I deliver talks and lectures to a wide range of audiences. Below are either links to the audio files (SoundCloud) and/or the visual presentation (although I prefer to avoid using powerpoint).

The Power of Quiet Encroachment

Event: TEDx Stellenbosch Organiser: TEDx Talks Location: Stellenbosch Date: 14 October 2011

Is long-wave theory useful for anticipating sustainable futures?

Event: Anticipation: Complexity and the Future Organiser: Centre for Studies in Complexity, Stellenbosch University Location: Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch Date: 18 March 2014

Africa’s Urban Future – transdisciplinary research to support incrementalism

Based on an extended interview with myself for the Sustainability Institute’s  Food Revolution video series, this documentary captures my views on African urbanisation, incrementalism and the role of transdisciplinary research in supporting incrementalism.

Betrayal of the Promise: How South Africa is Being Stolen – my talk delivered last week on 27 July at University of Cape Town based on the report by the same name compiled by the State Capacity Research Group – a team of academics from different Universities that I convened to compile this report and conduct more detailed case studies. An eminent group were the panelists who responded to the talk, and the event was hosted by a co-author, Prof Haroon Bhorat.

My talk at the 2017 Sustainability Transitions Conference, Gothenburg, 19 June 2017


The annual International Sustainability Transitions (IST) conference that took place in Gothenburg, Sweden, this year on 18-23 June, brought together once again the sustainability transitions community – a rapidly growing interesting interdisciplinary group that is focused on the dynamics of transition to a more sustainable world. Originating in the work by a mainly Dutch school of researchers (Geels, Schot, Loorbach, Grin and others), this community of mainly European researchers has made a significant impact on how the academic world understands the complex dynamics of sustainability transitions. I presented a talk based on the International Resource Panel report that I co-authored entitled The Weight of Cities: Resource Requirements of Future Urbanization that will be published later this year (click on link below for access to the talk). Three of my Phd students also presented papers, namely Lauren Tavener-Smith: Co-producing knowledge and development interventions in settings of multidimensional inequality: lessons from a South African informal settlement upgrading project; Mapula Tshangela: five complementary lenses in sustainability transitions and policy dynamics: a literature review; Megan Davies: Renewable energy and urban transitions: insights from South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme.


State of Social Movements and Non-Profit Sector

Talk presented at a workshop on research on the NPO sector hosted by Ronelle Burger, Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University, 9 February 2017. Six minute rapid fire overview of the state of play, designed to provoke questions rather than resolve the many debates.

My talk on my travels and experiences during my 2016 sabbatical: Rotterdam, Venice, Barcelona, Vermont, Sheffield, Coventry, Byleveld

Between April and end of July 2016 I had the privilege of a sabbatical, with financial support from four Universities: Stellenbosch, Sheffield, Utrecht and Coventry. The talk describes the amazing range of events where I delivered talks on a wide range of subjects, from global transitions, to transdisciplinary research, to bottom-up climate funds, to urban transitions. This talk stored on YouTube was delivered in early August to over 100 people who attended the report back at the Sustainability Institute. I delivered the same talk to our alumni in Johannesburg (where I also included my visit to Detroit – forgot to include this into the talk at SI).


30th Anniversary of PLANACT – 26 August 2016



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On Friday 26th August I was asked to give a keynote talk at the 30th Anniversay of Planact – an NGO that I helped establish in 1985 to support urban social movements that were invading land, leading rent and consumer boycotts and entering into negotiations with apartheid state structures at the local level. I was expecting a small group of the old-timers, but the room was packed for an all-day event with over 150 people, nearly all from local communities in the Gauteng, Mpumalanga and North West Provinces. The best part was meeting old comrades from the 1980s – in the pic on the left, from right is Basner Moloi from my days with the Katlehong Shop Stewards Council, then Abe Nyalunga who led the Tamboville land invasion (see pic on the right) and to my right is Moss Mayekiso, and next to him the current Director of PLANACT. The middle pic shows me sitting next to Frank Meintjies and Cas Coovadia who headed up the Civic Assocations of Johannesburg (CAJ). When I asked Abe what he does now he said “I’m an unemployed darkie.” These are the grassroots activists who did not make it onto the gravy train. My talk (see below) recounted how PLANACT began, including the story I have never told publicly about how Beyers Naude gave me a cheque of R10 000 to start PLANACT without a proposal or a request for a report. We started PLANACT to support the comrades in Langa, Uitengage, who were resisting forced removals. We supported the Tamboville land invasion on the East Rand and many others. I concluded that it is time to go back to land invasions to stop the rich from stealing the public land. Once young councillor objected insisting we should be talking about good governance. I agreed, and then said if he dislikes land grabbing he should go out and put a stop to the mass sales of state-owned land by the parastatals that are currently underway. The issue now is now whether land grabbing should happen or not, but whether it happens for the rich of the poor. To date the land question has unfortunately been about rural land. Urban land has been ignored. And so much urban land is owned by the parastatals, especially TRANSNET. If we want to prevent captured parastatals from selling land to rich, the urban poor needs to invade this land. Legal methods can be used in parallel, but without mass action they are bound to fail. I made it clear these are my own views, and not the views of PLANACT.


Sustainable Development and Renewable Energy in Africa: Learning from the REIPPP

Event: Talk presented at Workshop of Southern African Development Finance Institutions Organizer: Development Bank of Southern Africa Location: Midrand Date: 1 October 2015 Download ppt: DBSA1Oct2015

South Africa’s Position at the next Climate Talks (COP in Paris)

Event: Presentation to Parliamentary Hearings, South African Parliament Organizer: Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs Location: Cape Town Date: 22 September 2015

9 structural changes, 6 change drivers, 5 shifts, 2 implications and a trigger: reflections on the state of global change

Event: Talk to Senior Management of Distel (but this was a more detailed version of the 5 minute talk I delivered at the launch of the SI’s Soil, Soul and Society seminar series) Organizer: Distel (wine producing company in Stellenbosch) Location: Stellenbosch, South Africa Date: 28 August 2015 Apologies for poor sound quality – this was recorded from a distance, so many sounds in the room also captured

Towards Sustainable Development in Africa: Why we need transdisciplinary research to reinvent development in a resource and carbon constrained world

Event: Invited lecture at the United Nations University, Tokyo Organiser: University of Tokyo and United Nations University Location: Tokyo Date: 26 June 2015 Powerpoint: TokyoFULLcompressed

Green Urban Infrastructures for the Twenty First Century: What Prospects for a Just Transition?

Event: 8th International Forum for Urbanism Organizer: International Forum for Urbanism Location: Songdo, South Korea Date: 21 June 2015 Powerpoint: seoul

Economic Crisis, Long Waves and the Sustainability Transition: An African Perspective

Event: Talk delivered at the XII INTERNATIONAL COLLOQUIUM: Visions of Sustainable Development: Theory and Action Organizer: University of Florida, University of Brasillia and World Academy of Art and Science Location: Gainesville, Florida Date: 20-22 May, 2015

Facing Africa’s Urban Transition

Event: Africa Green Growth Forum Organizer: Global Green Growth Forum Location: Nairobi, Kenya Date: 13 May 2015

Greening African Economies: reflections on an emerging contested discourse

Event: Conference of African Ministers of Finance and Economics Organizer: African Union and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Location: Abuja, Nigeria Date: 28 March 2014D Download: AbujaFinal