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About CPSL: South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa

CISL's South African office, based in Cape Town, was established in 2002.

May 2014: Senior Associate Honoured

We are exceptionally proud to announce that CISL Senior Associate Dr Bob Scholes, South Africa’s foremost systems ecologist and a lead author on the IPCC’s Assessment Reports, has just been elected as a foreign associate to the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS), an honour bestowed upon the world’s most eminent scientists as chosen by their peers. The NAS, an independent, non-profit society established by an Act of the US Congress in 1863, tasked with providing independent, objective advice to the US government on matters related to science, engineering and medicine. Nearly 500 of its 2,214 members and 444 foreign associates – who are non-voting members of the Academy – have won Nobel Prizes. Only 21 foreign associates are elected yearly and there is no membership application process, as only Academy members are allowed to submit formal nominations of their peers. Bob is one of only three living South African scientists thus honoured.

Bob has been a central part of CISL’s senior executive seminars in South Africa since 2006, providing outstandingly clear, challenging contributions on climate change, systemic risks and the tendency of societies to overshoot their resource base and collapse. In recent years he has also become a regular member of Core Faculty on the South African seminars within The Prince of Wales’s Business & Sustainability Programme. For many years he has been a Fellow of the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), where he has trained and supervised numerous top researchers from all over Africa.

For a brief sample of Bob in action, have a look at this short video – one of our daily COPpuccino broadcasts from the COP17 negotiations in Durban in December 2011.

Peter Willis, South African Director

Visitors from the Future Bring Surprisingly Good News

Animation by Stellenbosch-based Jincom Publishing

CISL’s Cape Town team produced 'South Africa 2035', a 10-minute animated film that paints a picture of a plausibly hopeful future. It is a future where electricity is cheap even while carbon is quite heavily taxed, where the gap between rich and poor has been narrowed, political and corporate power devolved and smart investments in education and renewable technologies have ensured a more equitable and prosperous life for all.

The film is inspired by a memorable live-format discussion at a side event of COP 17 in Durban in December 2011 between two CISL Senior Associates, development economist Anton Cartwright and the late Peet Du Plooy.

Peter Willis, South African Director of CISL, says that they decided to produce the film partly to commemorate Peet Du Plooy, a brilliant and much-loved Senior Associate who was murdered in March 2013, and partly to inspire people to think more creatively about what kind of future is possible.

Listen to the Original Dialogue

Hear the full, fascinating and at times very funny un-scripted dialogue between Peter Willis and the two “visitors from 2035”:

Delegates laughing

Delegates and faculty enjoy a presentation at a Prince of Wales’s Business & Sustainability seminar.  

For Senior Executives (GM & above)

The Prince of Wales’s Business & Sustainability Programme: unique in the region, this three-day annual seminar, run twice each year, gives senior executives the chance to immerse themselves in the foundations of the sustainability challenge and the risks and opportunities that arise from it.

For Executive Committees and Boards

In-house seminars and workshops that can be tailored to individual company’s needs to help them develop the capacity within senior management to respond strategically and proactively to sustainability challenges. CISL has run such events for over 30 local companies.

Strategic Thinking Partnerships that provide in-depth support for leadership teams to think through the implications of social and environmental risks and opportunities.

For Sustainability Managers

The Sustainability Practitioner Seminar, held over three days, is designed for managers in the private or public sector who have specific responsibilities relating to sustainability, whether with an environmental, social or public affairs focus. 

For Alumni and the General Public

The Cambridge Resilience Forum hosts free, quarterly discussions in both Johannesburg and Cape Town featuring talks by top leaders and international experts, presentations on new innovations and research and panel discussions offering invaluable insight into important projects, policies and trends. Please visit our Events listing for future forum events.

The Nedbank Sustainability Outlook, a quarterly thought leadership publication for the financial sector. 

