Report on Week ending 26 October
One of the key aims of the Sustainability Institute is to provide a creative space for meetings of networks. Earlier this past week on 22-23 October, the Sustainability Institute hosted a group of twenty climate change projects from around the country. These are all projects that were selected and supported by the Department of Environment and Tourism with funding support from USAID. There were many different kinds of projects ranging from renewable energy, to community forestry, to ecovillage developments, to conservation, and water efficiency. Eve Annecke, Director of the Institute, facilitated the two day dialogue. During the course of the workshop, the Sustainability Institute showed the group around the Lynedoch Development and explained the various ecological technologies. The Biolytix Waste Treatment system was of particular interest, especially to people from the Eastern Cape where further urban development is being severely hampered by the absence of sewerage treatment capacity due to the budget constraints on local authorities.
Besides useful sharing of information and lessons, the group agreed that it would be useful to somehow remain in touch with one another via e-newsletters and possibly another meeting.
On the night of Tuesday 22nd, the Hollard Insurance Company arranged an evening of talks and discussion about sustainable development for various business partners, as well as the Johannesburg Chapter of the Young Presidents Organisation (YPO). The meeting was addressed by Wayne Visser and Clem Sunter, co-authors of a recent book on business and sustainability entitled Beyond Reasonable Greed. Mark Swilling also addressed the group on the work of the Sustainabiliy Institute, with special reference to the Masters Programme. Quite a number of the younger members of Hollard’s management team expressed serious interest in participating in the masters programme, and many of Hollard’s business partners were impressed by the work that the Sustainability Institute was doing.
In response to a Sunday Times advert at the start of this week, the staff of the Sustainability Institute fielded over 150 inquiries from all over the country and from many different sectors. This is a good sign for things to come.