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Bio corridors can be established as socio-ecological corridors on the urban fringes of Stellenbosch to address inequality and ecosystem degradation. This peri-urban space is where different socio-economic groups intersect, where the built environment encroaches on agricultural land and where conservation meets viticulture. It is hypothesised that in order to address segregation and ecosystem degradation, it is imperative to co-design socio-ecological corridors with local representation, to potentially overcome racial, spatial and economic inequalities. Building a baseline case study with people’s stories and data captured through remote sensing technologies can then be synthesised to create public awareness (through e.g.: art and theatre) and inform national policy (such as SPLUMA) for socio-ecological systems transitions on private and public land.
Join us as Dr. John van Breda and Berry Wessels take us through the fascinating topic that is Exploring innovative social-ecological transdisciplinary research – Bringing together the Arts, Science and Technology.
Dr. John van Breda is a research associate with the Centre for Sustainability Transitions (CST) at Stellenbosch University (SU). Prior to the CST, he was actively involved in building and managing an inter-faculty institution of Transdisciplinarity, Sustainability, Modelling and Assessment for working across different academic disciplines and departments at SU on a wide range of sustainability-related challenges. Amongst many of its projects, the TsamaHub developed a transdisciplinary doctoral programme – known as TRECCAfrica – leveraging the necessary international funding for conducting this intra-Africa doctoral programme. In 2015, the TsamaHub submitted a successful proposal to the National Research Foundation (NRF) to establish a new ‘flagship project’ in the areas of sustainability, complexity, transdisciplinarity at SU, which became the CST.
John holds several post-graduate degrees in philosophy, theology and sociology. In his PhD he developed the notion of methodological agility (MA) as a means for switching between the mono-, multi-, inter- and trans-disciplinary research methodologies, for tackling sustainability transitions in and under radically different contextual conditions in the world today. For example: the need for transitioning form fossil fuels to renewable & sustainable energies sources may be clear, but the many different transitioning pathways of doing this are not necessarily straightforward at all — especially if this implies navigating Just Transitioning processes.
Berry Wessels has 11 years experience in the field of sustainable development. He graduated from the Sustainability Institute, Stellenbosch in 2015 with a Master degree Cum Laude. He practises project design, management and implementation with various institutions, companies and local government. He is a passionate agent for social transformation and his main areas of focus are ecosystem-based adaptation, regenerative agriculture and landscape governance with landowners and communities – informal and formal.