Reflecting on the Regenerative Collaborative South Africa

Reflecting on the Regenerative Collaborative South Africa

The Regenerative Collaborative South Africa believes in holistically addressing the multiple challenges faced by South African cities. Here, Marloes Reinink reflects on the organisation’s journey to date.

As the year comes to a close, I have to reflect and look back on the positive things we have achieved this year. Six years ago, I became a volunteer ambassador for the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) and gave presentations to organisations around the Living Building Challenge. It is an exciting and motivational certification system and, although architects should be very enthusiastic about it, there was not an immediate uptake of the system in South Africa in terms of projects wanting to be the pioneers. In 2018, when Thulani Kuzwayo also became an ambassador, we were eligible to start a Living Future Collaborative in South Africa, which was really a way of collaborating under the umbrella of the ILFI. At the end of 2019 we launched the Living Future Collaborative South Africa with our first event, Truth in Action, which also covered Climate Leadership messages.

And then COVID hit and, even though the impact of COVID on our country is not to be marginalised, it did have a positive impact on our Collaborative. We were able to communicate digitally across the country and be more efficient. We decided that, even though people were quite Zoom fatigued after 9 months of COVID, we would start with a monthly webinar series. Our first event was in November 2020, followed by a webinar every month thereafter. We have covered a variety of topics ranging from Net Positive Energy and Embodied Carbon of Materials to Realigning Buildings with Nature. We are very proud of these webinars, which are CPD validated and available on the GreenED website.

This year, we changed the organisation’s name from Living Future Collaborative South Africa to Regenerative Collaborative South Africa, which allowed us to register a non-profit company to carry on the work that we are doing. The vision and mission of the ILFI and its programs remain a top priority for us, and we are now also in a position to look into other collaborations that enable regenerative design and development.

The Regenerative Collaborative South Africa (RCSA) is driven by a core committee comprising Thulani Kuzwayo (PaperThinkLAB), Adrie Fourie (Solid Green), Denise Mall (ENSO Earth) and me. Since the launch, we have gathered a formal support of about 15 people in Johannesburg and 15 people in Cape Town – who are all interested in being part of the Collaborative and volunteering some of their time to the cause. These professionals are highly qualified and motivated, and they generously share their knowledge and expertise for the advancement of this initiative. The RCSA also created subcommittees to coordinate our activities more efficiently, and we now have an Events Committee, Social Media & Marketing Committee, and an Advocacy & Education Committee.

We are excited and inspired by the uptake of our courses so far and are now working on extending the reach and influence of the RCSA. If you would like more information on our activities, please follow us here or reach out to us here.

1 Comment

  1. Hi there,

    Interesting article. Thanks so much for your efforts. I’d like to ask what opportunities do you provide for volunteers such as myself. I am a student graduating from UCT with an MSc in Sustainable & Renewable Energy.

    Thanks so much for your time.

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