Prof Nicholas King is an environmental futurist. His experience includes assessment of environment and development policy, laws and management in numerous countries, and participation on both governmental and non-governmental delegations to international policy negotiations. He was a Review Editor for the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, served as Co-Chair of the Science & Policy Advisory Board for UNEP’s 6th Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-6) just released and has played lead roles in several IPBES assessments.
Currently, Nick consults and teaches on global change and futures thinking, scenarios development, strategic planning and leadership, and works with governments, business, NGOs and local communities, and across planning sectors. He is lead editor of the recently published 3rd edition of Environmental Management in South Africa. Nick has a PhD in Geography from the USA and an LLM in International Environmental Law from the UK, and holds an Extraordinary Professorship at North-West University and a part-time faculty post at the University of Stellenbosch Business School.
Daniel Irurah currently serves as Associate Professor of Sustainable Architecture and Cities in the School of Architecture and Planning, University of the Witwatersrand, where he teaches and supervises multidisciplinary masters and PhD studies in related fields. He also serves as a Non-Executive Member of the Board of Directors of Sustainable Energy Africa (SEA), Cape Town, and has previously served as a Non-Executive Member of the Board of Directors of the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) where he chaired the Education Sub-Committee of the Board.
Daniel holds a BArch (with Hons, University of Nairobi, 1985), MArch and MUP (University of Oregon, 1991) and PhD (University of Pretoria, 1997). His PhD studies focused on application of an input-output model in the analyses of embodied energy of construction materials and buildings in South Africa. His MArch studies focused on climatic response, energy conservation and renewable energy for buildings within inter-tropical regions. His MUP studies focused on energy and environmental policy-analyses / planning for cities. He is a registered Architect in Kenya and South Africa. In 2017, Daniel was nominated as a Fellow of the Mind and Life Institute in the US.
Nina Maritz obtained a B.Arch degree from the University of Cape Town in 1991. She has been in private practice in Windhoek, Namibia, since 1998, and involved with a wide variety of projects which allowed her to indulge her interest in sustainability, alternative building methods and community development.
Nina has received a Global Award for Sustainable Architecture in 2018 and is probably now best known for the design of the Shipwreck Lodge on the Skeleton coast. She also received international recognition for the Habitat Research and Development Centre in Katutura and the Twyfelfontein World Heritage Site Visitors’ Centre and has completed some other interesting projects, such as the Fish River Lookout, Sorris-Sorris Info Centre, Uiba-Oas Crystal market, Rukonga Vision School, three Regional Libraries in Namibia and the Nyae-Nyae Village Schools for indigenous San ‘bushmen’. Her work is influenced by the vernacular and a scavenger mentality that cannot bear to throw anything away, using recycled, local and natural materials; as well as the principles of passive design.
Nina does pro bono work on sustainable tourism, green urban open spaces and craft development, and mentors Namibians studying elsewhere. Frequently invited to speak at various events, she has lectured in England, Italy, the US, Uganda, Kenya, Mauritius, India, China, Sweden, Finland and South Africa, but would also love to travel to Ethiopia, Patagonia, Tibet and Mongolia!
Megan Euston-Brown Megan Euston-Brown works in the area of urban sustainable energy development. She has managed the City Energy Support program of Sustainable Energy Africa (SEA), and the national urban energy network, for over fifteen years. A substantial focus of SEA’s urban energy work is on building the capacity of people to tackle these new and complex challenges, while providing the technical information to address barriers. The urban energy network is a partnership platform held by SEA-SALGA and SA Cities Network for learning exchange between municipalities. Megan is an experienced development facilitator and trainer and has worked extensively with local level energy data collection and institutional development.
Glynn Morris is an independent energy expert with more than three decades of experience in energy efficiency and renewable energy – including in buildings – in southern and East Africa, the Caribbean and Afghanistan. He holds a BSc Mechanical Engineering (1985) and MSc Energy Studies (1988) from the University of Cape Town.
He has practical experience at all levels of application of EE and RE systems from engineering design and supervision of individual projects and programmes to national and regional energy policy. He has completed consultancy assignments for national, regional and international organisations in the public, private and NGO sectors including World Bank, UNDP, DGIS, GTZ/GIZ, WWF, IRENA, IEA, DANCED, Norad and others.
Most recently, he has been supporting mini-grid and small renewable energy power developers in Tanzania as a Senior Associate: Energy & Development for Norconsult Africa. Before that, from 2014 to 2018, he led a regional RE and EE project for GIZ in collaboration with the CARICOM Secretariat (in Guyana) – including the development of a Regional Energy Efficiency Building Code for the Caribbean. From 2011 to 2014 he worked in north-eastern Afghanistan to support the construction and operation of ten RE mini-grid electricity schemes. Previous experience included assignments with AGAMA Energy (founded in 2001), Energy & Development Group (1992 – 1998) and the EDRC, UCT (until 1992).
In terms of the (more) sustainable built environment, Glynn has contributed as an energy expert in a number of projects including the SA Wildlife College, the Lynedoch Eco-Village, the 2004 Olympic Bid for Cape Town, the BP Head Office in the V&A Waterfront and the Oudebosch Eco-cabins in the Kogelberg Nature Reserve among others. In 1998, he jointly developed and built a more sustainable home and office in the Table Mountain National Park at Redhill above Simon’s Town.
Gita Goven is dedicated to learning about and implementing innovative, inspirational and sustainable building and regenerative city-making solutions. A graduate from the University of Cape Town, Gita realised early on that she wanted to make a difference to the world she lived in, for her generation and those forthcoming. She has pursued her passion through multiple roles in Regenerative, Integrative, Inclusive and Sustainable Design.
