In June 2014 I helped co-ordinate a roundtable with Margaret Coady, executive director of the New York-based Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, and Sizwe Nxasana, CEO of FirstRand and Chairman of the National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT). You can find the summary, which I wrote on behalf of the National Business Initiative (NBI), here.
I am comfortable working with information from various sources and collating it into accessible content. This recent article, which required that I utilise data from a research company together with analysing news stories, is an example.
The Trialogue Annual Sustainability Review is carried in the Financial Mail.
“Design for development is one of those trendy ideas that has captured the imagination of development professionals in recent years, particularly those looking for good news stories to share. Sometimes called ‘design for the other 90%’ or, more progressively, ‘design with the other 90%’, this movement fizzes with bright ideas, drawing clever people and their energy into the development space. Michelle Matthews looks at whether it’s appropriate for CSI.”
“There’s an ecological business case for extending the life of buildings: according to US-based National Trust for Historic Preservation, research shows that it takes 35 to 50 years for a new green building to save the amount of embodied energy lost in demolishing an existing building. But sustainability is about more than that – the preservation of culture, memory and human creativity also contributes to maintaining a sense of place, essential for rooting us to this earth.”
“Fresh green builds get a lot of press, yet new buildings comprise only about 2% of the world’s total at any one time. What we do with existing stock is now moving higher up the agenda.
Buildings use 40% of materials and create 40% of the world’s carbon emissions annually, according to the US Green Building Council. In addition, 70% of electricity, 65% of municipal waste and 12% of piped water is channelled through buildings. “Existing buildings are not wasteful, it’s how we use them and work in them that is,” says Jutta Berns-Mumbi of green building consultancy Ecocentric. It is clear that to make the impact green building professionals are hoping for we should be focusing on existing buildings. Retrofitting may be the “janitor work” of ecodesign, but it is also probably the most important thing we can do to clean up our act.”
“Globally, business is coming under increasing pressure to adopt renewable technologies. Business leaders remain circumspect, perhaps rightfully so, but no one is denying that energy, and how we use it, is on the agenda. Here’s why companies need to be looking at smart energy decisions that increase their competitiveness now.”
“Recently released government-led policy initiatives provide an optimistic view of the future – of a South Africa that is more equitable, productive and prosperous. Your response could be to ignore the commotion, to sit back and deal with the situation opportunistically as it unfolds. Alternatively, embrace it, understanding the complexities associated with its implementation, and accepting that, despite pitfalls along the way, getting involved could be good for business, and the future of the country.”
Feature: Horizons, January 2008
It is utterly still here. The sky is hard blue like pottery glaze. The skeletons of spring’s daisies – little papery discs on dessicated stems – stand stiffly between small, sharp, black stones. An invisible insect flies past, making a metallic whirring noise like a miniaturised helicopter. The sound stretches until it melts back into the hot silence. Nothing thrives here. Except us. Continue reading Bonfire of the Vanities
(Book design article: Design Indaba, 4th Quarter 2006)
It may not be wise to judge a book by its cover, but we do. And if you’re browsing in one of South Africa’s bigger book stores, which stocks at least 30 000 individual titles, all roughly the same size and shape, a book’s cover can seem, well, all-important. Continue reading Jacket Required
Fine art article: Mail & Guardian, 24 October 2000
It is tempting to use the cliché “cutting edge”, but surgery as art is at least a decade old. French artist Orlan is its most famous proponent, having undergone 10 cosmetic operations in her expression of carnal art.
In her latest she has created “the largest nose technically possible and ethically acceptable”, thumbing her now prodigious proboscis at the millions of women who have had theirs altered in attempts to conform to conventional ideas of beauty. Continue reading Snipping Flesh For Art’s Sake