• #BrightFuture - Sponsor a ride, change a life

    Amelia Pretorius, 19 December 2016

    Give the gift that keeps on giving this year. Our dream is to acquire a bus to transport our children - Sponsor a ride, change a life.

     

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  • The New Urban Agenda

    Paul Currie, 23 November 2016

    Habitat III, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, took the city of Quito, Equador by storm from November 17 to 20 2016, with attendees filling the Casa de la Cultura between Quito’s old city and the Mariscal. Paul Currie, a researcher with Urban Modelling and Metabolism Assessment, the Centre for Complex Systems in Transition and the School of Public Leadership at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, participated in the conference and offers some reflections.

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  • Comparative Studies in Regenerative Food Systems in India

    Eduardo Shimahara, 21 September 2016

    As we took one last glance at the Dharamitra Experimental Farm, we could see that the staff were sad to see us go. But looking back on our two-week stay, we realised that through the experiences we had shared with them, our hearts were truly changed forever.

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  • Lynedoch Spring Festival

    Fiona Dunbar, 6 September 2016

    We are excited to invite you to celebrate Spring with us during our very own LYNEDOCH SPRING FESTIVAL!

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  • Lynedoch Football Club Juniors going for gold

    Tanaka Shumba, 19 August 2016

    It has been an exhilarating half season for the junior Lynedoch Football Club teams,  after playing just over 5 games, the under 15 team  is hot on the heels of the Maties Football Club who are currently first  in their division.  

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  • Kitchen culture meets agriculture with Touchstone Collaborations

    Touchstone collaborations, 10 August 2016

    LIVING CULTURES Residency: Kitchen Culture Meets Agriculture is a pioneering artist research residency between Miche and Flora of Touchstone collaborations and the Sustainability Institute, Lynedoch. It builds on Wendell Berry’s 'eating is an agricultural act'– the understanding that every time we eat something, we are connecting to people and places that grow the food. Our research residency celebrates the potential for us all to become food citizens, participating in growing, sharing and recycling food that supports our health and the health of the planet.

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  • Youth moving forward

    Jasmine Jacob, 4 July 2016

    As 3pm hits, learners enter into a welcoming space immediately drawn to a circle of bright, cushioned chairs that bring colour to the room.  Still in uniform they trickle in, dishing up food as Beyoncé’s latest album plays and sharing stories of the weekend as they settle in. Closer to the centre of the room, a friendly game of chess begins. This new social space at the Sustainability Institute is called the Youth Hub and officially opened its doors in May, 2016.  Last month, on June 16th, South Africa commemorated Youth Day - the 40th anniversary of paying tribute to the youth of the past, and so we take a look at what the youth of our community are doing today and the promise they hold for the future.

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  • Learning trip to the International Architectural Biennale Rotterdam

    Vanessa von der Heyde, 29 June 2016

    The SI’s Changemaker Programme, which endeavours to equip students with the knowledge, tools and skills to become leaders of change, recently took a group of PGD students to the Netherlands for the International Architectural Biennale Rotterdam (IABR), for an intensive three-day immersive learning experience.

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  • Northern Cape Explorations into Renewable Energy Space

    Megan Davies and Jeeten Morar, 15 June 2016

    Megan Davies and Jeeten Morar set off for the Northern Cape at the beginning of May for a month of exploration and adventure as part of research for their PhD and MPhil projects. Investigating the developmental impacts of the large scale renewable energy plants, the Northern Cape was the ideal starting point—the province hosts around a third of the country's total renewable plants.

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  • Food, science & culture come together as Europe meets Africa in a splash of photography

    Luke Metelerkamp, 27 May 2016

    For three days in June, the Stockholm Resilience Centre building will be merging with the Food (R)evolution exhibition to become public art installation blurring the boundaries between art, food and cutting edge science.

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  • Young Women in Agriculture Programme

    Rosie Downey, 13 May 2016

    On the weekend of the 23rd to 24th of April, the usually quiet guest house of the Sustainability Institute was filled with excitement and laughter from the 46 young women attending an in-residency training programme for young women in agriculture. This programme was delivered as a partnership between the Sustainability Institute and the World Bank, with 46 participants aged 14-18 years attending from farmworker communities and high schools from Lynedoch Valley and Stellenbosch in the Western Cape.

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  • Masters Graduation 2016

    Mark Swilling, 29 April 2016

    Such a happy and sad day – so happy for these Masters students who are graduating today, but sad I could not be at graduation because I am lying in hospital with a damaged leg after a rookie mistake parking my bike last Monday at the SI before lectures resulting in the bike falling onto my leg causing a wound that went septic a week later.

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  • New partnership taking students to the Amazon Summer School

    Rosie Downey, 20 January 2016

    The Sustainability Institute is a proud partner of this immersive learning course that will happen in the heart of the Amazonian Jungle in Brazil from July 12 to August 1, 2016.

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  • Celebrating 2015

    Rosie Downey, 22 December 2015

    Wishing our friends and family of the SI a wonderful holidays ahead! Thanks to everyone who made our 2015 end of year celebration such a special event, and looking forward to a year of great memories ahead.