Gita’s work focuses on context-relevant Urban City Making, cutting edge feasibility studies, concept development through creative conversations with experts, Research, Land Use Planning and Community Development, and spans across numerous fields like Architecture, Planning, Urban Design and Development. She is currently CEO of arG Design together with two partners, a skilled multi-disciplinary team of 15 professionals across disciplines and a network of likeminded people across many places and spheres.
Chris Burgess grew up on a stock farm in the Eastern Cape.
He obtained a degree in architecture at the University of Port Elizabeth, another in history and psychology at the University of Cape Town, and an honour’s degree in journalism at the University of Stellenbosch.
Chris began his career as a radio journalist at the SABC in Johannesburg, from where he went on to various positions at the Mail & Guardian Online, Independent Online, De Kat magazine, and the men’s magazine FHM. In 2000 he took on the editorship of a struggling Farmer’s Weekly, which eight years later received the Business Magazine of the Year award; in 2012 he became editor-in-chief at Landbouweekblad. During Chris’ tenure, the title successfully diversified into television, conferencing and custom publishing, while popularizing a range of issues from land reform to regenerative agriculture, and won many accolades, Chris himself receiving the Piet Cillié Award for journalistic excellence. Chris has also freelanced for, amongst others, Business Day, Rapport, Weg and Platteland.
He lives with his wife Christelle and their three sons in Cape Town.
Florian Kroll is a food systems researcher with an interest in the biopolitics of urban food systems governance in African cities. He has worked with the Wits Health Promotion Unit to promote agro-ecology and nutrition and has conducted urban food security and policy evaluations in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Gauteng. His collaboration with the Southern Africa Food Lab has inculcated an interest in social innovation and dialogues. He is an alumnus of the 2014 IVLP programme on food security and foreign policy..Florian currently works with the University of the Western Cape School of Public Health and the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence on Food Security, convening and facilitating multi-stakeholder dialogues with the Western Cape and Gauteng Communities of Practice in Food Governance to promote democratic and sustainable food governance. He is currently enrolled as a PhD candidate with the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS).
Chris Brooker has been working as a specialist consulting engineer in the environmental water field since the early 1990s, initially with a larger firm of consulting engineers and, since 2001 in his own consultancy, cba Specialist Engineers. He is specially interested in urban stormwater management to mitigate the impact of increasing catchment imperviousness and efficient drainage systems on the receiving system. He feels strongly that rainwater is a resource and its use as close as possible to where the rain hits the ground can have significant economic and environmental benefits. Computer modelling is one of the most powerful tools in the box for the development of stormwater management plans and for many years Chris has been associated with Computational Hydraulics International in facilitating workshops that teach people to use the powerful modelling program PCSWMM.
Chris is a Professional Engineer (PrEng) with a BScEng in Civil Engineering from Wits University and an MScEng (with distinction) from the same university. In addition to his consulting practice he is an Honorary Senior Lecturer in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Wits where he helps teach subjects in related to stormwater and environmental engineering at a post-grad level.Recent projects have included contributions to the City of Johannesburg’s Stormwater Design Manual and the renaturalisation of several rivers in the metropolitan area. Chris finds it difficult to understand why archaic hard engineering is still applied to urban river and stream management. He is a strong advocate for a multidisciplinary approach to water course remediation and most often works with Landscape Architects, hydropedologists and wetland ecologists.
Georgina Smit is Head of Market Transformation at the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA), overseeing certification and research related products that drive the property sector to design, build and operate buildings in a more sustainable way. She manages the Technical Team at the GBCSA responsible for independently certifying green buildings and identifying market leaders. Her daily responsibilities include driving market transformation through certification which can verify tangible, quantifiable impacts and providing customer focused technical support to all stakeholders engaging with the GBCSA, both in the private and public sector.
Dr Gerhard Bosman is an associate professor and engaged scholar in earth architecture at the University of the Free State (UFS). He coordinates the Innovative Build Environment Programme at the Earth Unit (EU) within the Department of Architecture.
He completed his B. Arch. Stud. (1993) and B.Arch. (1994) at the University of the Free State (UFS). In 1996, he started lecturing and since 1997, he has been involved in the EU activities. The EU has been a partner of the UNESCO Chair Earthen architecture, construction cultures and sustainable development, since 2003.
In 2000, Gerhard completed a (DPEA-Terre) “Diplôme Propre aux Ecole d’Architecture” at CRAterre-NESAG in Grenoble, France. In 2001, he started Terre Firme Architects, which focuses on environmental issues in the built environment. In 2015, he completed a PhD (Architecture) thesis: The acceptability of earth constructed houses in central parts of South Africa. The thesis results provided factors to consider the attitudes and expectations of people living in earth constructed buildings in central South Africa. These factors constructed a thesis model that provided guidelines to support the promotion of contemporary earth construction in Southern Africa.
Etienne Bruwer has practiced as eco/green/organic architect for three decades, works from Cape Town, South Africa, engaging in a range of private commissions, community township projects, restoration, urban conservancy, social responsibility and poverty alleviation programmes. Etienne has appeared in media and lectured and published extensively regarding the philosophies of Sustainability and Organic Architecture, offered training courses in green construction, taught and examined graduates in academia and adjudicated submissions in Architecture Institute annual achievement awards.
