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Unisa’s 1st International Sustainability conference

Unisa’s 1st International Sustainability conference

May 27, 2015

The Exxaro Chair in Business and Climate Change at the University of South Africa (Unisa) is hosting the 1st International Conference on Innovation for Sustainability under Climate Change and Green Economy/Growth which will take place from 26 to 28 May 2015.

The conference emerges from a long term partnership between Unisa and Exxaro Resources Ltd, a South African based company which is the main sponsor. It is a brainchild of Prof Godwell Nhamo the incumbent of the Unisa Exxaro Chair in Business and Climate Change and is organized in partnership with selected South African national departments, academic institutions, international partners as well as local industry and local government partners. The conference aims to contribute knowledge and practical solutions to the standing global challenge of climate change and its potential solution, the emerging green economy/growth transition process.

Among the national departments partnering with Unisa in this conference are the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST). The participating academic institutions include the University of Pretoria, University of the Witwatersrand, North West University, Human and Social Research Council (HSRC), Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Limpopo.

The academic institutions mentioned here exclude presenters coming from a range of universities across Africa and beyond. International organisations taking part include SEED – Promoting Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) based in South Korea. The South African Local Government Association (SALGA), National Business Initiative (NBI), Development Bank of Southern Africa, Green Fund, BMW Club Motors Fountains, Gliimo SA, iGREENs, Blank Canvas International, SAINe, Matayo Biofuels Pty and Hisense South Africa are among local industry and local government partners playing a part in the event.

The conference addresses four thematic areas namely: Business and Biodiversity; Energy and Energy Management; Water Connections, Global Change and Sustainability; and Climate Change and Green Economy/Growth Transition. The themes cover social, business and environmental concerns and practices.

The conference is executed along four platforms that focus on symposia, academic papers, workshops, and displays. Some of the symposia to look forward to include:  Sustainable Business Leadership: Leading Innovation beyond Compliance; Entrepreneurship: A solution for climate change and green growth; and Green growth/economy and Climate Change Readiness for Local Government.

The workshops lined up cover topics like Electric Vehicles, Carbon Tax and Renewable Energy as a path to Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings. A Marketplace organised by SEED and the South African Industrial Development Corporation will showcase innovative entrepreneurial solutions to climate change and global development challenges.

Internationally renowned speakers to grace the occasion include: Prof Nader Mahinpey of the University of Calgary in Canada, Dr Helen Marquard of SEED, Prof Martina Maria Keitsch of Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Ms Sibongile Mavimbela from the Southern African Development community (SSADC), and Lord Michael Hastings KPMG’s Global Head of Citizenship and former Vice Chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Agenda Council – The Future of Civil Society.

Among the local speakers are: Prof Divya Singh the Vice Principal for Assurance and Advisory Services at Unisa, Dr Phil Mjwara the Director General in the Department of Science and Technology, Mr Alfred James Wills the Deputy Director General for Environmental Advisory Services in the Department of Environmental Affairs, Mr Colin Coleman the Managing Director of Goldman Sachs (south Africa), Mr Hanno Olinger the Manager for Sustainability at Exxaro Resources, Ms Joanne Yawitch the NBI CEO, Mr Raldu Nel the CEO of Blank Canvas International, Mr Thomas Garner the CEO fat Cennergi (a 50:50 joint venture formed between Exxaro Resources and Tata Power from India), Dr. Sampson Mamphweli from University of Fort Hare and Prof Dewald Van Niekerk from the Northwest University.

Members of the media are invited to attend.

Dates: 26 to 28 May
Venue: Birchwood Hotel, Boksburg
Address: 14 View Point Road, Boksburg
Start Time: 08:30

Click here to view the final programme

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