“The future is unwritten. We have the power to write it, every day”

Born in Durban, on the east coast of South Africa, Talisha is no stranger to jumping into the unknown, having also lived in Lesotho, South Korea, England, and Wales before moving to Brussels and joining Accenture in 2020, where she is Sustainability & Innovation Lead in the Technology practice.

I try make happiness an everyday event. Those who know me would probably describe me as fun, fearless, decisive, and sometimes too honest. The first two qualities might explain why as a child, I wanted to be a tight rope walker and join the circus, although the idea of being a brain surgeon also sounded fun to me.

When I started university, I wanted to be a National Geographic writer. My first degree had two majors, Environmental & Geographical Science and Media & Writing. I graduated just before the 2009 global economic recession, and getting a job was tough so I took some gap years to travel and explore our world. I then returned to academia to do a postgraduate diploma in Management Information Systems, and this introduced me to the world of technology. Strangely enough, today I get to combine both passions – for our incredible Planet Earth and technology innovation – in my current role.

I was working at a blockchain startup in Cape Town when Accenture BeLux approached me. Although I loved my hometown and job, I knew Accenture could offer me a wider variety of opportunities to grow and learn. So, I took the plunge and moved to Brussels to start a new career journey and I have not been disappointed.

I arrived in Brussels amidst the pandemic. This meant that my belongings could not cross the border and all the shops were closed. I had to rely on the kindness of strangers who loaned me everything, from my bed and towels, to pots and plates. I immediately felt at home because of their warmth and generosity. This made me stronger and helped me to focus on things that really mattered when everything else was out of control. It taught me that you can handle just about any change if you have a positive mindset. 

I never expected to enjoy laughing and having fun collaborating with people from behind a screen. I’ve always worked in an office, and believed face-to-face interactions were the best way to accomplish a team’s goal. Then, six weeks into my job at Accenture, we were required to work remotely. This was our daily routine for the next 18 months. To my surprise, it worked out really well. It added a new dynamic to my life and helped me to build relationships with colleagues from all over the world.

The future is unwritten. We have the power to write it, every day. In my current role, I’m responsible for bringing the power of sustainability and technology to some of the biggest companies in the world and helping them to have a direct and positive impact on climate change. This involves inspiring our teams and clients on the ‘art of the possible’: helping them to think and act innovatively to meet the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are good for business, planet, and people. I particularly love making purposeful ideas reality through experimentation. We get to ask ourselves ‘how might we do things better?’ and try to take a 360° view on a future that creates positive change. It also gives me great pleasure when we deliver ideas that - through the use of new and emerging technologies - create societal value and have lasting impact

Everywhere you go, go with all your heart. Coming from a coastal town, spending time by the ocean is essential to me. I also couldn’t live without chocolate! But in fact, it doesn’t matter where I am or who I am with. I feel grateful for what I have and appreciate life for how it unfolds. Packing up your home, saying goodbye to the people you love to step into the unknown, into a new culture, language, and society, can be exhilarating but extremely frightening. But knowing who you are and creating daily happiness in your life is key to making a home wherever you are, for however long you are there. 

Talisha is nominated for Young ICT Lady of the Year 2022!