Sustainable Together

Sustainable Together Logo © Goethe-Institut Johannesburg

'Sustainable Together' is a regional project that focuses on sustainability and civil society initiatives that seek to make an impactful contribution to improving (local) environment. The project does this in two ways: through public engagement like webinars or a talk series and by supporting activities and initiatives that emerge from these. Besides Johannesburg, the Goethe-Instituts Addis Ababa, Kigali and Luanda are involved. In South Africa, the project is carried out in partnership with the British Council. 
The focus of the 3-part discussion series was on the concept of the circular as an alternative to the linear economy. However, discourses in the global north often do not suffice and have to be re-conceptualized for Southern Africa.
From each of the discussions, a follow-up project emerged, which for instance deals with the decolonization of the food system or the further processing of biodegradable re-sellable materials in order for marginalized groups to earn an income. 

The project is being continued in 2021.

Precious Waste

In Johannesburg, thousands of people sort and re-sell recyclables on a daily basis. Thanks to these reclaimers, who collect almost 90% of these materials, South Africa achieves a higher recycling rate than many European countries. However, despite these impressive numbers, municipalities and policy-makers often overlook this sector.
This conversation addresses an inclusive circular economy and how civil society can support reclaimers.

A conversation between Dr Melanie Samson (Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, Wits University) and Luyanda Hlatshwayo (African Reclaimers Organisation). Moderated by Dr Tanya Zack (Writer, Researcher, Policy Developer).

Planetary Design

This edition takes a closer look at the concepts of circular economy, wellbeing economy and degrowth as counter concepts to a currently linear economy. In this discourse, concepts from the global North most often don’t suffice and are reconfigured for Southern Africa. 
The speakers present alternatives to this way of consuming and producing by telling more about their projects in design, asking questions around rethinking ownership and how design can better adapt to people’s needs and local conditions.

A conversation between Naa Obeye (director of Kali Etch), Vanessa Nsona (founder of Dorovee), Matthew Edwards (designer and co-founder of Big Circle Studios) and Simon Sizwe Mayson (changemaker, PhD candidate). Moderated by Thobile Chittenden (CEO, Makers Valley Partnership).

Urban Farming 

The third and final edition of 2020 of the Sustainable Together talk series takes a closer look at the topics of food sovereignty and food security. 
54% of South Africans are hungry or at risk of hunger. Hunger is a violation of human rights and has an impact on health, education and not least dignity. Urban farming initiatives make a big difference in providing families with fresh produce and the skills to continue growing their own food. Yet, they cannot solve everything. 
The panellists speak about the concepts of food sovereignty and security and present (urban) farming initiatives and the role they play for civil society.  

A conversation between Dr. Brittany Kesselman (researcher, Wits University), Moleboge Lekwane (Tshadilema), Dorah Marema (Ubuntu project / Seed Community) and Tshidi Molebatsi (Tshadilema). Moderated by Kate Gardner (British Council / REEL Gardening).