Gachiku Kamau is a professional architect and project manager with more than 19 years experience. She is deeply interested in the latest technology, and is zealous about mentoring and passing on her knowledge and skills to young upcoming Namibian entrants into the market, as well as students and trainees, especially women, who aspire to careers in architecture, business development and project management. Towards this end, her firm regularly provides internships (work integrated learning), and also sponsors and mentors students who are attending various institutions in Namibia and internationally. Gachiku also moderates the studio courses for first year Masters in Architecture students at Namibia University of Science and Technology's (NUST) School of Architecture and Spatial Planning.
Gachiku has a diploma in Outdoor Leadership and has an avid interest in outdoor activities eg. mountain climbing, hiking and adventure activities. She has also worked as a lay counsellor, participating in youth camps and enjoys travel, music, comedy, drama and interacting with people from other cultures.
Hermie Delport is an architect, artist, and educator living and working in Cape Town, South Africa. She has been involved with architectural education for the past twenty years and during this time she has strived to develop more inclusionary practices with a focus on assisting a diverse body of students to excel in the architectural programme. Her participation in curriculum development focussd on the transformation of outdated, colonialist curricula into curricula that focus on contextual and sustainable issues. She is currently part of a team at the private higher education institution, STADIO, who is developing a new School of Architecture and Spatial Design. They premised the development of their curricula on sustainable development with a specific sustainable living stream which explores the intersection of architecture with sustainable agriculture, urban design and other spatial and built environment practices and disciplines She is also part of the management team of various other schools and have the opportunity to expand the concept of sustainability to other disciplines such as fashion design, visual design, and commerce. She has a strong interest and practice experience in natural building, community engagement, and in design-build studios as a collaborative learning experience.
Andy Horn, principal architect and director of ECO DESIGN, Cape Town, is widely recognised for his pioneering work in the field of green building in the South African context, with a special focus on natural building construction and community involvement. In 1997 he worked with CRATerre – EAG the International Centre for Earth Construction on the design of a Centre for the Alliance Francaise, and attended a course they offered on earth construction techniques. In 1998 he presented at South Africa’s first Conference on Sustainability in the Built Environment. His practice has won a number of prestigious awards, and attracted a wide range of clients from all around Southern Africa, including governmental, institutional and NGO based clients, the resort and leisure market as well as residential and owner-builder clientele. He has written numerous articles, published papers and exhibited both locally and internationally. He also gives lectures on and holds natural building and participatory design workshops.
Dr Kevin Wall, until 2014 a Built Environment Fellow of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), is an award-winning civil engineer and town planner. He is also an Extraordinary Professor in the Department of Construction Economics of the University of Pretoria, and a non-executive board member of municipal entities.
Much of Kevin’s work over the last two decades has been on effectiveness of government spending on infrastructure, and ways to improve the quality, reliability and sustainability of that infrastructure. In particular, he led the team which formulated the National Water Services Infrastructure Asset Management Strategy and wrote the National Infrastructure Maintenance Strategy which was approved by Cabinet. He also led the research team for the three national infrastructure condition report cards (2006, 2011 and 2017), and will be playing the same role for the fourth report card. He has also led initiatives to create and nurture emergent microenterprises, create jobs and transfer skills while maintaining and repairing low-technology water and sanitation infrastructure.
Dr Jeremy Gibberd has worked on a wide range of projects that redefine how built environments are planned, designed, constructed and operated to become more inclusive and sustainable.
These include inclusive schools, TVET colleges, universities, theatres, self-build, affordable and mixed-use housing, commercial and light-industrial buildings, as well as campus and neighbourhood design in South Africa, Kenya, Zambia, Sierra Leone and the UK.
His research interests in sustainable built environments have led to innovative models and tools such as the Sustainable Building Assessment Tool and the Built Environment Sustainability Tool. His research has provided the basis for sustainable building policy, bylaws, guidance, courses, and over 50 research publications.
Jeremy has acted as a Chief Researcher, Visiting Professor, Project Architect and Strategic Adviser to UNEP, ILO, the Presidential Infrastructure Coordination Council (PICC) and the Departments of Environment, Human Settlements and Higher Education. He coordinates the Smart and Sustainable Built Environment (SASBE) working group of the CIB and is a member of the Multi-stakeholder Advisory Committee (MAC) of UNEP's Sustainable Building and Construction programme.
Mick Pearce has been working in China, Australia, the UK, Zimbabwe and Zambia for 42 years. His experience covers a wide range, from building in remote parts of Central Africa to converting old buildings in North-East England and large-scale city developments in Zimbabwe, an ecological exhibition centre in Belgium and the CH2 council office block in Melbourne, Australia. Committed to appropriate ecological architecture, Mick Pearce has focused upon the development of buildings which have low maintenance, low capital and running costs and renewable energy systems of environmental control. The most recent work involves an approach to design in which the architecture expression is seen as a balance of the natural, the social and the economic environments in which the project is sited. He uses models from nature, copying natural processes which he studies through the new science of biomimicry.
To quote Mick: “Mick Pearce has become what happens if you give the best training in architecture in the west to someone who lives in central Africa. The Architectural Association in London taught me free-thinking. If I had stayed in London I would be doing the high tech style which celebrated modernism in new age technology of the machine. But for family reasons I went back home to Zimbabwe where technology was frozen in the 50s and where politics ruled.
My claim 50 years later is that I come from the leading edge of the decline. What happens now in Zimbabwe will probably be happening in the developed world in ten years time.
It was in 1986 when I listened to a talk about Permaculture by an Australian called Bill Mollison; an agricultural system which copied the rain forest processes and this got me going on science. I started reading the New Scientist and Darwin, Lovelock, Dawkins, and many many others, including Stuart Brand’s The Whole Earth Catalogue. I gave up reading architectural magazines in favour of books about science.
I am not a scientist and most of what I read I only half understand, but it gives me ideas for my architecture.”
