Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sustainability Conversations ... Stop? Start!

The G7 nations have for the first time set a deadline for the ending most fossil fuel subsidies, saying government support for coal, oil and gas should end by 2025. Leaders of the UK, US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the EU urge all countries to join them in eliminating support for coal, oil and gas in a decade. Read here.

“Jesus loves you too,” shout the thick black letters on the back of one of the neon jackets.
Dingani Dlamini, in his black New York Yankees cap, black T-shirt, and short beard and moustache, says he knows this game by now.
“I didn’t have a job. I had to choose: recycle or rob people,” he says, keeping a close watch on what I write, his black shoes dirty and worn out. 

“I chose recycling.”

Read about cash-for-trash here.

Hunger, disease, dwindling natural resources—climate change promises to visit all of those misfortunes and more on humankind if it can’t be curbed. But there’s something else a changing climate can take away from humans, Fiona Harvey reports for The Guardian: their cultural heritage. A new UNESCO report suggests that some of the world’s most famous heritage sites could be destroyed by climate change.
Read more.

There is a really cool exhibit up which aims to create awareness about sustainability through art and design – organized by RAIR (Recycled Artists-In-Residency).  The project came out of requests from local Philly artists who wanted access to recycled materials at a construction and demolition recycling facility in the city. It’s amazing that these artists are able to create such beauty out of “junk”!

This week we pay tribute to a remarkable woman with songs, personal stories, chats and memorable moments on the iStart2 Show. Karen Kotze passed away last week after a fierce battle with brain cancer. Karen was the driving force behind iStart2, always supporting, always sharing the weekly cartoon and radio show posts ... always inspiring our team to succeed and spread the message of sustainability through art. We say goodbye to our favourite jurist, our loving team member and an extraordinary unique friend who will always be our guiding light amongst the honey bees and the stars.  

Keitu Gwangwa & Pierre du Toit host the iStart2 Show on Thursdays at 17h30. Radio Today broadcasts on 1485 MW (AM) in greater Johannesburg and countrywide on ‪#‎DStv‬ audio channel 869. 
Radio Today also streams globally on

Why stop? Start! Have a wonderful week!

Friday, May 27, 2016

San Superhero /Gasa ... Linda de Jager

"If you love something you will not hurt it," says Linda de Jager on the iStart2 Show this week. 

"iStart2 stand up and share what I have to say" - Linda de Jager

We chatted to Linda - television producer, director and editor (ie Carte Blanche and Kyknet)  - about her contribution to creating a more sustainable world and her latest animation project about a San man, /Gasa. She creates visual stories with integrity, passion and courage - stories that will move you.

San man /Gasa, Namibia's first animated Superhero tells the story of conservation and wisdom messages from the past for the present generation. With his friend Mr Gecko his message resonates throughout Namibia as he visits and shares traditional stories.

"The San people are inspiring. They show us a connectedness to the land and to protect what you love. They understand community and the meaning of together," says Linda. This is a story of Namibian pride in the landscape, the picture perfect quiver trees and the animals roaming this beautiful land.

Linda extends her gratitude to the First National Bank Foundation, the Pupkewitz Foundation and the Namibia Film Commission who made this groundbreaking series possible.

To listen to the show and a unique track, Hambanathi by !Gubi, Dudu Majola and Pops Mohamed, just click play:

Thought of the Day:

The world was made to be free in.
Give up all the other worlds except the one to which you belong.
Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet confinement of your aloneness to learn.
Anything or anyone that does not bring you alive is too small for you.
  - From Sweet Darkness by David Whyte

Friday, May 20, 2016

Mzansi Spelling Bee ... Ntsako Mkhabela

"Most adults won't step on a stage and spell," says our Sustainability Hero of the Week, Ntsako Mkhabela on the iStart2 Show. "Think about it." 

"iStart2 make children believe in themselves ... 
each word nerd is a kid who says I CAN"
- Ntsako Mkhabela

The Mzansi Spelling Bee is a national English spelling challenge for spellers ages 9-17 or currently doing Grade 4-11 in South Africa.  The Mzansi Spelling Bee uses game, competition, social media new media and live spelling bee events to nurture a love for language and words. 

The Mzansi Spelling Bee is a unique hybrid spelling bee making the best of new media and technology to reach deeper into South Africa while going back to the basic ABCs of language and the spelling bee.  Technological innovation allows the Mzansi Spelling Bee to live in a virtual space that allows thousands of spellers from across South Africa to be part of the community of spellers and word nerds. 

"I teach people how to read and make sure that we have an Africa that grows up literate. Children are waiting to be challenged. If you think kids are not clever it is an act of disrespect. In sports we think they can ... when it comes to the mind we think they can't," says Ntsako.

