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Plenary Stage

Papa Omotayo

∇ Nigeria

Papa Omotayo is an award-winning, architect, designer, writer and filmmaker. Papa’s work strongly focuses on exploring the nature of culture and the context within contemporary Nigerian and the extended African condition, locally and globally. A strong believer in creating work through cross-disciplinary collaboration and participation, he strives to find new possibilities for creating nuanced visual narratives in Nigeria’s (Africa’s) urban centres and beyond.

He is the founder of A Whitespace Creative Agency and Creative Director of MOE+ Art Architecture. He currently lives and works in Lagos, Nigeria.

Awards/Competitions/Articles Winner:

  • Lagos: Performance and Negotiations with the Public Realm – Where Strangers Meet (essays/anthology) – 2017
  • Applied Foreign Labs (essays) – 2017
  • Best New Director: ‘OMI’ Fashion Film Festival Milano, Italy – 2016
  • Exhibitor: Making Africa – Guggenheim Bilbao – 2016
  • Best Curator – ‘Nigeria Expo’ International Fashion Showcase, London, UK – 2015
  • Time Out: Nigeria at 50 : Pioneers – 2010
  • ArchiAfika Journal: This is Lagos – 2010

Sanne van der Burgh

∇ Netherlands

Associate Director, Head of MVRDV NEXT and Architect Sanne van der Burgh (NL) leads multiple teams within MVRDV, realising projects of various scales, phases, and across several continents. Sanne played an integral role in high profile MVRDV projects including the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Depot, the refurbishment of the Lyon Part Dieu shopping center, and a visionary project for revitalising New Delhi’s sanitation and infrastructure: Barapullah Springs. Sanne is a versatile architect with demonstrated design achievements. In 2019, Architizer named her as one of 25 young architects to watch. In 2021, she was the winner of the Female Frontier Awards, organized by World Architecture News. She won the category “Innovation in Architecture”. Sanne regularly appears in lectures and jury’s worldwide.

Sanne’s strengths lie in integral project narratives with a focus on sustainability and innovation. With her personal fascination for computational workflows and methodologies, she championed MVRDV NEXT, an in-house R&D group that focuses on development and implementation of cutting-edge technologies in MVRDV’s projects. Involvement of MVRDV NEXT has made complex projects such as the Floriade plant layout and the façade of the Valley possible. Currently, MVRDV NEXT focuses on the development of visionary tools that help cities become more dense, more green and more resilient. A dedicated advocate for environmental awareness in architecture, urbanism, and our daily lives, Sanne believes in the capacity of design to inspire and have a positive impact on people and their surroundings.

Khanyi Mlambo

∇ South Africa

Khanyi Mlambo’s name has become synonymous with caring about giving back to communities while also being stellar in the corporate space. Khanyi has worn many hats over the years including being Head Responsible Business at Old Mutual, various Director roles at Standard Bank Group, and Marketing Executive and a Board member at Corobrick.

She is a founding President of South African Women in Construction and held roles as an inaugural Board member of the Construction Industry Development Board, a non-executive director at Motheo Construction Group, and their Chair of the Social, Ethics, and Environmental Committee and Board member of the UN Global Compact ( SA).

Khanyi currently provides services as a Speaker and Facilitator. She also provides Advisory and Mentorship services to various stakeholders. She is a Committee Member of the Institute of Directors SA – Social and Ethics Committee, Board member of the National Business Initiative, and Southern African HIV and Aids Collaboration. She is an Associate of the Shared Value Africa Initiative and a Mentor at Geo Counsellors.

She is an advocate for youth and women issues where she campaigns for education, financial inclusion, and wellbeing. She is a fund-raiser for the Shoshana Foundation, Summit for Hope, and an Ambassador for the Smile Foundation. She has been recognized for various awards including SABC Woman Achiever of the Year in her career.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in Applied Social Sciences and is a Candidate for Honours in Psychology. She also holds a National Diploma in Architecture, Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing Management, and completed various Business and Executive courses at (UCT), (GIBS), and Cambridge Institute of Sustainable Leadership.
Khanyi is a long-distance runner and a mountaineer participating both locally and internationally. She has presented papers on local and global platforms including TEDx. She operates from Johannesburg where she advises, writes, and speaks on responsible business, sustainability, climate change, leadership, and shared value. Creating a long-lasting positive impact is core to who she is.

Dr Antony Wood

∇ USA

Dr Antony Wood is President of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), responsible for leading the Council’s thought leadership, research, and academic initiatives. Prior to this, he was CTBUH Chief Executive Officer from 2006-2022. Under his fifteen-year tenure as CEO, CTBUH increased its outputs and initiatives across all areas of operation globally.

Dr Wood is also a teaching Professor and Director of the Masters in Tall Buildings and Vertical Urbanism program in the College of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, He is also a visiting professor of tall buildings at Tongji University Shanghai. A UK architect by training, his field of specialty is the design, and in particular the sustainable design, of tall buildings

Simon Sturgis

∇ United Kingdom

Simon Sturgis AADip RIBA is an environmental specialist focusing on embodied carbon in the built environment.

