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Radical green capitalist at sustainable mining summit

Radical green capitalist at sustainable mining summit

Oct 15, 2014

This month’s ground-breaking summit on sustainability in the resource industry will kick off with a call for revolution from one of the world’s most visionary business thinkers.

British-born Jason Drew, entrepreneur, environmentalist, author and gifted public speaker, will present the keynote address, sharing his vision and experiences of a radical new form of capitalism, where economic development advances hand-in-hand hand with environmental and human flourishing.

His presentation will focus on the need for bold, enlightened and creative corporate leadership to manage the challenges and exploit the unprecedented opportunities presented by the demands of the 21st century.

A former corporate executive himself, Drew is today the driving force behind a variety of innovative and successful enterprises, mostly in Africa. These include the development of light-weight urban wind turbines, large-scale solar, a sustainable sanitation system for urban slums and non-toxic pest control using sterile insects.

In 2013, Drew was awarded the United Nations Innovation Prize for Africa. He is described by Leadership Magazine as one of Africa’s most inspiring green leaders.

His address will set the tone for the extraordinary summit, organised by members of the industry and the private sector, and the first of its kind in Africa.

Drew will share the podium with a high-powered line-up of sustainability experts from industry, academia, government and civil society who are committed to provoking a fundamental shift in the way the resource industry manages the environmental and social challenges facing mining – from water stewardship, energy use and waste reduction to the building of more inclusive, mutually beneficial relationships with workers and local communities.

The massacre at Marikana will be interrogated by water resource specialist Dr Anthony Turton, who is advocating a “social licence” to mine. Turton will outline his  “benefit sharing” model which demonstrates how mining can overcome its complex legacy issues while remaining an attractive investment.

Dr Daan Velthausz from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) will talk about the importance of collaboration and digital access in enabling communities themselves to come up with sustainable solutions and new opportunities.

South African bio-mimicry pioneer Claire Janisch, will reveal the inventive sustainability strategies devised by natural organisms and ecosystems.

Other speakers include Anglo American’s Dr Neville Plint, Mzila Mthenjane from Exxaro Resources and Prof Keith Cowan from Anglo Coal.

As well as being a forum for discussion and an opportunity for networking, the summit intends to provide delegates with practical means to take the sustainability campaign forward.

Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani says the industry needs to think about the “tools and capabilities required so we can be successful”.

Cutifani is co-chair of KIN Catalysts, a cross-sectoral collaboration between mine owners and their suppliers, academics, non-profits and indigenous communities.

“We have to be meticulous about how we are to realise our shared purpose. We need a precise, robust road-map or strategy for each mining company and community. Individuals must accept their responsibility and be relentless in pursuit of these shared goals. We must empower our people to be true custodians of this challenge.”

The summit, titled Sustainability in the Resource Industry post-2015, is being facilitated by international sustainability consultants Blank Canvas International in partnership with the Chamber of Mines, Exxaro Resources, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR),  the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM), the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), Amira International, NOSA, the Southern Innovation Network, Africa Mining magazine, JK Tech & Whittle Consulting, mine waste management experts Fraser Alexander and the collaborative communications network Sustain Our Africa (SoA).

The summit takes place on 27 October 2014 at the Gordon Institute of Business Science, Johannesburg. Registration is at 07.30 . The summit will be followed by cocktails and networking in the GIBS i-LAB hosted by NOSA.

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