x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Green Transition

This event occurred on
September 19, 2019
Johannesburg, Gauteng
South Africa

"We do not inherit the earth from our parents, we borrow it from our children."
– Native American proverb

When the emission of gases that caused global warming reached catastrophic levels, humanity decided, through the Paris Accord and similar efforts that came before it, to take steps away from systems that generated the crisis, towards those that prevented it, so that we may hand back a healthier and more prosperous planet to future generations. We found ways to reduce the risk that our quest for economic growth posed to the environment. And, we conceived new economic frameworks that sought to improve the well-being of all people, and not just some.

This fundamental change in the DNA of our economics, currently in progress in some aspects of the global economy, and hoped for in others, is widely referred to as the Green Transition.

The product of reconciling economic growth with ambitious green policies, the Green Transition offers solutions to key Sustainable Development Goals, as identified by the United Nations. These include ensuring the universal availability of clean water and sanitation; global access to clean and affordable energy; moves to make cities and human settlements safer and more inclusive; urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts; and lastly, propagating responsible consumption and production patterns.

TEDxJohannesburgSalon: Green Transition, takes place with the support of the Danish Embassy in South Africa.

Vodacom World
082 Vodacom Boulevard, Midrand
Johannesburg, Gauteng, 2000
South Africa
Event type:
Salon (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Abraham Cambridge

Abraham Cambridge is a serial energy entrepreneur who establishes businesses that use solar energy to bring about major economic shifts. In 2010, he pioneered utility-scale solar in Britain and in 2012, one of his businesses was nominated 'International Co-operative of the Year’ in the United Nations Year of Co-operatives. In 2014, he launched Sun Exchange in South Africa, a global solar micro-leasing marketplace that closes the funding gap for commercial and community-scale solar projects in emerging markets, while streaming monetized sunshine all over the world. Sun Exchange has been named 'Best Bitcoin & Blockchain Business in Africa' two years in a row, and was named among Fast Company’s 'Most Innovative Companies in Africa' in 2019.

Angus McIntosh

Angus McIntosh is Farmer Angus, one of only two producers of grass fed, pasture-reared beef in the Western Cape, South Africa. Situated on 126 hectares of irrigated pasture at Spier Wine Estate near Stellenbosch, Farmer Angus applies biodynamic and regenerative agricultural principles and practices in the raising of cattle, pigs, broiler chickens and laying hens, as well as vegetables and wine. Angus runs the only butchery in South Africa that does not add nitrates, gluten and nitrites to the meat. After reading about Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms in Virginia, USA, in Michael Pollans’ The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Angus decided to become a farmer. He started farming on Spier in December 2008, under the mentorship of Christo Kok.

Bob Scholes

Academic - Wits University
Prof Bob Scholes is a systems ecologist with a particular interest in the savannas of Africa. He is among the top 1% of environmental scientists worldwide based on citation. He has led several high-profile studies (eg the Assessment of Elephant Management, the Strategic Assessment of Shale Gas Development, the Global Land Degradation and Restoration Assessment) and large research campaigns. He was an author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 3rd, 4th and 5th assessments. He has been on the boards of the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry, the South African National Parks and South African National Space Agency. He is a Member of the South African Academy, a Fellow of The World Academy of Sciences, Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences, Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa, an NRF A-rated scientist, and a winner of the National Science and Technology Forum Lifetime Contribution to Science Award.

Gabi Motuba

Jazz Vocalist
Award winning avant-garde and jazz vocalist.

Iben Krog Rasmussen

Founder - Frej
Iben is one of the four young women who founded Denmark’s first think tank on food; the Food Organization Frej. Iben has a master's in political science and has been working in politics, been blogging for one of the biggest Danish newspapers and is regularly in the Danish radio and television. She grew up at a conventional farm and is a member of the Danish Youth Climate Council and collaborates with United Nation on the SDGs. Iben is a professional speaker and has given talks to college students, farmers, and CEOs.

Jesper Tornbjerg

Jesper Tornbjerg, 57, Senior Communication Manager at The Danish Energy Association, has been engaged in Danish and international energy policy for the last +30 years. As a journalist he has covered energy and climate change from the first energy plan including CO2-targets (Denmark, 1990) over UN COP3 in Kyoto and COP21 in Paris to a recent agreement by the majority in the Danish Parliament setting a 70% GHG reduction target for 2030. Mr. Tornbjerg is the writer of the publication “Green Energy for All – from Oil Price Shock to International Icon: 40 years’ experience from ‘The Danish Energy Model’ with high energy efficiency and constantly increasing sustainable energy” (2015). As a new project he’s writing and publishing 17 books for children regarding the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Justin Friedman

Founder - FLOW
For over 20 years Justin Friedman has been working in the environmental and wellbeing sectors across the UK, Europe, Asia, the USA and South Africa. He founded FLOW (For Love Of Water) in SA which has linked Government, Corporate, Media and Civil society through media, design, events, product and POS Innovation in order to create lasting behaviour change. He also helped to create Water Access and Awareness at the 2010 World Cup and co-hosted UN-Habitat and UN-Water. He recently developed a Water Offset tool that facilitates users being able to offset their water usage to projects that save water, create jobs and provide water services to communities.

Kgosientsho Ramokgopa

Dr. Kgosientsho “Sputla” Ramokgopa serves as head of the South African president’s investment infrastructure office. Prior to this, he was MEC for Economic Development, Agriculture and Environment in the government of the Gauteng Province. And before this, he was Mayor of the City of Tshwane. Kgosientsho holds a PhD from the University of Pretoria, a Masters of Public Administration from the same institution, and a Masters of Business Leadership from the University of South Africa. He completed his BSc Civil Engineering at the University of Durban Westville in 1998.