For enquiries about our events, please contact Magda de Kok on

Photograph of Mada de KokMagda de Kok, Operations Manager, CISL South African Office

Magda de Kok is Operations Manager of CISL's South African office. She joined The Prince of Wales's Business & Sustainability Programme in May 2002, after being with the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business for five years. There she ran a research programme in entrepreneurship and was instrumental in sourcing the funding and setting up of the UCT Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Previously she was involved in the Language Facilitation Programme at the University of the Free State. Magda holds qualifications in anthropology and languages from the Rand Afrikaans University and the University of South Africa.

Elspeth DonovanElspeth Donovan, Deputy Director, CISL South African Office

Having joined CISL in 2008, Elspeth is also a tutor on the Anglo American Advanced Social Management programme. From 2003–2006 she was the director of the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School MBA. She was instrumental in the introduction of the Modular MBA programme and introduced ‘The Role of Business in Society’ as an integrating course on the MBA. From 2006 she was an independent executive education consultant. She designed and directed various leadership programmes for companies through the UCT Graduate School of Business. Elspeth also led the design of the entire curriculum for TSIBA Education, an innovative Cape Town business school for students from impoverished backgrounds and is Chair of the Board of Christel House South Africa, a privately run school for children from impoverished backgrounds. Elspeth has a BSc and an MBA from University of Cape Town.

Senior Associates

Enos Ned BandaEnos Ned Banda

Enos is a South African entrepreneur and investment banker who is founder and CEO of the Freetel Group of Companies. Freetel focuses on fund management, portfolio investments and investment and transaction advice to a select number of sovereign and international clients. Enos has advised in some of the seminal transactions in South Africa, including the then ground breaking partial privatisation of Telkom SA. He has served as chairman of the South African National Electricity Regulator and Chairman of the Municipal Infrastructure Investment Unit of the SA Government. He was country head for Credit Suisse First Boston (a global investment bank) and later, head of Africa for HSBC Corporate and Investment Bank, after which he established Freetel. He has developed policies in ICT and drafted national laws in telecommunications and municipal finance and BEE. He is admitted to the New York law bar, and he is an Advocate of the Supreme Court of South Africa. Enos is a member of the Board of MMC Norilsk Nickel and the Chairman of the company's budget committee, and is on the Board of Supergroup.

Richard CallandProfessor Richard Calland

Richard Calland has for the past seventeen years been working in the fields of democratic governance and sustainable development in South Africa and beyond. Based at the University of Cape Town (UCT), where he is Associate Professor in Public Law. Richard specialises in freedom of information law and was recently appointed as a member of the Independent Access to Information Appeals’ Board of the World Bank. Recently, Richard has acted as governance advisor to the international Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (CoST) – which aims to set new standards for information disclosure in public infrastructure projects – assisting with the implementation of the pilot programme in Tanzania, Zambia, Ethiopia, Zambia and Vietnam. His current research focus is the governance of climate change and climate finance, as a part of UCT’s African Climate Development Initiative.

Richard is the founding partner of the new Climate Finance Hub and as Senior Associate of CISL, acts as a member of faculty on a number of programmes for senior leadership of organisations such as PwC, the World Bank and Tata. In South Africa he advises Massmart, Africa’s largest retailer that was recently acquired by Walmart, on issues of politics, sustainability and governance. Before moving to South Africa in 1994, Richard practiced law for seven years at the London Bar. From 1995–2011, he headed the Economic Governance programme at Idasa – Africa's leading democracy Institute. Richard's latest book 'Zuma's World: South Africa's Changing Anatomy of Power' will be published in 2013.

Anton CartwightAnton Cartwright

Anton is an economist at the African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town. His research is focused on the interactions between ecological degradation and human well-being in cities. He is director of Econologic where he has completed contracts for the World Bank, The European Union, DfID, WWF, local and international companies, NGOs and local governments. He is the founder of the Promoting Access to Carbon Equity (PACE) centre, which enables small-scale renewable energy and energy efficiency projects to benefit from carbon market investments. He is an associate of the Stockholm Environment Institute. At the African Centre for Cities he previously convened the City of Cape Town's Climate Change Think Tank, an inter-disciplinary partnership between civil society, business and government. Currently his research position is funded by the Mistra Urban Futures programme and involves a three year knowledge co-generation project with the City of Cape Town around the green economy. His postgraduate qualifications were obtained from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