Jo Barnes is Senior Lecturer Emeritus in Epidemiology and Community Health of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of the University of Stellenbosch at Tygerberg. She is engaged in research into the health impact and further consequences of pollution from failing sanitation in urban areas and pollution reaching rivers arising from using the water for drinking and irrigation of edible crops and livestock. She has extensive experience in water monitoring of the Berg and Eerste Rivers. She is a member of the Berg Catchment Management Forum and the Pollution Task Team of the Berg River Irrigation Board, as well as a consultant to the Task Team to determine additional resources needed to manage pollution in storm water and river systems of the City of Cape Town. She is a recipient of the Order of the Disa (Member Class) 2007 for meritorious services to the Province of the Western Cape, winner of the Women in Water, Sanitation and Forestry Award 2007 for the category Education and Awareness for awareness created on contamination of rivers, winner of the Cape Times/Caltex Environmental Award 2005 for the research work on contaminations of rivers and recipient of the Faculty of Health Sciences Award for Community Service for 2007. She and her students studied community health in dense and low cost settlements over many years.
Alan Gilham gained his first green credentials in 1984 attending courses on passive solar design and design of small-scale hydro schemes at the Centre for Alternative Technology Machynlleth, Wales. Apart from a few years of smallholding living, it was not until 1993, when he joined the Energy Management unit of the UK’s Building Research Establishment, that he was able to turn his passion for the environment into a profession.
At the time of the SBE conferences in the 90s, Alan was Head of Urban Sustainability at BRE, chair of the Chartered Institute of Building’s Environment Committee and a strong advocate for change. A period which required combining skills to spearhead the understanding and development of sustainable construction at BRE’s Centre for Sustainable Construction, whilst helping to lead a culture change as BRE transitioned from government agency to private sector research organisation. In 1999, Alan went on to become the 1st Director of Sustainability appointed to a UK plc; developing and helping to deliver the company’s first corporate sustainability strategy.
Since the SBE conferences of the 90s Alan has spent the intervening years working with governments, civil society and private sector organisations to improve their governance, policy making, strategic planning and management capabilities. He believes that sustainability is possible if the right governance framework is adopted. Along the way he’s worked in Africa, SE Asia and the Middle East and acquired a PhD based on comparative research in Ghana and the UK to develop a Governance Framework for sustainable development in the built environment.
Alan now specialises in hands-on support to organisations needing to make strategic and structural changes, including changes in their policies, governance arrangements and practices for more sustainable outcomes.
Theo Trublard is a young architect based in Nantes, France. After five years at the Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Architecture de Bretagne, he decided to dedicate himself to the development of sustainable architecture by working on various projects in the West of France. He is currently working at Atelier Belenfant Daubas, which is an agency specialising in wooden / earth construction and participative training.
Karen Botes has thirty years’ experience in all aspects of landscape architecture, with twenty years’ experience in environmental impact assessment. She founded a micro-enterprise in 1998 and managed the firm until 2018, after which she joined the University of Pretoria as lecturer in January 2019.
Karen completed her Master Technologiae (Horticulture) Cum Laude at the Tshwane University of Technology in 2007. The aim of her dissertation titled “The evaluation of existing planning guidelines for urban vegetation – a case study” was to assess possible weaknesses in guidelines related to open spaces in Pretoria. Karen is currently a PhD candidate in Landscape Architecture on the topic of African food crops in urban modular living wall systems.
Samuel Dugelay is a mason as well as an engineer. When not on construction sites, he works on the set up and life of the various professional earth construction networks, and is involved in different national projects: writing of standards, executive direction for the Research National Project, secretary to the National Confederation of Earth Construction.
Mark Olweny is the leader of the Bachelor of Architecture programme at the Lincoln School of Architecture and Urban Design in the UK, as well as Research Associate Professor in Architecture in the Faculty of the Built Environment at Uganda Martyrs University. He has previously worked in architectural/urban design practices in Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland and Uganda.
Mark’s research interests span three inter-related areas: colonial and post-colonial architecture of East Africa; sustainable architecture, thermal performance and energy use in buildings; and architectural education. His research has led to engagements with the International Laboratory of Architecture and Urban Design (ILAUD), as well as with UN-Habitat on the project Energy Efficiency in Buildings in East Africa.
William Shivers is a Ph.D candidate in the Constructed Environment at the University of Virginia School of Architecture where he is focused on reinterpreting mass tree planting initiatives in US imperial lands. This research intersects issues of environmental sustainability with cultural resilience in the wake of systemic injustices. Educated in landscape architecture, William holds a MLA with Distinction from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and a BLA from Louisiana State University. William has experience working with public and private clients on climate adaptive work.
Ezio Gori is a project management and sustainability consultant with some 30 years’ experience in the development sector in Southern Africa, covering a wide spectrum of complex and multi-disciplinary projects and programmes, ranging from development planning studies, large scale land reform and public housing, infrastructure delivery improvement programmes, labour intensive construction, organic farming projects, agri-business, ecovillage designs, and, teaching Permaculture and Design for Sustainability. His academic and professional credentials are a BSc Building Management (1986) and an MSc Construction Management (1994) from the former University of Natal, Durban, South Africa; a Diploma of Applied Permaculture Design from Permaculture Association Britain (2010); and, professional membership, since 2002, of the Chartered Institute of Building, UK. As a promoter of sustainable design, Ezio is passionate about sustainable development and teaches an internationally recognized Permaculture Design Course (PDC) that is accredited by the Permaculture Research Institute (PRI Australia and worldwide) and the Permaculture Association Britain. Ezio is also a certified trainer for and teaches the Ecological and Design Studio Dimensions for the online Gaia Education Design for Sustainability. Ezio’s Permaculture projects are contained on his website at www.permaculture2012.co.za, with some new project updates in the making.
