Mike Abel’s podcast challenges perspectives and democratises insights from SA’s best minds

At this point in history, challenging perspectives is more needed than ever. How can we connect with others, despite our differences? How can we balance strength and vulnerability, hope and realism, traditions, and tech? How do we keep moving onwards and upwards as a society? Mike Abel, one of South Africa’s leading marketing, advertising, and communications specialists, hopes to answer these questions in his new podcast, Willing & Abel

Mike is founder of award-winning agency M&C Saatchi Abel, the fastest-growing advertising agency in the history of South Africa. In candid conversations with some of the nation’s top minds in business, entertainment, branding and social entrepreneurship, Mike explores the subjects of leadership, intuition, how to contribute meaningfully in this uncertain world, and who to take with you on the journey.

Why a podcast, and why now? “Comments sections on news sites and social platforms are not known for their nuance,” says Mike, a regular columnist. “So, I started this podcast to provide a space for conversations that allow for complexity and challenge perspectives. It’s also a continuation of the ideas in my book Willing & Abel: Lessons from a Decade in Crisis, and my ongoing belief in embracing a spirit of radical openness and sincere generosity. I hope this podcast inspires listeners to feel optimistic despite all the reasons to despair and take action in some positive way. And know that each one of us is part of the solution.”  

Mike continues: “Democratising these invaluable insights gives listeners a ‘fly on the wall’ opportunity to glean wisdom, learnings, and lessons from brilliant and accomplished minds across sectors and industries.”

Guests include Takealot Group Executive Chairperson Mamongae Mahlare; RISE Mzansi National Leader Songezo Zibi; Veldskoen Founder and CEO Nick Dreyer; LIFT Co-founder Gidon Novick; Executive Coach Joanne Smollan; national cultural icon David Kramer, South African AI Association (SAAIA) Founder Dr Nick Bradshaw; social entrepreneur Ayanda Vabaza-Mvandaba; investor and consumer champion Steven Nathan; community changemaker Mbali Ntuli; and M&C Saatchi Group South Africa CEO Jacques Burger.

While this is Mike’s first podcast, it is not his first foray into the social impact space. He has consulted with and supported many NGOs, and was pivotal in creating The Street Store, the world’s first free pop-up clothing “store” for those in need, which is celebrating its 10th year in 2024.

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