• Students competing in Solar Decathlon Africa

    Adél Strydom, 18 May 2018

    Solar Decathlon Africa, the international collegiate competition, kicked off this month. Team Mahali is one of the 20 selected teams and the only team from Sub-Saharan Africa chosen to compete.

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  • Immersive travel for the curious mind – 14 days of transformative learning in Brazil

    Adél Strydom, 6 April 2018

    Brazil is a country of contrasts and contradictions. Crowded urban centres give way to massive soy and cattle farms, while traditional communities live simply in the world’s most biodiverse reserve on the earth. It’s vibrant and captivating – every traveller’s dream destination – yet Brazil faces many social and environmental challenges invisible to the average traveller.

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  • Innovation and imagination: The keys to a sustainable urban future

    International Resource Panel, 27 April 2018

    Today the long-awaited 'Weight of Cities' report was launched at the 9th Global Forum on Urban Resilience and Adaptation in Bonn, Germany.  Building on the work of the ‘City-Level Decoupling’ report of 2013, this new report looks at the resource implications of projected urbanization, and calls for substantial changes in urban form, governance and design. Coordinated by Mark Swilling and Blake Robinson of the Sustainability Institute, the report features contributions from an international panel of experts, including Josephine Musango and Paul Currie of uMAMA Africa at Stellenbosch University.

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  • Purposeful, African travel for nature enthusiasts

    Adél Strydom, 6 April 2018

    A rugged, landlocked country at the horn of Africa, Ethiopia is traditionally known for its archaeological history, religious sights and wildlife. Few experience its enchanting forest reserves and the authentic conservation methods based on indigenous knowledge that thrive beyond the top listed destinations. Visiting Ethiopia with local nature and community NGO, MELCA, will bring you to experience a sense of place and encounter a deep-seated respect for nature.

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  • A smart city conference in an old city

    Elzette Henshilwood (SI Alumnus), 19 April 2018

    I found myself in the beautiful city of Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, for a few days in April. This city has a mesmerising charm with its walkable streets, patterned cobblestone pavements and buildings adorned with decorative tilework, a practice dating back to the Moorish rule in the 15th century.

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  • Purposeful, sustainable travel for conscious, curious explorers

    Adél Strydom, 6 April 2018

    Our food systems are calling for radical change. While a third of the world’s food is spoiled before it can be consumed, more than 800 million humans are going hungry. Industrial farming practices are degrading the soil and making farmers increasingly dependent on harmful fertilisers. Many small farmers already live in poverty, with climate change set to increase the prevalence of floods and drought.

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  • Becoming Mindful about Water

    Adél Strydom, 6 April 2018

    “Water is the earth’s eye, looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.” – Henry David Thoreau

    Water has always been front of mind at the Sustainability Institute and in the Lynedoch Eco-Village where we are based, given the long standing water scarcity in the region. We have learnt a lot over the past two decades through experimenting and piloting approaches for water conservation – something most Capetonians are now acutely aware of as well.

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  • Tailored workshops motivates and guides MPhil students

    Adél Strydom, 20 March 2018

    This year the Sustainability Institute is offering workshops specifically tailored to MPhil students. A masters is often a lonely and stressful process and the workshops are designed to support students on their journey by offering both academic and emotional support throughout the year. It’s also a place where students can reconnect with each other and the Institute.

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  • Eskom’s first Smart Embedded Residential MicroGrid Project piloted at Lynedoch

    Adél Strydom, 28 February 2018

    Energy experts believe a sustainable energy future requires a decentralised energy system based on renewable energy and it seems Eskom is catching on. The utility is planning to introduce renewable energy based mini-grids throughout South Africa and has chosen the Lynedoch Eco-Village as the site that will be pioneering this technology.

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  • Making big dreams come true in 2017

    Amelia Pretorius, 22 February 2018

    In this past year, we have focused on the Lynedoch Valley to consider deeply the need for and impact of our work in our community. We have dedicated our mission as a non-profit trust to have a transformative impact on the lives of the children and youth in the Lynedoch valley through the educational programmes we offer.

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  • Redefining the bottom line in complex and turbulent times

    Adél Strydom, 9 February 2018

    “How you climb a mountain is more important than reaching the top.”  Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia 

    We’re doing business in interesting times. While our economy is challenging our business success on a daily basis, we’re also aware that we can’t continue doing business the way we’ve been taught for decades. Increasingly the terms ‘sustainability’ and ‘sustainable development’ surface – in our boardrooms, our annual reports and even our tearooms.

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  • The end brings a new beginning

    Amelia Pretorius, 23 January 2018

    Thirteen MPhil: Sustainable Development students presented their completed theses during the annual Research Colloquium that took place on 9 and 10 November 2017. Yet again, an interesting and brave mix of topics were spoken about.

