Prof. David Venter

Prof. David successfully managed a large government department during South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy, established negotiation training and consulting companies and has taught thousands of students across four continents.


David brings to teaching and coaching well-grounded knowledge of human behaviour, and a wealth of negotiation and conflict resolution experience spanning most public and private sector disciplines. Having taught extensively in Africa, Europe and Asia, he has developed a sensitivity for and understanding of culture as an important determinant of business success in a global economy. Over the past 20 years he has, apart from his well-proven teaching expertise displayed considerable entrepreneurial skills in, establishing numerous negotiation training and consulting companies, and very successfully restructuring numerous companies. The legacy he is leaving by virtue of his different teaching and coaching endeavours has spawned a constant steam of testimonials from course participants that have derived great vocational and personal benefit. Furthermore, he has, together with the highly respected international expert on creativity and innovation, Dr Kobus Neethling, inspired governments and corporates to adopt innovative new ways of approaching their business.

David qualified cum laude as Psychologist and Educationist at Stellenbosch University. He practiced psychology for 15 years, spent 10 years in government as Director-General of Communication during the transition from apartheid to democracy, established a number of negotiation, training and consulting companies, and has since 1996 taught negotiation, conflict dispute resolution and leadership at business schools in South Africa, Belgium, Russia, China, Ireland and Hungary, often receiving best teacher awards.

He regularly attends negotiation courses at Harvard University and MIT, courses that inter alia focus on training in corporate negotiation, dealing with angry publics and difficult business conversations.

Apart from leading and transforming a government department, he was responsible for the design and implementation of the largest opinion polls ever in South Africa; polls crucial to plotting a peaceful transition to a non-racial, non-sexist democracy. He worked with Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, as well as Marti Atasari on the Namibian voter education campaign; 97% registered Namibians casting their vote.

In 1993 the Public Relations Institute of South Africa recognised his communication skills when adjudging him runner-up to the CEO of Toyota (South Africa) for the Communicator of the Year Award