    Warmest wishes, the SI Team

     

  • Witnessing an actually existing transition to a green economy

    Mark Swilling, 1 December 2015

    I am spending the week in Addis with an amazing group of 40 Ethiopian officials and academics who are all directly involved in the implementation of Ethiopia’s Climate Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) policy and strategic programme. I think what impressed me most is the sophistication of the debates about the issues in the different sectors. Here is quite a young group of University educated Ethiopians using complex conceptual frameworks drawn from climate science, ecosystem science, resource economics and sustainability science to generate detailed analyses of developmental opportunities and constraints aimed at achieving in precisely quantified ways the goals of economic growth and improved wellbeing without increasing carbon emissions and simultaneously restoring natural systems (especially soils and forests). I have yet to come across anything remotely close to this in the South African context. And it is NOT the kind of reality that needs to be addressed in the global North.

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  • Launch of conversations in Soil, Soul and Society

    Rosie Downey, 27 November 2015

    Launched in August, the Sustainability Institute has held a series of interesting talks where friends, students, alumni and members of staff have the opportunity to network and engage with conversations in soil, soul and society.

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  • Learning with indigenous knowledge at Schumacher College

    Eve Annecke, 27 November 2015

    Stepping aside after 15 years as the founding director of the SI has become a gigantic adventure! By December, I will have spent only 3 months at my home in the Lynedoch EcoVillage in a journey that has spanned 10 countries, a 350 km pilgrimage, trying my hand as a ‘talking head’ at an international conference or two and now deeply immersed in the 4 month residential component of a brand-new experimental course at Schumacher College in the UK.

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  • The story behind SPARK Lynedoch

    Jess Schulschenk, 25 November 2015

    The SI’s commitment, as a non-profit trust, is to ensure that the children from within our community receive the best quality education opportunities possible, within a safe and nurturing learning environment.

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  • Journeys in transitions

    Mark Swilling, 24 November 2015

    Stellenbosch University has asked systems biologist Prof Jannie Hofmeyr and I to be the Co-Directors of a new Stellenbosch University ‘flagship’ initiative called the Stellenbosch Centre for Complex Systems in Transition (CST). Our conceptual project is to build a framework that synthesizes complexity thinking, sustainability science and transition from a transdisciplinary perspective. 

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  • Ebenezer reflects on the trip to Nepal

    Ebenezer, 12 November 2015

    It was with a whole lot of excitement that I boarded my flight for the Mugu district in Nepal on 8 September 2015 where the Comparative Studies in Sustainable Development module was to be presented. I expected a relaxing time in the Himalayas mountain range but boy was I wrong because this life-changing experience was infused with embracing the unknown, getting along with a dynamic group of independent thinkers and most importantly affording me time and space to rediscover the God (greatness) in others and myself.

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  • Early learning as a platform towards Sustainable futures

    Phethang Mabeba, 12 November 2015

    Nosakhumzi (Nomzi) is one of eight facilitators in the Lynedoch Early Learning Centre, assisting 72 children from ages 0 - 6 years to realise their full potential in a prepared environment that enables this to happen. Since Nomzi joined the centre over three years ago, she has since completed her NQF Level 4 Early Childhood development (ECD) SETA accredited qualification and is currently pursuing an NQF Level 5 certificate. Nomzi plays a facilitative role by working with the child individually - following the child in their natural process of development. As the child gains more competence and self-actualisation, Nomzi introduces more complex learning material to further stimulate the child’s interests.

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  • SI represented at Celebrating Soil! Celebrating Life! in Amsterdam

    Eve Annecke, 1 July 2015

    Sitting quietly in London, in the home of loving friends, I am reflecting on the last couple of days in Amsterdam. Invited to participate in a master class on Feeding the World: the 9 billion people question, I am so grateful to Volkert Engelsman of Eosta for creating this way of celebrating 25 years of working for soils: “the conference will be more than just an exchange of knowledge and commitments; it is intended to be a true celebration of life and its living foundation. Soil… this wonderful thin layer embracing our planet, where trillions of micro-organisms meet in a magic encounter of cosmic and terrestrial powers. Celebrating Soil=-Celebrating Life!”

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  • At last - A municipal subsidy for all iShack clients!

    Eve Annecke, 4 June 2015

    On Friday 29th May, we finally signed a contract with Stellenbosch Municipality in which a monthly "Free Basic Electricity" subsidy will be paid to the iShack Project for each client that receives the solar electricity service. This is a first in South Africa! The value of the subsidy is R46 and it enables us to keep the service running without additional grant funding in the long term. It also means we can routinely give "December Free" for all clients that keep up their monthly payments throughout the year. We have been working solidly with the municipality for over 18 months to figure how to make this happen in a way that is compliant with all the policies and regulations and the Municipal Finance Management Act. All credit to the municipality for supporting this initiative and being prepared to take this innovative leap!

  • Energy in an informal settlement

    Eve Annecke, 26 May 2015

    Yesterday I spent the day reconnecting threads through walking. I visit first Andreas and our iShack project, in Enkanini. Part of pioneering this work, saw the setup of SIIL (Sustainability Institute Innovation Lab, a for-profit company as one of the steps into contributing to the SI as an entrepreneurial venture). Louise and I set it up as directors a few years ago, and now it’s Damian and I who are directors. I’m struck at the intricacies that make up the SI – relational, process oriented, and careful attention to the institutional details that underpin magic making. The iShack is run through SIIL.

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  • An SI approach to learning

    Eve Annecke, 26 May 2015

    What does it mean to learn ecologically within a postcolonial frame? The SI approach to learning is core to who we are. As we imagine what it is to be human, what a good society might be, we come back time and time again to how we learn. As Africans, what does it mean to learn ecologically within a postcolonial frame? The attached chapter was published in: The Necessary Transition, 2013, edited by Malcolm McIntosh, a long-time friend of the SI and deeply committed to socioecological transitions.

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