Khanyisile Chaba

Head of Responsible Business - Old Mutual
Khanyi Chaba is currently the Head of Responsible Business at Old Mutual Limited. She is responsible for leading the design and roll out of the company sustainable development strategy for all Old Mutual Limited operations across 13 countries in the continent, including setting the strategic direction for Old Mutual Limited’s responses to UN Global Compact and Sustainable Development Goals. Her endeavours for community work were acknowledged when she was voted the SABC Lebone Woman Achiever of the Year Award in 1998. She is passionate about adventure sports and has achieved 10 medals in Comrades Marathon and 10 medals in Two Oceans Marathon. She also holds the 6 Finisher Star for World Major Marathons, having completed the Tokyo, Berlin, New York, Paris, London, Boston and Chicago Marathons. She also holds medals for the Paris and Great Wall of China marathons. Khanyi summited Mount Kilimanjaro (highest peak in Africa) in 2008 and Mt Elbrus in Russia 2018 (highest mountain in Europe).

L8 Antique

L8 Antique is a three-piece band that captures the cultural diversity of South Africa through a self-named music style called Shugumisa.

Maduna Ngobeni

Deputy Director Electricity Regulation - Department of Energy South Africa
Maduna Ngobeni is Deputy Director Electricity Regulation at the Department of Energy, where he has gained extensive experience in the development of legislation and regulations for the electricity sector. He also holds the position of Project Officer for the Independent Power Producers Office (IPP Office), a partnership between the Department of Energy, National Treasury and the Development Bank of Southern Africa. Here, he facilitates correspondence with the Independent Power Producers (IPPs), and has been instrumental in the procurement of the internationally recognised Renewable Energy IPP Procurement Programme.

Mark Swilling

Academic - Stellenbosch University
Mark Swilling is Professor of Sustainable Development at Stellenbosch University; Co-Director of the Centre for Complex Systems in Transition and Academic Director of the Sustainability Institute. He Chairs the Board of the Development Bank of Southern Africa and is a member of the International Resource Panel. He has published over 80 articles and several books, including Just Transitions: Explorations of Sustainability in an Unfair World (2012), Shadow State: The Politics of State Capture (2018) and Age of Sustainability: Just Transitions in a Complex World (2019).

Nick Tandi

Program Manager Strategic Water Partners Network - World Bank
Nick Tandi is Programme Manager for the Strategic Water Partners Network (SWPN). The SWPN is a multi-stakeholder platform, brokered by the 2030 WRG, chaired by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), and co-chaired by representatives from the business sector. Before joining the SWPN, Nick was Program Manager at the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) where he co-led its work on mobilising finance for water infrastructure in Africa. Nick has an educational background in natural sciences (BSc with honors in Soil Science), social sciences (MSc Social Ecology) and in development finance (post-graduate course).

Nicky McLeod

Director - Environmental and Rural Solutions
Nicky McLeod is and environmental evangelist, and co-director of a small social enterprise, Environmental & Rural Solutions (ERS) based in the Matatiele mountains in the northern Eastern Cape. She has 25 years of hands on experience working in rural areas with various livelihood and landscape focused development initiatives, including water and livelihood security, soil conservation, ecotourism, alien plant control, water supply and sanitation, and environmental impact assessment. She is an avid mountain and grassland fan, spending time hiking, climbing, paddling and mountain biking in the Lesotho—South Africa’s watershed—with her husband, sons and friends. Nicky recently received, together with her long-time ERS partner Mme Sissie Matela, the WWF 2019 Living Planet Award for helping people to live in harmony with nature.

Rune Riisbjerg Thomsen

Investment Specialist
Rune Riisbjerg Thomsen works to ensure responsible investment and integration of ESG (environmental, social and governance) across PKA's investments. PKA is Denmark’s fourth largest pension fund and has more than $40bn under management and with a mission of investing 10% of that in climate-related investments by the end of 2020. Rune has previously worked with social impact investment at a small venture fund and holds a Master of Science in International Business and Politics from Copenhagen Business School.

Signe Frese

CSR Executive - Coop
CSR Executive director of the largest grocery chain in Denmark, develops and executes company sustainable development strategy

Sipho Kings

Sipho Kings was born in Eswatini, grew up in a village in Botswana and went to school in a town in Limpopo. Now he lives in Johannesburg, where he moved to work at the Mail & Guardian, first as an intern, then as its environment reporter and now as its news editor. As an environment reporter, he focused on the struggle between humans and the environment to coexist. His sobering analysis of the world earned him the title of ‘doomsday reporter’ from his editor. It has also won him a dozen awards and seen him zip off for a year to do a journalism fellowship at Harvard University. As the M&G’s news editor, his focus now is on creating a space for journalists to do their best work.

Sputla Ramokgopa

Dr. Kgosientsho “Sputla” Ramokgopa serves as head of the South African president’s investment infrastructure office. Prior to this, he was MEC for Economic Development, Agriculture and Environment in the government of the Gauteng Province. And before this, he was Mayor of the City of Tshwane. Kgosientsho holds a PhD from the University of Pretoria, a Masters of Public Administration from the same institution, and a Masters of Business Leadership from the University of South Africa. He completed his BSc Civil Engineering at the University of Durban Westville in 1998.

Organizing team


Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Bonginkosi Leeuw
  • Ithateng Mokgoro
  • Moon M
    Team member
  • Reshma Somaroo
    Team member
  • Roche Mamabolo