Felix Holland is co-founder and principal architect at Localworks, a multi-disciplinary design and build collaborative based in Kampala, Uganda. Felix grew up in Germany where he attended a Rudolf-Steiner-School and later studied architecture at HfbK in Hamburg. In 2004, he moved to Uganda where he joined the British firm FBW as assistant architect. After eight years, having grown to associate director and head of architecture, Felixestablished his own practice, Studio FH Architects. In 2019, the firm became a founding member of the Localworks collaborative which specialises in the design and realisation of green architecture (www.localworks.ug). Felix is married and has three daughters.
Since 2016 dr. arch. Els Hannes has been International Coordinator of the Faculty of Architecture and Arts of Hasselt University in Belgium. She graduated magna cum laude as an architect in 1996 at the PHAI in Diepenbeek, Belgium, and she holds a PhD in Transportation Sciences from Hasselt University since 2010. As Administrative Director of the Faculty of Architecture and Arts, she managed the merger of the Department of Architecture of the University College of Limburg (PHL) with the Faculty of Architecture and Arts of Hasselt University (2010-2015). In 2014, she initiated the first 'parallel design studio' with Ardhi University in Tanzania.
Kyla Hazell is a popular educator for activist NGO Ndifuna Ukwazi which works to address spatial injustice by protecting and promoting access to affordable housing in well-located areas of Cape Town. Kyla also serves on the boards of the Restitution Foundation and the Popular Education Programme.
Hélène van der Merwe
Hélène van der Merwe’s current occupations include being an only parent, an architect, a built environment committee member at Heritage Western Cape, a trustee for a scholarship fund for renewable energy studies (the Doug Banks Renewable Energy Vision Scholarship), a landlady, and a perpetual reader across a wide range of topics.
Obtaining a B.Arch at UCT in 1990 and working as a solo practice since 1993, Hélène has experience in mostly smaller and residential projects and has developed a special interest in sustainability and heritage related projects. Being based in the small village of McGregor in the Western Cape in the early 1990s provided opportunities to become engaged in natural building work, both in exploration of building techniques using locally sourced materials for new buildings, as well as revival of traditional clay and lime building techniques for appropriate restoration of historic mudbrick buildings. This interest in sustainable building techniques was further fuelled by involvement at several SBE events. For the last two decades professional work has been mostly centred on residential work in city context, with the aim to achieve as many steps as possible towards a greener outcome within the constraints of each project. During this time, she has taken many learning opportunities to attend lectures, short courses and conferences related to sustainable built environments, design, urban regeneration, natural materials and more.
Louw van Biljon
Louw van Biljon graduated in 1980 with a B Art et Scien (Planning) degree from PU for CHE, Potchefstroom, and in 1985 registered as professional planner. In 1986 he graduated with an MEP (Urban Design) from Wits University, Johannesburg, and worked in local government, private sector and academia.
Since 1995 Louw has worked full time as consulting planner for private developers, government agencies (eg. MISA, CSIR) and sub-consult to other firms. He has published articles and presented at conferences. Louw lives in Clarens, Free State Province, South Africa.
Shirin Elahi is director of Corset Economy, a mother-daughter team committed to thinking systemically and intergenerationally about the big issues of our time. She is a scenarios expert with more than 15 years of managing scenario projects for a range of multilateral, not-for-profit and private organisations including UN agencies and major corporations. She has explored the future of issues as diverse as the future of risk and society, the future of work, home, health, AIDS in Africa, mobility, global aviation, shipping, global regulatory systems, intellectual property rights, Knowledge and Innovation in Africa, access to energy for all, global food security, mining, minerals and energy. Shirin started her professional career as an architect and learned to apply that practical understanding of the creative process to build scenarios for the future as a tool for strategic change. She lives in London, UK.
Marloes Reinink is the founder of Solid Green Consulting. She has an architectural background and specialises in sustainable buildings and green building certification. She has extensive experience within a range of building certification systems in South Africa; from development to implementation, and is passionate about creating a more sustainable built environment in South Africa and Africa.
She became an ambassador for the International Living Future Institute in 2016, started the South African Living Future Collaborative and actively promotes the motivational message the living future represents - building a world that is socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative.
Marloes is also a director of GreenED, which is an online education platform for professionals in the built environment who want to learn more about sustainability. She is a Green Star SA AP, LEED AP, WELL AP, LFA accredited and EcoDistrict accredited. She won the GBCSA Award for Most Established Green Star in 2012/2013 and was WPN Business Woman of the Year in 2018. https://www.solidgreen.co.za/
Dr Kagiso Jobe
Dr Kagiso Jobe is a lecturer and an architect specialising in sustainability and environmental design, with substantial experience in green building and simulation tools, green building certifications, green economy practices and renewable energy technologies. He is an accomplished scholar with research interest and expertise in developing collaborative design tools and methods (BIM), participatory and flexible design methods, developing affordable housing strategies and policies in developing countries, and low-energy design applications.
Magda Minguzzi (PhD Iuav, Venice-IT) is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Architecture, and a researcher at the Institute for Coastal and Marine Research (CMR) at Nelson Mandela University (South Africa). Her research has a particular focus on the tangible and intangible heritage of the First Indigenous Peoples of South Africa: the KhoiSan. Recently her book in co-authorship with the KhoiSan "The Spirit of Water Practices of cultural re-appropriation. Indigenous heritage sites along the coast of the Eastern Cape-South Africa" has been published by Florence University Press. Her international documentary recently produced (NRF) “THE ORIGIN OF THINGS: An Investigation on the KhoiSan Heritage Places” is travelling and screened among Indigenous communities and Institutions.
