Alfredo Brillembourg is a founding Parner of Urban-Think Tank and Chair of the Architecture and Urban Design Department at ETH in Zurich, Switzerland. He has over 20 years of experience practicing architecture and urban design. Along with Hubert Klumpner, he received the 2010 Ralph Erskine Award, 2011 Gold Holcim Award for Latin America and 2012 Silver Holcim Global Award for their innovation in social and ecological urban design. 


Jodi Allemeier is Programme Lead at the Economic Development Partnership. Her focus is on adaptive and collaborative approaches to urban development. Jodi is a Global Policy Futures 2030 fellow focusing on the role of cities in global governance towards resilience. She has been a pro-active organiser of communities in response to the current water crisis.

Rehana is passionate about people, places, potential and the planet. She is committed to creativity, collaboration and connection. She has been invited to various local and international platforms to share from the heart. Her assignments have included amongst others: wellbeing economies, food systems, eco-mobility, place-making and staying connected to nature in rapidly urbanising contexts.

Amanda is a researcher and water projects coordinator at the Centre for Complex Systems in Transitions, Stellenbosch University. She is also a researcher at the Stellenbosch University Water Institute. Her primary research focus is on water governance approaches and sustainable sociotech transitions. She is currently undertaking a study on water governance transitions unfolding in the Western Cape Province, South Africa.

Professor Alison Lewis is Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment at the University of Cape Town and was previously Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering. Professor Lewis is a Professional Engineer and a Fellow of the Institute of Chemical Engineers (FIChemE). Her research is focussed on Industrial Crystallization and Precipitation, specifically with regard to water treatment. Eutectic Freeze Crystallization is one of the Research Unit’s major projects.

Catherine is a consulting built environment, public sector governance specialist and professional urban planner. Catherine has 17 years of professional experience, 13 of which were in local government for the most part in senior management leading a team of urban policy planners, urban designers, landscape architects, construction project managers and urban regeneration specialists. Prior to this Catherine worked for local government in the UK and in the South African NGO sector providing technical support to the landless urban poor’s initiatives to secure land and housing. Catherine serves on the board of the Development Action Group, a South African non-profit organisation working to address underlying causes of poverty and inequality in urban areas.

After completing an architectural degree at University of Witwatersrand, Julia worked in Singapore for many years where she developed an interest in Water Sensitive Design. She returned to South Africa to pursue a Master of Landscape Architecture degree (UCT) and today, specialises in Water Sensitive Design at Square One Landscape Architects, whilst assisting UCT Future Water Institute, pursuing part time Master of Urban Design studies at UCT and indulging in the occasional watercolour painting.

Sumayya is an architect, interventionist, researcher, and lecturer. She is the co-founder and director of the research and architecture firm Counterspace, and co-leader of Unit 12 at the GSA, UJ. All of her work is invested in finding new design languages, design perspectives and questions for Joburg and the African continent.

Zahira Asmal is an urban wonderer | wanderer – she is also the director of The City, a research, publishing and placemaking agency she founded in 2010. Her projects, through engagement and collaboration with governments, cultural institutions, architects, academics, and the public, seek to enhance the making of public places and spaces in South African cities. 

Zayaan Khan is from Cape Town and works in understanding nuances within food systems by navigating food from an interdisciplinary perspective. Currently she is interested in Food through the lens of Art, specifically to find ways to share stories, both of struggle and solution.  Zayaan is currently completing a Masters within the Environmental Humanities at the University of Cape Town, her research entitled, "From seed-as-object to seed-as-relation".

With a determination to strengthen water innovation and adoption of sustainable water management, Jason Mingo, within his position at the Western Cape Government, believes in collaboration as the catalyst to drive change. Working with communities, industry and research institutions as part of provincial initiatives with the objective of enhanced sustainable economic development and natural resource preservation, Jason values innovation and design as processes for working collaboratively.

Dr Mao Amis is a Green economy thought leader with a focus on grassroots innovations, water, energy, & food security, impact investing and green entrepreneurship.

I was appointed as director of the District Six Museum in 2008. My professional training is as an educator with strong anti-apartheid activist roots. I completed my M.Phil in Applied Sociolinguistics at UCT in 2005, focusing on narratives of trauma of people who had been forcibly removed from various areas in the Western Cape.

Chido Govera is a Zimbabwean social entrepreneur, a farmer, campaigner,educator and the founder of The Future of Hope Foundation. She is expert in Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms and pioneer in the conversion coffee grounds from cafes into mushrooms - an initiative that’s currently very popular around the world.

Gail Jennings is a research consultant focusing on access, mobility and transport justice.

Rani is associate at OKRA and has been leading several project teams and working on themes related to healthy cities. The idea behind this is that now that more than 50% of the people across the world are living in cities, we should make cities that are resilient, climate adaptive, and based on the circular economy. 

Gareth’s work uses food as a lens to understand the complex nature of the to understand the complex nature of the urban transitions currently underway in the global South. His work seeks to understand the implications of these changes for food and nutrition security, and the food system. Gareth is based at the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town.

Luyanda is a Cape Town based Architect & Urban practitioner who advocates for the creation of equitable and inclusive cities. Luyanda's work seeks to promote Design for Social Change, empowering communities through design and particularly, advocating for the role of design in improving the quality of life in the fringes of society. He is Director of DesignSpaceAfrica, and an active commentator on various design and socially relevant matters, with a focus on challenging existing urban conditions in African Cities. 

Mhlengi is a development practitioner from Durban, South Africa who has over 20 years experience in both private and public sector, with a specialist focus on socio-economic development. His work revolves around the development, facilitation, and implementation of strategic processes incorporating different government actors, NGOs, CBOs, parastatals and communities in planning and decision making for their local areas and have acted as Project Manager for different projects, and is currently the Area Project Manager in eThekwini Municipality. 

Mokena Makeka directs Makeka Design Lab cc, an international award-winning Architecture practice. He has spoken on urbanism, social innovation and architecture, advised the SA Minister of Human Settlements, a member of Young Global Leaders, YGL, and previously WEF Global Agenda Council for Design and 2011 winner of the Gold Loerie Award for Communication Design. He has been an adjunct professor at GSAPP, Columbia University, New York; a WITS 2014 Resident Equity Scholar, School of Architecture and Planning and member of the UIA2014 Durban Core scientific committee. As well as a Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow and member of the African Leadership Institute, AFLI. 

Rod is an architect from Durban, KZN, South Africa, who established CHOROMANSKI ARCHITECTS in 1996,having initially worked on community development initiatives; their team later attracted larger complex urban projects. Their experience within the built environment has been valuable in developing a team, skilled in innovative and dynamic design, which led to success of: projects, architectural competitions and awards. Their diverse portfolio has established recognition both locally and internationally.