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  • Identifying greater value for the Mohair industry through Systems Dynamics

    Suzanne Smit, 14 December 2017

    The South Africa Mohair Cluster in collaboration with Sustainability Institute (SI) Projects held the first ever stakeholder engagement workshop in Port Elizabeth from 14 to 15 November 2017. The main aim of the workshop focused on identifying opportunities and facilitating coordinated efforts to enhance the industry competitiveness and sustainability. 

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  • Urban Metabolism: How cities can reduce their environmental impact

    Blake Robinson, 28 September 2017

    “Urban metabolism” is fast becoming a sustainability buzzword. It represents a relatively new way of thinking about how cities can reduce their environmental impact by managing their resources more effectively.

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  • Imagining a new future: Social Entrepreneurship as an empowering narrative

    Vanessa von der Heyde, 27 July 2017

    “The future is already here. It is just not evenly distributed” – William Gibson


    There are growing calls for a new economic system that allows us to maximise human well being by meeting the basic needs of every human on earth, whilst staying within planetary boundaries. As the World Economic Forum (WEF) suggests in this short video on the fourth industrial revolution, exponential leaps in technology may enable us to do this.

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  • The silver linings of work and study – a reflection

    Robyn Bowden, MPhil 2017, 6 July 2017

    Trying to finish the Sustainable Development Masters in one year is no simple feat. So when Candice Kelly (Programme Director: Food Systems Centre) told me my research funding came with an obligation to work for the Food Systems Centre (FSC) during that year (2016), I thought “farewell surfing and social life.”

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  • Enabling #BrightFutures for the children of the Lynedoch Community

    Amelia Pretorius, 30 June 2017

    A few months ago, we embarked on a journey to raise funds for a new bus that would enable us to transport the children from the Lynedoch valley to and from the schools situated in the Lynedoch Eco-village safely. We are grateful and excited to announce that the end of the journey has been reached as we have raised the R250 000 that was needed!

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  • Less harm, more positive impact

    Jess Schulschenk, 18 May 2017

    Our Director, Jess Schulschenk, recently spoke to Bouteco Hotels about sustainable travelling. For those looking to leave lighter, more respectful footprints, there are an increasing number of opportunities to stay, travel and explore in ecologically and socially minded ways. We share here the article that was published on the Bouteco website. 

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  • International recognition for the Rainmakers of Nganyi

    Amelia Pretorius, 18 May 2017

    This is the story of how new research is bringing ancient and modern ways of knowing together to build climate resilience in Africa.

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  • Lynedoch Sand Sports Court to enable better community building

    Amelia Pretorius, 6 April 2017

    On Monday, 03 April 2017, 100 local children gathered excitedly to play on the newly built Sand Sports Court situated at the Sustainability Institute in Lynedoch. 

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  • The Indaba Montessori Institute: Bringing Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) training to South Africa.

    Jasmine Jacob, 23 March 2017

    Based in the Winelands of South Africa, the Indaba Montessori Institute (IMI) is pioneering the first internationally accredited Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) Assistants to Infancy (0-3 years) Diploma in Southern Africa. 

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  • Community development: are we seeing what the people see?

    Sikhulekile Duma (SI Intern), 17 March 2017

    “See what the people see”. This philosophy from Rabindranath Tagore is one of the greatest contributions to development practice, and a central message that guests took away from Dr. Westoby’s conversation on Soul, Dialogue and Solidarity through Hospitality which formed part of the Soil, Soul & Society Series.  This event took place at the Sustainability Institute on Wednesday, 8 March 2017.

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  • Sowing seeds of trust in our food system

    Aabida Davis, 2 March 2017

    On Saturday 25 February, I spent the morning at Asande Food Garden, Gugulethu, with a group of inspired farmers, activists and academics. Asande is located opposite Nyanga Junction on a busy road filled with people, informal taxis, vendors and goats -munching on the leaves growing on the boundary fence of the farm. Entering into the green food-growing space of Asande, it was in direct contrast to the busy and noisy urban environment outside the fence, although the hooting on the road could still be heard.

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  • Soil, Soul & Society: Imagining the Post-fossil City

    Amelia Pretorius, 1 February 2017

    Why is it so difficult to think of new possible worlds?

    Research clearly shows that the trend towards urbanization is expected to continue. It is clear that building cities according to the modernist principles of the 20th Century will lead to an environmental disaster, yet the transition to ‘post-fossil’ urbanization is slow in coming.

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  • Experience Immersive Learning at the Sustainability Institute!

    Amelia Pretorius, 20 January 2017

    Come and join South Collective on this opportunity to experience an innovative approach to education at the Sustainability Institute whilst journeying into the beautiful and complex landscapes of Cape Town and Stellenbosch, South Africa.

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