She is a member of the Scientific Committee of OFFICINA* Journal on Architecture, Technology and Environment, and since 2017 a member of ICOMOS and ICHAM.
Edward Mazhani is a lecturer at the University of Botswana (Department of Architecture and Planning). He is a registered Architect and Facilities Manager with over 20 years’ experience on a variety of projects, ranging from new buildings to refurbishment and upgrading of existing buildings, maintenance and facilities planning. He holds a Master of Design Science (Sustainable Design and Facilities Management) from University of Sydney, Australia, a Master of Architecture, and Bachelor of Environmental Design Studies from Dalhousie University in Canada.
Thomas de Ridder
Thomas de Ridder’s career evolved from environmental and socio-economic development specialist to digital product manager and User Experience (UX) strategist, fueled by a desire to automate time consuming procedures and to optimise decision making through data analytics, now machine learning and Artificial Intelligence. He has degrees in Environmental/Biological Science, Psychology / Geography, a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning with a dissertation that focused on digital place marketing to attract investors, business, entrepreneurs, highly skilled workers and tourists to a region, and is embarking on a PhD focused on the interaction between the digital and spatial economy. He has a special interest in the digital platform economy, local and regional economic development, digital product management, innovation, and high-tech solutions for environmental and development challenges.
Alexandra Kruger is a dynamite teacher and pioneer in the field of Permaculture. She has been teaching PDCs for over 20 years and has trained thousands of students. She did her first PDC at Fambidzanai Centre in Zimbabwe in 1993 and has been transmitting the joy of Permaculture to others since then. She is a prominent figure in the Permaculture movement in South Africa, where she has designed a wide range of Permaculture systems - from urban gardens, eco-villages, farms, regional level action plans for marginalised communities and projects for NGOs. She has consulted on ecological restoration and land rehabilitation projects, spoken at many conferences and Permaculture festivals and run innovative training programs in schools (such as SEED, an award winning non-profit group working in townships and impoverished areas).
Alex has written a host of training manuals and teaching materials for Permaculture and is committed to delivering a high quality transfer of knowledge. Her areas of interest are design, seed-saving, food production, testing plant species, nutrition, broad-scale water management, natural building and people development. Alex is experienced in teaching across cultures and shares her wisdom with lots of heart.
Dr Guy Preston
Dr Guy Preston is a former Deputy Director-General in the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment. He was responsible for the Department’s major environmental programmes, including Working for Water, Working on Fire, Working for Wetlands, the Wildlife Economy, the Value-Added Industries programmes, and Biosecurity. These programmes had an annual budget of over R3.5 billion,and provided employment for over 70,000 people. He was also a Special Advisor to the then Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry, Professor Kader Asmal, and his successor, Minister Ronnie Kasrils.
Guy is currently assisting Infrastructure South Africa in the design and implementation of green structures, building on the success of the Value-Added Industries programme.
Anita Venter is a climate activist focusing on research related to housing, informal settlement upgrading, culture, socio-ecological development, regenerative design and art. Her skills are highly transdisciplinary, and she has academic qualifications in fine arts, philosophy and sociology, gender, and development studies. Anita furthermore received training in appropriate building technologies during an internship hosted by the Earthship Biotecture Academy in Guatemala. She is in the process of co-creating a unique built environment research field, Post-Natural, with a group of climate conscience scientists, researchers and artists in South Africa, Australia, Belgium, Pakistan and the USA. Her Post-Natural research primarily focuses on designing survival shelter models for the future. Anita aspires to address the gap between academic theories, research and policy through change-engaged practices applied in Post-Natural projects that respond to a climate crisis world.
Keith Armstrong is an experimental artist profoundly motivated by issues of social and ecological justice. His engaged, participative practices provoke audiences to comprehend, envisage and imagine collective pathways towards sustainable futures. He has specialised for over twenty two years in collaborative, experimental practices with emphasis upon innovative performance forms, site-specific electronic arts, networked interactive installations, alternative interfaces, art-science collaborations and socially and ecologically engaged practices. Keith’s research asks how insights drawn from scientific and philosophical ecologies can help us better to invent and direct experimental art forms, in the understanding that art practitioners are powerful change agents, provocateurs and social catalysts. Through inventing radical research methodologies and processes he has led and created over sixty major art works and process-based projects, which have been shown extensively in Australia and overseas, supported by numerous grants from the public and private sectors.
Annie Sugrue has been spearheading sustainable solutions at local government, community and policy level since the early 1990s. She was one of the founders of the EcoCity Project located within the City of Johannesburg, which she directed for ten years and which demonstrated innovative solutions to address the myriad of sustainability issues facing local government and their communities, while creating green jobs and building local economies. Annie focuses on win-win solutions for all sectors of society, recognising the interconnectedness of development issues. She has been a passionate advocate to identify ways to deal with climate change, which requires an integrated and collaborative approach.
Carla Jooste is a Professional Senior Architectural Technician who strives to have a unique and sustainable approach to Architecture. She is passionate about exploring Timber Construction in South Africa. Carla is a florist and wedding planner after hours and enjoys cycling, being outdoors and doing creative activities. She has been part of the OLA team for 6 years and has been involved in a variety of projects from residential architecture to larger urban planning projects.
Suné Uys is an Interior Architect with a love for travel and hiking. Suné has been part of the OLA team for 5 years; she obtained a master’s degree in interior architecture at the University of Pretoria. and has work experience in Durban and Johannesburg. She loves the urban lifestyle, living close to the Cape Town CBD.
