Festival Director (Partner)
Jaco is GGI’s Festival Director and Editor of our Annual Review, Thinking Partner and Engagement Consultant. He has been a director with GGI since its formation in 2009 and has been involved in developing the organisation as it is today.
Jaco’s initials; Jaco Armand Marais spells JAM, which is exactly what he is able to add to GGI. The Festival of Governance and our annual Review pushes forward the latest thinking in change, culture and good governance as a purpose. Currently Jaco is working to develop GGI’s position on the culture of change by using all of the tools available to engage, clients, staff and the community. GGI’s YouTube channel, Good Governance TV, our Social Media pages, The printed Review, Events, Festival of Governance and International Study Tours all benefit from his uniquely creative touch. He also directed the GGI website steering group from design phase to launch in 2017.
With the jam also comes a very healthy portion of bread. His talent lies in taking a lot of information and summarising and translating it into concise and simple to understand language and programmes that include original art and copy, images and props. He has successfully designed and directed engagement programmes for organisations engaging with clients, staff, public and community groups both nationally and internationally. Notably, Jaco designed a staff engagement campaign centered on patient safety that saw the reporting of serious incidents significantly increase while the severity of those fell off appreciably. This pioneering initiative created superhero cartoon characters out of real staff members at Barking Havering, Redbridge Univerity Hospitals NHS Trust, engaging the opinions and feedback of all staff members on six patient safety issues. This work has won several national and international awards.
Jaco’s background is primarily in healthcare journalism. Past roles included being the press officer of the Institute of Healthcare Management (IHM) and editing CARE magazine, a members’ journal for the Health and Social Care Quality Commission (HSCQC). He has articles published in various health journals such as The Health Service Journal (HSJ), Health Investor Magazine and the Nursing Times.
Jaco is a citizen of the world with ongoing links to communities in the UK, India, New Zealand, South-Africa, the US and Europe. He is a qualified yacht skipper and qualified award-winning chef, and is interested in Ayurveda diet and medicine, meditation and yoga. He was born and raised in rural, Afrikaans-speaking South Africa.