He has written official Policy on Embodied and Whole Life Carbon for the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, the Royal Institute of British Architects, and the Greater London Authority. He is an advisor to UK government departments, the EU Commission, the UK Green Building Council and the RIBA Stirling Prize. His book ‘Targeting Zero – Embodied and Whole Life carbon explained” is a standard work on the subject.

He advises commercial and residential clients eg: British Land, Schroders, and Google. He has spoken at many international conferences, including Futurebuild (London), World Architecture Festival (Berlin, Barcelona), IGBC (Singapore), and COP 24 (Katowice). Simon was recently appointed Special Advisor on Whole Life Carbon to the Environmental Audit Select Committee of the UK House of Commons. www.targetingzero.co.uk

Bronwyn Williams

∇ South Africa

Bronwyn Williams is a Futurist, Economist and Business Trends Analyst.

Bronwyn has over a decade’s experience in strategic management, trend research and foresight; consulting to clients in the public and private sector across the African continent. Her educational credentials include tertiary qualifications in Marketing Management (University of Johannesburg), Economics (University of London), Foresight (University of Manchester), and Future Studies (University of Stellenbosch). She is currently completing a Master’s in Applied Economics from the University of Bath.

Today, as a partner at Flux Trends, Bronwyn’s research focuses on how macro socioeconomic trends and emerging technologies will impact businesses, industries, and nations in the near and long term future. Part economist, part strategist, Bronwyn’s particular areas of expertise include fintech trends, alternative economic models, and sustainable future design.

Bronwyn’s clients include Top 40 JSE-listed companies, The South African Reserve Bank, African government departments, and global business leaders. She is also a guest lecturer for leading business schools, such as Duke, GIBS, UCT, and the University of Johannesburg. Bronwyn is also the co-author of The Future Starts Now, published by Bloomsbury UK, and a well-known media commentator on future trends and economic trajectories for network channels including CNBC Africa and ENCA News. She is also a member of the Association of Professional Futurists.

Sir Jonathon Porritt

∇ United Kingdom 

Jonathon Porritt, Founder Director of Forum for the Future, has been on the front line of environmental campaigning for more than 45 years. 

He’s worked tirelessly to promote the solutions to today’s converging environmental crises – as Director of Friends of the Earth in the 1980s, Co-Founder of Forum for the Future, the UK’s leading sustainability charity, President of Population Matters and The Conservation Volunteers, Chair of the UK Sustainable Development Commission (2000-2009), and Chancellor of Keele University (2012-2022). 

His work as author and broadcaster has had a huge impact over the years. His latest book, ‘Hope in Hell’, a powerful ‘call to action’ on the Climate Emergency, was published in June 2020.

Andy Pag

∇ Ireland

For 20 years, former BBC journalist Andy Pag has been trying to travel sustainably, from driving a chocolate powered lorry to Timbuktu, to gliding around the sky on thermal currents, to circumnavigating the globe in a scrapyard school bus fuelled only with waste cooking oil scavenged from bins along the way.

To his own surprise many of these experimental journeys have actually proved to be quite sustainable, and now, connecting live from the sailboat he currently lives and travels on, he delivers imagination-grabbing talks sharing his experience and honestly critiquing his own attempts to live and travel sustainably.

From these entertaining tales he draws lessons and conclusions which frame the challenge of acting sustainably for both businesses and individuals. His talks are inspiring and thought provoking, and challenge the audience into new ideas without confrontation.

Richard Edwards

∇ South Africa

Richard Edwards is the Cape Regional Executive for Property Finance at Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking (NCIB).

Edwards brings a wealth of experience having fulfilled various roles across credit, risk, equity, commercial property and sales in the Nedbank Group. His journey with the group started 20 years ago at the Cape of Good Hope Bank until the merger with BoE, and subsequently in NCIB’s Property Finance division in the Cape.

Prior to joining Nedbank, Edwards spent 11 years with Standard Bank and was an Account Executive at SCMB. He holds a BComm degree, an Associate Diploma in Commercial Banking and an MBA obtained at the University of Stellenbosch in 2000.

Clive Wilkinson

∇ USA

Clive Wilkinson is an architect, designer, writer and strategist with over thirty years of experience working at the intersection of urban design, architecture and interior design. His practice, Clive Wilkinson Architects, was established in Los Angeles in 1991 and is an acknowledged global leader in workplace design whose large-scale projects for clients such as Disney, Google and Macquarie Group have established new paradigms for building creative and educational communities. 

A Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Clive is also a Fellow of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) and a former Board Director of the AIA | Los Angeles. In 2005, he was inducted into the Interior Design ‘Hall of Fame.’ Clive was named a ‘Master of Design’ by Fast Company in 2006, a ‘Pioneer of Design’ by the IIIDA in 2011, and a ‘Legend’ by Contract in 2018. In 2010, he was formally inducted into the GSA National Peer Registry as an advisor to the U.S. Government on architecture and design. 

