects relating to the above topics will be accommodated in a special parallel session.


Feel free to contact us if you want to submit a proposal to comprise a whole session.

General policies:

1. Abstracts (no longer than 500 words) must be submitted in English.    2. Previously published papers should not be submitted.         3. Please note closing and  notifications of acceptance dates.

4. Please indicate whether you are submitting for a longer presentation session or shorter speed sessions.   5. Submissions not conforming to established guidelines will not be reviewed.

ACCOMMODATION AND TRANSPORT:  Delegates are responsible for their own arrangements regarding accommodation and transport.  

The tourism office can be contacted at +27 (0) 21 883 3584 or e-mail: info@stellenbosch360.co.za. | Transport can be arranged with Calvyn Heyns +27 (0) 84 290 0460 or email: calvyntours@yahoo.com.


For sponsorships please contact Mrs Betina van der Merwe at Tel: +27 (0) 21 918 4122 or e-mail: betina@sun.ac.za  

For general queries and abstract submission please contact Mrs Jennifer Saunders at Tel: +27 (0) 21 808 2151 or e-mail: Winelands@spl.sun.ac.za