Heidi McAllister is a Professional Architect based in Cape Town, who has a passion for art & design and how this relates to the built form. She graduated from the University of Cape Town in 2012 where she received various awards and scholarships. She gained experience working at van der Merwe Miszewski Architects, working on various projects throughout Cape Town. Heidi joined Osmond Lange Architects in September 2018 and has been using her drawing and design skills to create exciting new projects. She has a strong focus on architectural ideas, concept and materiality. She has a keen intertest for designing architecture that has a strong connection to context and nature. Heidi is also a keen open water swimmer, cyclist, artist and Volunteer for NSRI (National Sea Rescue Institute).
Philip du Toit
Philip du Toit is an Architect who loves dogs, spending time with his family and doing activities in nature. Philip has been part of the OLA team for 6 years; he studied Architecture at the University of Pretoria. and moved to Cape Town after working in Pretoria for some years. As a hobby, Philip creates Architectural Art by digitally overlaying timeframes of photos of buildings.
Dr Prithvi Simha
Dr Prithvi Simha is an environmental engineer and researcher at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) where he focuses on sanitation and human waste as a resource. His PhD focused on alkaline dehydration of Urine to produce dry fertilizer. He has been involved in this research for the past five years.
Gert van der Merwe
Mr Gert van der Merwe studied architecture at the University of Pretoria. He works in the office of Jaco Wasserfall Architects in Windhoek and teaches environmental design at the Namibia University of Science and Technology where he is also responsible for the ‘Water and Waste’ research group, situated at the Integrated Land Management Institute.
Dr David Stone
Dr David Stone is an Environmental Scientist specializing in aqueous iron chemistry, and is the inventor of two green, iron-based, carbon-negative materials. One is Ferrock, a mineral binder for concrete, and the other is Polymiron, a polymer derived from certain fatty acids common in plant oils. He formed a company called Iron Shell Material Technologies and for the past fifteen years he has been an entrepreneur working to commercialize these products.
David has received grants from the Environmental Protection Agency and other US government agencies to help fund this venture. However, to succeed he needs the kinds of resources only large companies can provide and he continues to seek partnerships with them. Only a few countries have highly developed iron and steel industries where this kind of process might find a home and the most likely candidates include South Africa, Brazil, Sweden, Australia, and India. David is actively pursuing connections in all of them.
Johan Barnard is a Professional Landscape Architect with thirty-four years’ experience in landscape architecture and urban design, specialising in construction detailing and contract documentation, site supervision and contract management.
Johan also lectured on urban and landscape design in the Department of Town Planning at Wits University and in Environmental Studies at Wits Technikon. He is a past President of ILASA and past Chairman of SACLAP. He currently serves on the UDISA National Committee.
Elena Sentieri is an Urban Resilience and Development Specialist currently employed at the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), based in Maputo, Mozambique. She is an architect with a background in sustainable architecture and planning.
Elena has spent the last four years working on projects implemented in Mozambique and in sub-Saharan Africa, coordinating with development partners, national and local governments and vulnerable communities. The projects she is currently coordinating focus on urban and metropolitan governance and sustainable urban and territorial development.
Deeply interested in environmental and human rights protection, Elena holds a Master’s degree in Architecture (IUAV University of Venice, 2017) with specialization in Emergency and Resilience. For her Master's thesis she developed a one-year research programme titled "NET-WORKING - A New strategy of Adaptation to Environmental Changes in Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia.
She is further specializing in Climate Change and Sustainable Development.
Selene Angelone is an architect with a diverse background. She has 11 years of experience in both the private sector and international cooperation. Selene initially worked as a designer in Italy, and in the field of cultural heritage. She relocated to Panama for four years, where she focused mainly on project management of architectural projects.
Her keen interest in the social aspect of architecture prompted her to enrol in a post-graduate programme, specializing in project strategies and innovation in humanitarian emergencies. In 2018 she joined UN-Habitat. She is currently working as a consultant supporting the Regional Office for Africa in Nairobi on projects falling under the urban resilience, climate change and disaster risk portfolio.
Lesley Sibanda is a Senior Professional Officer in the Sustainable Energy Markets of the City of Cape Town where she supports the development of a net zero carbon built environment by driving change in urban planning, precinct development and individual building development, focusing on both new and existing buildings. She holds a BSc in Chemical Engineering and two postgraduate degrees, one which focused on sustainable engineering practices and the other on alternative waste management practices for the South African gold mine sector. Lesley has 11 years of experience in green buildings, resource management and urban low carbon development. She’s worked with academic institutions, civil society and local governments in African countries, namely Kenya, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, on issues of natural resources, climate change and sustainable development. Before joining the City of Cape Town, she was the C40 Technical Officer (Cape Town) on the C40 South Africa New Buildings Programme where she was tasked with developing energy efficiency policies and programmes towards net zero carbon performance for new buildings and promoting low carbon infrastructure provision, energy efficient building design and clean energy supply.
Matthew Cullinan is an expert in green infrastructure and sustainable urban development. He has a Master’s in City and Regional Planning, with undergraduate degrees in Economics and Environmental Science. Matthew is currently the Infrastructure Executive at the Atlantis Greentech SEZ. Prior to this he was the CEO of MCA Urban and Environmental Planners a technical advisory company focusing on green urban infrastructure policy, planning and development.