Clive has served as a keynote speaker at global media, advertising and design conferences, and has contributed to numerous radio and television shows. Clive Wilkinson Architects was selected in both 2010 and 2011 as a Finalist in the renowned National Design Awards by the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, and, in 2012, the practice received the National Design Award for excellence in the category of Interior Design.

Steve Brookes

∇ South Africa

Steve is the founder and current Chief Executive of Balwin Properties, with over 22 years of experience in the position at the company. Balwin is the JSE’s only national large-scale developer of turnkey sectional-title apartments and surrounding infrastructure aimed at the mid-to-upper market segment.
He is also the chairman of the Balwin Foundation, a non-profit company established in 2016 aimed at making a social difference in the education, training and funding landscape.

Steve is passionate about environmentally responsible building practices and is the driving force behind Balwin’s approach to minimising its environmental impact by achieving green building ratings at its developments, including “6 Star” Green ratings from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) for its lifestyle centres and net zero certification.

Under Steve’s leadership, Balwin has registered a total of approximately 35 000 apartments as EDGE Advanced since January 2021, achieving on-site energy savings in excess of 40% compared to conventional building methods.

Gavin Kode

∇ South Africa

Gavin is the Deputy Director-General of Provincial Public Works for the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works. In 2013, Gavin moved from Old Mutual Property to work in the public sector as a property professional. Gavin made this choice largely because he sees vast opportunities in public sector property portfolios for creating growth and jobs and enabling a resilient, sustainable, high-quality and inclusive working environment.

Gavin has been the key driver of the annual publication of the Western Cape Government (WCG) Property Efficiency Report (PER) and has been an influential force for manipulating the levers at WCG’s disposal that have a net positive effect on the space, cost and environmental parameters that are reported in the PER.

Gavin holds a Master’s degree in tax law and an MBA from the University of the Witwatersrand, has been a GBCSA Accredited Professional since 2014, and a member of the GBCSA Public Sector board sub-committee since April 2017. He joined the GBCSA main board in July 2020.

Lisa Reynolds

∇ South Africa

Lisa Reynolds is the CEO of the Green Building Council South Africa.

Lisa was the driver for the drafting of Energy Efficiency Standards and Regulation for Buildings and has been involved in Energy Efficiency since 2003. She serves on many committees in the SABS and within the energy management professionals’ space. She was President of the SAEEC from 2016 to 2019 and was the previous President of the ESCo (Energy Services Companies) Association. Lisa was instrumental in the formation of SAFEE (Southern African Females in Energy Efficiency) within SAEEC.

She has assisted the South African Government with their Green Building Framework policies, Energy Efficiency Tax Incentives and Energy Efficiency Strategies

Her passion for the “green space” started with the birth of the Green Building Council in 2007. Lisa served on the Board and the Technical Committee of the GBCSA, as well as on several Technical Working Groups for Rating Tools and Criteria. Lisa. became CEO in June 2020.

Lisa has a BSc, an MBA and CEM. Lisa’s awards include the 2007 ETA award for Women, the 2008 Individual Energy (SAEE), the 2012 SABS Standards Writer Award; the 2014 Women in Energy (SAWIEN); and the 2016 Ian Lane Hall of Fame award.

Lisa is committed to growing the Green Economy within a Green Recovery.

Brian Unsted

∇ South Africa

Brian has an impressive 23 years of experience in the South African property industry with a particular focus on extracting optimal value from some of South Africa’s most prestigious and successful shopping centres/mixed-use properties.

Brian’s background as a Senior Financial Manager in property development at Liberty Properties, Financial Manager at Investec Properties for Growthpoint and role of Head of Finance at Liberty Properties brings to the table expert knowledge in financial and management accounting, asset management and the property industry as a whole.

His chief responsibilities within Liberty Two Degrees (L2D) involve managing the assets of Eastgate Shopping Centre, Liberty Midlands Mall, Melrose Arch and several office buildings. Brian is the champion for sustainability issues for the L2D fund and ensures synergy on sustainability issues between the property investment portfolio and the broader Liberty Group. When Brian is not working or co-authoring a book, he enjoys running, mountain biking, and travelling. His book, Sandton Places, was published in 2014.

Philicity Reeken

∇ South Africa

Philicity Reeken is an actress, voice artist, radio host, MC, presenter, and all-around entertainer. 

Her comedy skills have been evident in her leading role as Amanda Mbuli in the M-Net sitcom Coconuts and her dramatic abilities have been on show in various series, such as The Mating Game, Isidingo, Scandal, and Jozi H. She also starred in Binnelanders as Busi, yes, she is completely bilingual too!

When she was part of the award-winning breakfast show on 947, it was her wit, warmth, plenty of quirks, and deep, velvety voice that the listeners fell in love with. This lady can definitely think on her feet, Apart from live radio, she is also comfortable as a TV presenter. Whether it’s a cooking show or a daytime talk show, Philicity is always engaging and at ease. From Mindset Health and Mindset Primary on DStv, the Urban Brew production Lifestyle, Erfkos, and Binnekring on Via, Great Expectations on e.tv to Trapsuutjies on Kyknet, she brings her unique flair and charm wherever she goes.

Currently, she is an on-air presenter on Jacaranda FM.