Mandela Day is marked annually on the 18th of July, Madiba's birthday. He had emphasised he would not want this day to be turned into a pubic holiday.
The concept and practice of Mandela Day is increasingly informed by research and pilot projects to achieve the structural, systemic change people and communities need.
Participants in the event heard moving accounts of harrowing circumstances many people in South Africa still live in, and of work being done to change their plight.
Mandela Day had been launched in just two cities a decade ago. Since then, it has truly grown hugely - today, it is marked in over a hundred countries, with millions globally honouring Madiba by applying themselves to make this world a better place.
Reflections by Nelson Mandela Foundation board member Mamphela Ramphele during the event emphasised the serious need to address poverty and inequality - for the sake of those suffering, and in order to address the urgent need of growing social cohesion, which is increasingly under threat in so many countries. Representatives from corporates, international organisations, NGOs and community initiatives alike gave vivid accounts of their challenges and success stories. They expressed their determination to support and implement meaningful, ongoing projects and to "Make every day a Mandela Day".
Special performances by a youth choir and a young singer during the event further added a joyful spirit to the celebratory yet serious character of this morning at the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
Read an insightful, inspiring article published by the Foundation on this occasion: