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Plenary Stage

Parallel Sessions & Workshops

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

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.

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.

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.

Adrie Fourie

HOD Sustainable Cities & Research, Solid Green Consulting

Adrie has an undergraduate degree in Town and Regional Planning from the University of Pretoria, a Master’s in Architecture from the University of the Witwatersrand & a Postgraduate Diploma in Green Cities for Eco-Efficiency from the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies at the Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands. She is a trained Climate Reality Leader, a Living Future Ambassador, an EcoDistrict™ AP, a Fitwel Ambassador and a Green Star AP+. With more than 20 years of experience in development economics, urban management and sustainable precinct design, Adrie aims to drive delivery that supports clients and delivery partners on projects beyond the building scale, focused on addressing sustainability and resource efficiency in a precinct, district’ & city scale.

More recently the work that Adrie and her unit are focused on links to ESG strategy development and refinement of overarching Environmental Reporting approaches, biodiversity policies and plans to guide implementation and conservation reporting, the setting of Science-Based Targets for corporate clients to link to the larger city scale work we are doing around unpacking what a commitment to the Paris Agreement to restrict global heating at 1.5 degrees Celsius or below; the Social Development Goals and Net Zero really needs to look like.

Andre Nel

General Manager: Sustainability, Pick n Pay

Andre Nel is Pick n Pays’ General Manager of Sustainability and holds an MBA from the University of Stellenbosch Business School and a Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Business (PCSB) from Cambridge University.

Pick n Pay has an integrated SDG-aligned CSR programme which focuses on partnering to shift the food system, through building more ethical and inclusive supply chains; introducing increased efficiencies in energy and water consumption and decreasing food waste and packaging; promoting healthy living; supporting education through the Pick n Pay Schools Club and a range of community empowerment initiatives.

Brian Unsted

Asset Management Executive, Liberty2Degrees

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.

Danielle Frank

Transactor Sustainable Finance, Rand Merchant Bank

Danielle is a skilled investment banking professional that has extensive experience in developing and executing sustainable finance solutions. She has been instrumental in the development of the local sustainable finance market having executed several award-winning African firsts. These include Africa’s Largest Offshore Sustainable Bond, First Social Bond in South Africa and Africa’s First Sustainability Linked Bond.

Danielle has a keen appreciation for the nuanced application of sustainable finance within the real estate sector and has led to many landmark transactions (sustainability linked and use of proceeds deals in loan and bond format) for both listed and unlisted real estate companies such as Redefine, Equites, Emira, Transcend and Century (to name a few).

Francois Retief

Founder, Sow & Reap Consulting (South Africa)

Francois thrives on collaborating with others to create healthy, sustainable spaces and communities. A mechanical engineer by training, he specialises in developing practical sustainability strategies for the built environment. Francois is the founder of Sow & Reap, a consultancy that focuses on sustainability advisory services, building simulation, certification and compliance.

Prior to founding Sow & Reap in 2014, Francois worked as a building services engineer both locally and in the UK, with a focus on resource-efficient design. For four years he also worked at the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) managing the development and implementation of a number of green building tools and frameworks.

Francois currently serves as chairman of the ASHRAE SA Chapter Sustainability Committee, and in 2021 he received the GBCSA award for ‘Established Green Star’ of the year.

Dr Engela Petzer

Senior Researcher: Housing and Urban Studies, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)

Engela Petzer is a senior researcher in the Housing and Urban Studies (HaUS) research group at the CSIR. She is a qualified and registered town and regional planner. Her areas of work and her research interests include integrated development and spatial planning, urban futures and urban policy development and analyses. Her early career included consulting work, editing the Urban Green File magazine and lecturing posts at the Universities of Pretoria and the North West. Since joining the CSIR in 2015, she played a leading role in the revision and update of The Neighbourhood Planning and Design Guide (colloquially known as the Red Book) and she conducted research for, among others, the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), the Cities Support Programme in National Treasury and Anglo American. A recent research focus is smart cities and she is leading a CSIR project on the development of inclusive smart cities in the South African context.

Georgina Smit

Head of Technical, Green Building Council South Africa (South Africa)

Georgina Smit is Head of Technical at the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA). She oversees 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 who are responsible for independently certifying green and net zero 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 GBCSA, both in the private and public sectors.

Jutta Berns

Director & Founder, ecocentric (South Africa)

With many accolades, green building certifications, projects, and years of on-the-ground experience under her belt, Jutta is a highly experienced strategist who understands the complexities and challenges that companies face when embedding sustainability into the core of their business processes.

She founded Ecocentric in 2007, a multi-disciplinary green building consulting firm, specialising in delivering sustainable solutions and strategies within the built environment, which yield the lowest environmental impacts throughout the building life-cycle while delivering on net zero ambitions.

Jutta has an academic and professional background in political science, environmental economics and eco-systems valuations from the Universities of Bonn (Germany) and Cambridge (United Kingdom) and holds professional accreditations as a LEED AP, a Green Star AP+, and an EcoDistricts AP. She is a GBCSA faculty member, Green Star Assessor and a member of the GBCSA’s Technical Advisory Group, and also part of the GBCSA’s Project Steering Committee tasked with developing the new version of the Green Star New Buildings tool, where she heads up the Resilience Category. She has also been invited again to help curate the annual Green Building Convention, taking place in Cape Town in November 2022.

In addition, she is the Chair of the Gauteng Chapter of the Women’s Property Network (WPN) and heads up the Sustainability and ESG portfolio for the WPN. She sits on the editorial advisory boards for publications Earthworks Magazine, and the GBCSA’s Positive Impact Magazine.

Dr Kevin Winter

Lead Researcher: Environmental & Geographical Science, Future Water Institute, University of Cape Town

Dr Kevin Winter is the lead researcher of the University of Cape Town’s Future Water Institute and a member of the City of Cape Town’s Section 80 Water Resilience Committee. During Cape Town’s 2017-18 water crisis he was one of the experts most frequently asked to contribute to the understanding of the public (and of government officials) in relation to the origins of the water crisis and its possible solutions.

His research work at the Franschhoek Water Hub investigates the use of nature-based processes to treat stormwater runoff and reuse of water for irrigating food gardens and rearing freshwater fish.

Dr Krista Schroeder

Assistant Professor of Nursing, Temple University College of Public Health

Dr Krista Schroeder is a nurse scientist whose research examines how adversity, trauma, and social determinants of health influence obesity risk. Her methodological expertise includes large dataset analysis, geospatial research for examining neighbourhood effects on health, and quantitative approaches for program and policy evaluation.

She completed a BSN at Bloomsburg University, a PhD and National Institutes of Health T32 pre-doctoral fellowship at Columbia University, and a National Institutes of Health T32 postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. At present, she is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at the Temple University of College Health. Her current research, funded by a National Institutes of Health K23 Patient-Oriented Career Development Award, examines the association between neighbourhood environment, childhood adversity and obesity. Collectively, her enthusiasm for her work arises from her prior career as a critical care nurse, which inspired her passion for health promotion.

Mike Aldous

Technical Principal, MPAMOT

Mike has over 26 years of experience in the Built Environment and brings with him a broad industry skill set, with an MSc in Built Environment Sciences, a BCom in property, a professionally registered civil engineering qualification and an international post-graduate project management qualification. He has been actively involved at both the community and commercial level in promoting, educating, and focusing attention on green buildings, sustainability, climate resilience, energy efficiency over the built environment lifecycle and the growing role supporting technology has to play in delivering better outcomes.

Mike has worked on over 60 healthcare facilities ranging from renovations to large-scale brownfield and greenfield developments, including upgrading and repurposing of medical facilities to accommodate modern equipment and nuclear medicine tools.

As a former member of the Healthy Buildings and Healthcare practices within the Mott MacDonald global group, Mike has combined these varied roles to support his keen interest in evolving medical technologies, indoor environmental quality, and the health impact thereof, and the growing influence of biomimicry derived solutions to advancing engineering solutions, with a keen interest in regenerative design opportunities.

Having worked closely with the Green Building Council of South Africa since its inception, Mike has contributed to the development of a number of the Green Star rating tools he serves as an assessor, assessor committee member, GBCSA faculty member and sits on the GBCSA Technical Advisory Group.

Paul Currie

Associate Director: Urban Systems Centre , ICLEI Africa

Paul Currie is Associate Director of the Urban Systems Centre at ICLEI Africa. In this role, he contributes to Urban Systems projects, chairs the ICLEI Africa Research working group curates the annual RISE Africa event, and co-hosts ICLEI Africa’s circularity, food and water portfolios.

Paul is a fellow at the Cente for Sustainability Transitions at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, a member of Resilient40, a youth climate activist network, and a board member of the Sustainable Urban Systems Chapter of the International Society of Industrial Ecology (ISIE). His PhD research currently aims to further his understanding of urban metabolism and resource nexus concepts in African urban contexts.

With ICLEI Africa, he supports African local government officers and stakeholders to take on systems approaches both in strategy and implementation. His projects relate to themes of food systems governance, circular economy, nature-based solutions and food-water-energy nexus. Paul hopes that his work contributes to new ways of engaging that bridge creative expression, science and policy for improving resource equity, urban planning and sustainable development in cities around the world.

Dr Peta Brom

Urban Ecologist, University of Cape Town

Peta Brom is a transdisciplinary researcher with a PhD in urban ecology from the University of Cape Town. Her research focuses on applied solutions, drawing on her experience as a sustainable built environment professional, to use science and big data to find real-world, pragmatic solutions to the planning and management of urban nature in African cities. Between 2004 and 2017 she worked in various capacities in sustainable development planning and was one of the first to become a registered Green Star SA Accredited Professional.

The majority of her pre-PhD experience was carried out from within PJCarew Consulting where she contributed to the development of both MURT and PEB Green Star SA tools. In 2018 she returned to university to pursue her PhD with a prestigious scholarship from the South African Systems Analysis Centre (SASAC) and the National Research Foundation (NRF) and shifted focus to urban biodiversity.

In 2021 she was selected by the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) for their young scientist’s programme, placing her among the top emerging scientists in the world. She is currently engaged in a postdoctoral research fellowship for a joint project between the University of Pretoria and Aarhus University in Denmark. The project is funded by DANIDA and run by an international, multidisciplinary, collaborative team that focuses on integrated green infrastructure planning in the City of Tshwane.

Renier Oosthuizen

Urban Planner, Novus 3

Renier Oosthuizen is a Professional Town and Regional Planner with skills and experience in built environment consulting, with a specific focus on strategic planning, integrated framework development and capital investment planning in the public sector.

During his career, he supported metropolitan, district and local municipalities from an advisory and change management perspective concerning integrated planning and capital investment management as part of the public sector capital investment value chain. This includes: Capital investment needs identification, project preparation, capital prioritisation model development, capital project budget allocation, incorporation of budget rules and allocation as part of the medium to long-term budgeting and expenditure frameworks, integration of budget processes with long-term financial affordability modelling, geo-spatial and development outcomes analysis, capital projects implementation tracking, monitoring and evaluation.

As an Associate at Novus3 (Pty) Ltd, with a functional role as Advisory Manager, Renier is responsible for the management, development and innovation of advisory services focused on but not limited to the capital investment value chain. He is a candidate PhD student at the University of Stellenbosch, focusing on land-use forecasting methods and their impact on transport modelling.

Dr Sandile Mbatha

Senior Manager: Research and Policy Advocacy, City of Ethekwini

Dr Sandile Mbatha is a Senior Manager responsible for Research and Policy Advocacy in eThekwini Municipality where he supports evidence-based policy development process through city-wide research and strategic planning. He is a data strategist who views data as a critical ingredient for supporting insight-driven service delivery. He is responsible for driving integrated city-level data processes for strategic decision-making.

As part of this work, he has established strategic partnerships for building an inclusive data ecosystem necessary for supporting a data-driven city. He is also part of the team using a data-centred approach toward SDG institutionalisation and indicator localisation with the aim of building a reliable SDG monitoring system for eThekwini Municipality.

He is a former Director and founder of Ulwazi NS Research Consulting, an organisation focused on human-centric solutions to human settlements; informal land markets; urban planning; local economic development; water; food and energy issues in urban and peri-urban contexts. He holds a PhD in Architecture and Town Planning from the University of Stuttgart, with a focus on informal transactions in low-income housing in South Africa.

He has more than a decade of working with the public and non-governmental sectors through developing and implementing programmes for low-income urban and peri-urban communities. He has also participated in various urban development programmes aimed at fostering development partnerships between the municipality and communities, particularly conducting research on urban renewal and driving stakeholder coordination and engagement. 

Simisha Panther-Elias

Project Manager, Sustainable Energy Africa (South Africa)

Simisha is currently a Project Manager at Sustainable Energy Africa. She works on a variety of projects that involve supporting and strengthening the capacities of local governments in South Africa to implement sustainable energy solutions in a just and equitable manner. Support areas include energy management systems, energy efficiency, energy poverty, renewable energy, and climate mitigation.

Simisha has over 9 years of experience in institutionalising sustainable energy and climate response approaches and practices in urban development planning across South Africa. Before joining Sustainable Energy Africa. She graduated with a Master’s degree from the Energy Research Centre in the Faculty of Engineering at UCT in 2012, focusing her research on the technical and financial feasibility of implementing energy efficiency and renewable energy in the food retail sector in South Africa. She also holds an M.Sc. in Biotechnology from Rhodes University which she attained in 2004.

Prof Tafadzwanashe Mabhaudhi​

Research Group Leader: Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems, International Water Management Institute (IWMI) & Research Professor, University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN)

Prof Tafadzwa Mabhaudhi is a Research Group Leader: Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and a Research Professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). He holds a BSc Honours Crop Science from the University of Zimbabwe and an MSc and PhD in Crop Science from UKZN, specialising in crop ecophysiology (soil-plant-water relations) and crop-climate modelling.

He conducts multi- and transdisciplinary research covering sustainable and resilient food systems, global environmental change and the water-energy-food nexus. His goal is to work on research and development that is dynamic, transformative, informs policy and achieves real-life impacts within poor communities.

Terri Clapperton

Sustainability Officer, Belgotex Floorcoverings (Pty) Ltd

Terri Clapperton has worked in the corporate sustainability and responsibility field for the past 14 years and currently works as the Sustainability Officer for Belgotex Floorcoverings (Pty) Ltd, a Pietermaritzburg- based flooring manufacturer and distributor. Previously, she has worked for large listed and private entities, medium-sized private companies, as well as in the NGO sector.

Terri holds an MSc in Sustainable Development, majoring in Environmental Analysis, from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. She is a strong believer in the power of hope and the leverage of the collective and cohesion action to disrupt paradigms, change mindsets and innovate for the wellbeing of our planet.

Teslim Yusuf

Project Manager, South African National Energy Development Institute (South Africa)

Teslim Mohammed Yusuf is presently the Acting General Manager: Smart Grids & Data and Knowledge Management Programme at the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI). He holds a Master’s degree in Engineering Management from the University of Pretoria and an Honour’s in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the University of Lagos, Nigeria.

Teslim has over 15 years of experience in the energy sector on applied research in Smart Grids, Energy Efficiency, Information Communication Technology and Project Management. In addition, Teslim is tasked with applied research focused on the application and adoption of energy efficiency and smart distribution grids.

Thea Weeks

ESG Strategy and Communications Lead, MPAMOT

Thea Weeks has over 21 years of experience assisting impact investors, portfolio companies, development institutions, government, and NGOs, she emphasises the unique and catalytic role growth equity and infrastructure-type investments can play in creating sustained value. She assists clients in driving the sustainability agenda through responsible growth and optimised development impacts based on factual, measured demonstration of sustainable ESG value creation with its suite of associated benefits.

In addition, she embraces an ESG -centred investment management approach as a key strategic driver for enhancing stakeholder value that entrenches philosophy, policies, procedures, and measurable actions in embedded impact management systems. 

She assists a range of local and global private, public, and non-governmental organisation sector clients to understand environmental, social and governance (ESG) impacts, with a focus on sustainable development, renewable energy, agriculture, health and wellness, youth development, women empowerment, media and communications, mining, oil, and gas. 

Thea specialises in ESG impact assessments, social safeguarding, communication strategies and stakeholder engagement in Africa, Europe, Papua New Guinea, and the Middle East. She has contributed to and managed projects in Africa, the Middle East (Yemen), Papua New Guinea and Europe. Her African experience, in particular, includes projects in Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ghana, Cameroon, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Uganda, Botswana, Swaziland, Namibia, Angola, Mozambique, Egypt, Kenya, and all provinces of South Africa.

Bertie Lourens

CEO, Wasteplan

Bertie Lourens is the Chief Executive Officer of WastePlan, an on-site Waste Management and Recycling Company that was started in the Western Cape in 2004.

WastePlan currently employs over 2300 staff and services over 650 sites in the industrial, property, commercial, hospitality, food & beverage, education and medical industries in most of the major cities in South Africa.

“Changing the way we think about waste” is WastePlan’s motto, and as such WastePlan continues to innovate to find different ways of waste reduction and recycling.

Jackie May

Founder and Director, Twyg

Jackie May is the director, founder and editor of Twyg, a magazine focused on storytelling, content production and networking to champion kinder, fairer, inclusive and nature-friendly futures.

In 2019 Jackie launched the annual Twyg Sustainable Fashion Awards to celebrate designers using circular and sustainable practices. In collaboration with The Beach Co-op, Twyg runs an annual campaign to raise awareness about problem plastics. Twyg hosts a monthly clothing Swap&Mend activation event in Cape Town. Jackie launched the Africa Textile Talks in 2021 and co-founded the Refashion Lab. Refashion Lab aims to support a viable textile waste recycling system that creates jobs, reduces textile to landfill and creates awareness about circular design and conscious consumption.

Previously Jackie worked in multiple big and medium-sized mainstream media organisations. She edited the South African edition of the international women’s fashion magazine, MARIE CLAIRE and was the Cape editor of the national newspaper, The Times. Jackie holds an MA in Philosophy from the University of London and currently is an MPhil student at Stellenbosch’s Centre of Sustainable Transitions, researching cotton farming.

Kris Wojcik

Business Development Manager, Jets Vacuum AS

Kris Wojcik is a chartered engineer with over 15 years of experience as a building services consultant.

Kris has extensive knowledge in delivering prestige commercial, office and residential buildings from concept to completion. He has evaluated and integrated new technologies into sustainable buildings while maintaining the best value for the client’s investment. He has delivered buildings for blue chip developers like Bloomberg Place, Battersea Power Station and Kings Cross redevelopments. An ambassador for water savings technologies now promoting Jets™ vacuum drainage as the default system for future buildings.

Philip du Toit

Associate, Osmond Lange Architects

As a professionally registered architect in Cape Town, Philip specialises in housing, theory and using existing urban fabric to create green solutions.

He completed his Master’s in Architecture degree (Professional) in 2009 at the University of Pretoria, receiving the Johann Basson Energy Efficient Design Prize for his thesis being selected as the most energy-efficient design. After working for the boutique architectural design firm Mathews & Associates Architects for four and a half years, he started his own firm in Pretoria. In 2016 he moved to Cape Town to join Osmond Lange Architects, one of South Africa’s oldest commercial architecture firms, with offices across the country.

Besides working on various architectural projects, including award-winning designs, he has also been involved in numerous art and academic activities, including conferences, exhibitions, articles, books, teaching and external examinations.

Priscilla de Comarmond

Senior Professional Officer, City of Cape Town

Priscilla de Comarmond is a Senior Professional Officer within the Sustainable Energy Markets Department, Energy Directorate, City of Cape Town.

She has an Atmospheric Science honours degree from the University of Cape Town and is an internationally accredited Greenhouse Gas Emissions inventory specialist, and is also an accredited professional with GBCSA for green star rating of existing buildings. Priscilla leads the work relating to energy and carbon data management within the City and manages the SmartFacility application, which is a web-based internal resource data management system that monitors and tracks electricity, water and solar data from various metering devices installed within municipal facilities.

Sean Godoy

Founder & Director, Divercity Property Solutions/SA Proptech

Sean is a property professional with over a decade’s experience in SA and the UK. With a background in property market analysis and commentary, he founded Divercity Property Solutions in 2017 which offers a range of advisory and training solutions in Sub-Saharan Africa.

In addition, he is co-founder of proptech business PropDD. He is a proptech commentator and enthusiast and is co-founder of the SA Proptech and Proptech Africa associations.