The Power of Quiet Encroachment

Event: TEDx Stellenbosch Organiser: TEDx Talks Location: Stellenbosch Date: 14 October 2011

Is long-wave theory useful for anticipating sustainable futures?

Event: Anticipation: Complexity and the Future Organiser: Centre for Studies in Complexity, Stellenbosch University Location: Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch Date: 18 March 2014

Africa’s Urban Future – transdisciplinary research to support incrementalism

Based on an extended interview with myself for the Sustainability Institute’s  Food Revolution video series, this documentary captures my views on African urbanisation, incrementalism and the role of transdisciplinary research in supporting incrementalism.

Betrayal of the Promise: How South Africa is Being Stolen – my talk delivered last week on 27 July at University of Cape Town based on the report by the same name compiled by the State Capacity Research Group – a team of academics from different Universities that I convened to compile this report and conduct more detailed case studies. An eminent group were the panelists who responded to the talk, and the event was hosted by a co-author, Prof Haroon Bhorat.


Political obstacles to a mass renewable energy programme

Talked presented on 12 October 2017 at the Alternative Information and Development Centre (AIDC) in Cape Town, which formed part of AIDC’s Million Climate Jobs Campaign. A great group of activists who do a amazing work in communities and publish Amandla! magazine. Unfortunately, I forgot to record this talk, but I think a copy is available from AIDC. It is similar to a talk I gave there some weeks ago called Global trends, SA context – centrality of the global energy revolution.

Weight of Cities, Experimentation and Transdisciplinarity

This talk was delivered at the Conference on Transformative Innovation Policy hosted by the Transformative Innovation Policy Consortium (led by Prof Johan Schot from SPRU, University of Sussex), 20-21 September, Pretoria. I was asked to speak on upscaling experimentation, but I ended up trying to link together in a very short 12 minute talk three bodies of recent work at the Centre for Complex Systems in Transition that will be published in this next 6-12 months, namely a report called The Weight of Cities: Resource Requirements for Future Urbanization prepared for the International Resource Panel; a book chapter linking experimentation, futuring and transformative urban politics; and our recent work on transdisciplinary research. It is a rather densely pack talk that links the absolutely core arguments of each of these bodies of work.

My talk at the 2017 Sustainability Transitions Conference, Gothenburg, 19 June 2017


The annual International Sustainability Transitions (IST) conference that took place in Gothenburg, Sweden, this year on 18-23 June, brought together once again the sustainability transitions community – a rapidly growing interesting interdisciplinary group that is focused on the dynamics of transition to a more sustainable world. Originating in the work by a mainly Dutch school of researchers (Geels, Schot, Loorbach, Grin and others), this community of mainly European researchers has made a significant impact on how the academic world understands the complex dynamics of sustainability transitions. I presented a talk based on the International Resource Panel report that I co-authored entitled The Weight of Cities: Resource Requirements of Future Urbanization that will be published later this year (click on link below for access to the talk). Three of my Phd students also presented papers, namely Lauren Tavener-Smith: Co-producing knowledge and development interventions in settings of multidimensional inequality: lessons from a South African informal settlement upgrading project; Mapula Tshangela: five complementary lenses in sustainability transitions and policy dynamics: a literature review; Megan Davies: Renewable energy and urban transitions: insights from South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme.


Sustainable Development and Renewable Energy in Africa: Learning from the REIPPP

Event: Talk presented at Workshop of Southern African Development Finance Institutions Organizer: Development Bank of Southern Africa Location: Midrand Date: 1 October 2015 Download ppt: DBSA1Oct2015

South Africa’s Position at the next Climate Talks (COP in Paris)

Event: Presentation to Parliamentary Hearings, South African Parliament Organizer: Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs Location: Cape Town Date: 22 September 2015

9 structural changes, 6 change drivers, 5 shifts, 2 implications and a trigger: reflections on the state of global change

Event: Talk to Senior Management of Distel (but this was a more detailed version of the 5 minute talk I delivered at the launch of the SI’s Soil, Soul and Society seminar series) Organizer: Distel (wine producing company in Stellenbosch) Location: Stellenbosch, South Africa Date: 28 August 2015 Apologies for poor sound quality – this was recorded from a distance, so many sounds in the room also captured

Towards Sustainable Development in Africa: Why we need transdisciplinary research to reinvent development in a resource and carbon constrained world

Event: Invited lecture at the United Nations University, Tokyo Organiser: University of Tokyo and United Nations University Location: Tokyo Date: 26 June 2015 Powerpoint: TokyoFULLcompressed

Green Urban Infrastructures for the Twenty First Century: What Prospects for a Just Transition?

Event: 8th International Forum for Urbanism Organizer: International Forum for Urbanism Location: Songdo, South Korea Date: 21 June 2015 Powerpoint: seoul

Economic Crisis, Long Waves and the Sustainability Transition: An African Perspective

Event: Talk delivered at the XII INTERNATIONAL COLLOQUIUM: Visions of Sustainable Development: Theory and Action Organizer: University of Florida, University of Brasillia and World Academy of Art and Science Location: Gainesville, Florida Date: 20-22 May, 2015

Facing Africa’s Urban Transition

Event: Africa Green Growth Forum Organizer: Global Green Growth Forum Location: Nairobi, Kenya Date: 13 May 2015

Greening African Economies: reflections on an emerging contested discourse

Event: Conference of African Ministers of Finance and Economics Organizer: African Union and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Location: Abuja, Nigeria Date: 28 March 2014D Download: AbujaFinal