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.

Interviewed on the Tim Modise show on ENCA on 1 February 2019 – on the Zuma years and beyond

Interviewed on The Fix with Karima Brown and Peter Bruce, 27 January 2019

Age of Sustainability: Just Transitions in a Complex World – talked based on the new book at the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, Stellenbosch University, 8th August


Reflections on Experimentation, Futuring and Incrementalism, with special reference to the African context

Talk presented at the Grappling with the Futures conference held in Boston on 29-30 April 2018, co-hosted by Harvard and Boston University. This captures the essence of Chapter 5 of the book I am trying to write while here at Yale entitled Just Transitions in a Complex World: Reflections of an Enraged Incrementalist. In the talk I say the title is Just Transitions FOR a Complex World – but I think the latter is better.

Herewith the ppt presentation I used to illustrate only some aspects of the talk: Grappling

Just Transitions in a Complex World: Reflections of an Enraged Incrementalist

Talk presented on 6 April 2018 to a research group on Just Transitions hosted by North Eastern University, Boston. I was hosted for 2 days in Boston by Shalanda Baker who works with the CST team that does research on the developmental impact of renewable energy. In this talk I presented

PPT presentation:

Just transitions in a complex world


Talked presented to an informal research group on Just Transitions convened by Northeastern University. I delivered this talk on 6th April 2018 in Boston. It is my first attempt at conveying the conceptual framework of the book I am trying to write, and reflections on the energy transition in SA.

Just transitions in a complex world: reflections of an enraged incrementalism

Talked delivered at a workshop of Just Transition researchers at Northeastern University, Boston. Thanks to Shalanda Baker for arranging this. This way my first attempt to present an outline of the book I am writing to an audience outside South Africa. My book – entitled Just Transitions in a Complex World_ Reflections of an Enraged Incrementalist – will attempt to integrate various levels of analysis from the metatheoretical, to the meso-theoretical, and to the very practical and empirical. This short talks attempts to capture what I want to write about.

Reflections on what will need to change by 2050 to accommodate a doubling in size of the urban population, with special reference to the global South


On 11th April 2018 I delivered the Edward P. Bass Distinguished Lecture at the famous Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. It was a public lecture for the wider Yale community and alumni. I drew on material from the Weight of Cities: Resource Requirements of Future Urbanization released at the Resilient Cities conference in Bonn on 26 April 2018. I co-led this project with Maarten Hajer and it involved an international research team to generate this report, with work done over the past 3 years.

Yale BassLecture

For the talk, click on link below:

Weight of Cities: Resource Requirements of Future Urbanization

2018-02-03 16.50.44-2

Panel presentation at the African Centre for Cities (ACC) conference at University of Cape Town, 3 February, 2018. Other members of the panel were Aro Revi from the Indian Institute for Human Settlements and Carlos Lopez, former Secretary-General of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

For the link to the talk click HERE

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.

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