Photograph of Edgar PieterseProfessor Edgar Pieterse

Edgar is holder of the DST/NRF South African Research Chair in Urban Policy, directs the African Centre for Cities and is Professor in the School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics, all at the University of Cape Town. He has served as a Faculty Member of the Prince of Wales’s Business & Sustainability Programme at several seminars worldwide. In earlier roles he served as Special Advisor to the Premier of the Western Cape Provincial Government and directed a number of urban policy think tanks before his stint in government. He is a founder member of Isandla Institute, serves on the Boards of the Sustainability Institute and the Cape Town Partnership; and is a member of the Research Advisory Committee of the Gauteng City-region Observatory and the Indian Institute for Human Settlements. He regularly provides advisory services to international development agencies such as: UN-Habitat, African Development Bank, DBSA, National Planning Commission, OECD urban division and UNEP. Edgar holds a PhD from the London School of Economics, an MA in Development Studies from the Institute of Social Studies (The Hague, The Netherlands) and BA-Honours from the University of the Western Cape.

Photograph of Stephan RaubenheimerStefan Raubenheimer

Stefan (BA LLB) resides in Cape Town, South Africa. He is a qualified lawyer, arbitrator, mediator, facilitator and trainer. He is currently CEO and founding director of SouthSouthNorth Group, which has played a leading role in climate change issues since 1999. In addition he facilitates various large projects, notably the South African Cabinet Mandated Long Term Mitigation Scenario Planning Project (LTMS). Stefan has assisted in the establishment of Designated National Authorities (DNA’s) in South Africa, Ghana, Namibia and Mozambique. He has led the facilitation of projects within the Development Bank of Southern Africa’s Sustainable Communities Program, applying development facilitation technologies which he has developed over the last 15 years. Stefan is a director of Energy Transformation cc which develops climate change projects for the private sector.

Read about Stefan's book Facing Climate Change: Building South Africa's Strategy on our Faculty Publications page.

Dr Bob Scholes. Photo credit: CSIRDr Bob Scholes

Bob studies the effects of human activities on ecosystems, and in particular on woodlands and savannas in Africa. He has published widely in the field of global change, including popular and scientific books. He is or has been a member of several steering committees of international research programmes such as the Global Climate Observing System, and serves as a convening lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He is currently chair of the global Biodiversity Observation Network and co-chair of DIVERSITAS. He is a Fellow of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the South African Academy and the Royal Society of South Africa, an A-rated scientist and an honorary professor at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Andrew VenterDr Andrew Venter

Andrew’s role as CEO of the Wildlands Conservation Trust is built on 20 years of environmental experience, ranging from wetland ecology to community based conservation. His primary leadership focus has been on forming partnerships between South Africa’s Government, Business and NGO communities, aimed at restoring and conserving our natural heritage through people based approaches. Under his leadership, Wildlands has grown to become one of South Africa’s leading environmental NGOs and a recognised leader in the Climate Change related field of Community Ecosystem Based Adaptation.

Photograph of Peter WillisPeter Willis

Peter has been working in the field of corporate sustainability strategy and environmental policy in South Africa since 1995. He has run the Southern African office of CISL from 2002 until July 2014. In the 1980s and early 1990s in the UK he created and ran several small businesses in the field of fine art publishing and marketing and moved to South Africa in 1993. He has degrees in History (Oxford) and Education (London). He has a long association with TSiBA Education, the innovative free business school in Cape Town and mentors a number of young people in different walks of life.

Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership,
PO Box 313,
Cape Town 8000, South Africa

T: +27 (0)21 469 4765
F: +27 (0)86 545 5639

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CISL in SA Brochure

Contact Us: Cape Town

Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership,
PO Box 313,
Cape Town 8000, South Africa

T: +27 (0)21 469 4765

Nedbank Sustainability Outlook

Researched by CISL's Southern African office, the Nedbank Sustainability Outlook brings critical analyses, data and arguments to highlight the impact that vital environmental and social trends can have on investments.

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