As a community architect, researcher and social innovator in sustainable development, Kevin Kimwelle’s architectural studies and professional experience extend from Kenya to South Africa with global collaborations in the USA, Europe and India. His focus has led him into community development work in South Africa, where he is currently based. His doctoral research in the use of alternative design and technology as an agent towards social change merges the environmental aspects with the socioeconomic impact and applies a transdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approach. It engages several academic institutions; Nelson Mandela University(SA), Cape Peninsula University of Technology (SA), University of Cape Town, Wismar University (Germany) and Lawrence Technological University (USA). His work emerges from a foundation of a people-centred design to responding to the urgency to social justice through activism. He incorporates business, environment and technical studies for a holistic application
Well-travelled in the Eastern, Southern Africa and Central Europe, his work explores alternatives in both the design and development approach grounding the green agenda in affordable low-tech sustainable solutions. He been nominated for the 2017 Design Indaba’s MBOISA (Most Beautiful Object in South Africa). In 2018 he won the 2018 SAPOA Overall Transformational Award. In 2019 his education centre design won the 2019 SAIA (South African Institute of Architects) Regional Award. He has been featured in Architectural Record Magazine, Metropolis Magazine, The Guardian UK, and Mail & Guardian to mention a few. He also has been numerously featured on Television and radio
Ms Kahmiela August
Chief Director: Human Settlement Planning
Department of Human Settlements Western Cape
The World Bank recently stated that “…South Africa is still the most unequal country in the world…the legacy of colonialism and apartheid, rooted in racial and spatial integration, continues to re-enforce inequality”. As the Chief Director for Human Settlement Planning in the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements, it is Kahmiela’ s priority and responsibility to work towards changing this paradigm by advocating for integrated human settlement planning and development within the province. Programmes within her portfolio include Municipal Planning, Forward Planning, Policy and Research, Affordable Housing, Land and Asset Management and Title Deed Restitution. Kahmiela is also key to facilitating improved partnerships between government and other sectors within the province. She explores the establishment of mutually beneficial partnerships which are closely monitored and strategically geared towards the maximisation of affordable housing opportunities through cross subsidisation and improved consumer affordability. Kahmiela is trained within the Environmental Management field and Urban Studies, which guided her work as a consultant in sustainable development practices. She also implemented a pilot National Youth Service in conservation in South Africa, focusing on the empowerment of women, disadvantaged individuals and young persons.
David Bettesworth is a professional planner who graduated from UCT in 1993 with a Masters degree in City and Regional Planning. He worked in the private sector from 1993 to 1999, and at the City of Cape Town as a senior planner from 1999-2006. In 2006 David formed David Bettesworth Town and Regional Planners. In 2019 David with two other former City colleagues formed Bettesworth Scott Urban and Environmental Planners. David is a former Chairman of the South African Association of Consulting Professional Planners (SAACPP South) and currently serves on the SAACPP Committee.
Evert Strydom is a Lecturer at the Namibia University of Science and Technology. Originally from a mechanical and industrial engineering background, he is responsible for grant-funded research management centred around the Namibian Bioeconomy. Evert is particularly passionate about the Namibian wood biomass sector, and the link with restoration of the Namibian rangelands. He is actively advocating that one only achieves true sustainability through regenerative utilisation.
Graham Jacobs is a heritage architect whose work has included rescue restoration projects in South Africa and abroad. He has a degree in Architecture from the University of Cape Town and a Master’s degree in Conservation from the Institute of Advanced Architectural Studies, University of York, UK. He is currently a heritage advisor to the International Finance Corporation and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Developmentd serves on the Board of the Commonwealth Heritage Forum. He is a Council member of Heritage Western Cape and chairs its Built Environment and Landscape Committee.
Mauritz Naude holds a Masters degree in Architecture (WITS) and has been active in heritage management, conservation and museology since 1980. He worked as researcher and curator for historic buildings at the National Cultural History and Open-Air Museum, now the Ditsong Museums of South Africa (Pretoria) from 1984 until 2020. He has also lectured at various South African Universities during the period 2000 to 2020.
Since 2000 he has been involved in Heritage Impact Assessments specialising in the assessment of historic sites and buildings. His background in Archaeology combined with his knowledge of vernacular architecture, conservation and heritage legislation allowed him to serve as consultant on a variety of projects of an interdisciplinary nature assisting archaeologists, historians, architects, landscape architects and developers with the assessment of buildings, historic sites and the application of permits from various heritage agencies and authorities.
Matthew Whalley is the Green Innovation Manager at Balwin Properties. He has BSc(Eng) Aeronautical and MSc(Eng) as well as being the founder of the first South African company to be accepted into Y-combinator, the world-renowned start-up accelerator based in Palo Alto, California. Having a background in aerospace he first looked at renewable energy around wind turbines and then moved into renewable energy and sustainability in general. He is passionate about implementing solutions which result in real world benefits for both the developer and the client.
As Green Innovation manager he has led the team getting green certifications at Balwin, and these include: 9 GBCSA 6-star rated buildings, 7 Net-Zero Carbon, 30,000+ apartments registered for EDGE, 7500 EDGE certificates, 7000 EDGE advanced certificates
William Martinson earned both a B.Arch and M.Arch degree (Conservation) from the University of Witwatersrand. In 1989 he was appointed by National Monuments Council as Architect, and in 1996 appointed as a Conservation Architect by FKH Architects. He joined Osmond Lange Architects (OLA) in Johannesburg as a senior architect, and relocated to their East London office in 2006.
The BKIA Award was conferred on William in 2011 for a Heritage Impact Assessment of the Nelson Mandela Museum in Mthatha. He is also chairman of the Border Historical Society, a Board Member of the East London Museum, and past Council Member of the Eastern Cape Provincial Heritage Authority.