Lots of fun in the studio with a woman who is passionate about word nerds, donkeys, literacy and making a real difference in our country. To listen to the show, just click play:

Thought of the Day:

For our friend Karen Kotze ...

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same

Rudyard Kipling, written in 1895

Monday, May 16, 2016

Sustainability Conversations ... Keep calm!

How much is the planet heating up? 
1.7 degrees - is actually a significant amount.

How much trouble are we in?
For future generations, big trouble

Is there anything I can do?

Fly less, drive less, waste less.

What’s the optimistic scenario?

Several things have to break our way.

Will reducing meat in my diet help the climate?

Yes, beef especially.

What’s the worst-case scenario? 
There are many. 

Will a tech breakthrough help us?
Even Bill Gates says don’t count on it, unless we commit the cash.

How much will the seas rise?

The real question is not how high, but how fast. 

Are the predictions reliable?
They’re not perfect, but they’re grounded in solid science.

Why do people question climate change?

Hint: ideology.

Is crazy weather tied to climate change?

In some cases, yes.

Will anyone benefit from global warming?

In certain ways, yes.

Is there any reason for hope?

If you share this with 50 friends, maybe.

Longer discussions here

“Stacking stones is such a universal impulse, an activity that has gone on around the world as long as humans have been here,” said the Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone, climbing from a sport utility vehicle to see for the first time the project he had been working on for more than five years, “Seven Magic Mountains,” his largest public art installation and one of the most ambitious pieces of his career. More here

April breaks global temperature record, marking seven months of new highs

Latest monthly figures add to string of recent temperature records and all but assure 2016 will be hottest year on record. Last month was the hottest April on record globally – and the seventh month in a row to have broken global temperature records.The latest figures smashed the previous record for April by the largest margin ever recorded. More here.

The World's Largest Coal Supplier Is Building a Giant Solar Plant

It is an important milestone in China’s drive to decrease pollution. Serious PR problems—not to mention an immense risk to public health—have driven China to commit to installing 10,000MW of solar power in the next five years, and deals like this are the cornerstone of actually making that happen. Read here.

 Lucie Pagé starts2. 

Ntsako Mkhabela creates a more sustainable South Africa one word at a time; one child at a time. Join us on the iStart2 Show on Thursday at 17h30.

iStart2. Do you?

Friday, May 13, 2016

I am an African ... Thabo Mbeki

On Sunday 8 May 2016 The Thabo Mbeki Foundation hosted an event to commemorate the former president’s “I am an African” speech. It also marked the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution. We join the dialogue on the iStart2 Show this week.

Seipati Kau, Executive Head: Private Office of Executive Mayor 
thanking President Mbeki on behalf of the City of Tshwane

Thabo Mbeki focussed on some pertinent issues:

His “I am an African” speech:
 “I would still say whatever our problems today, tomorrow will be better.”

"The Constitution whose adoption we celebrate constitutes an unequivocal statement that we refuse to accept that our Africanness shall be defined by our race, colour, gender of historical origins… It provides the opportunity to enable each one and all to state their views, promote them, strive for their implementation in the process of governance without fear that a contrary view will be met with repression. It creates a law-governed society which shall be inimical to arbitrary rule.”

On Societal Engagement:
“A lot of our people are not familiar with what this Constitution says. The consequence is that we sit in government and do something that is wrong and even unconstitutional. Mmusi [Maimane] will say it is incorrect and so will the judges. But where is the rest of society?”

Let’s have this national dialogue. The people must speak.”

Thabo Mbeki made a call to South Africans to get to know the Constitution better and also had some advice for the current leadership. We listen to excerpts from his speech on the iStart2 Show and discuss the importance of the Constitution in ensuring the sustainability of our Country. Ntsako Mkhabela joins us in studio.

To listen to the show, just click play below:

Thought of the Day:

Join our conversation and let's make a difference in building a sustainable South Africa for all the people of our beautiful country.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Sustainability Conversations ... The Future of our Planet

 - Al Gore and Astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse on the future of our planet — and everything else. Video here.

- Agroecology can feed Africa - not agribusiness

Naledi Village in Rustlers Valley 
- An example of Agroecology

Corporate interests have skewed the entire development agenda for agriculture in Africa, writes Ian Fitzpatrick. Instead of investing in sustainable, small scale farming along agroecological principles that raise production and support rural communities, governments - including the UK's - are backing destructive industrial farming and land grabs. Read more here

A little Arts project in Amsterdam

Using sand to create an impression in Amsterdam - the inventor of sustainable printing magic JIM BOWES has brought the message of peace and freedom to the streets of Amsterdam. Like all environmentalists, he also helped to clean it up. Video here.

Global water shortages to deliver 'severe hit' to economies, World Bank warns.
By 2050, growing demand for cities and for agriculture would put water in short supply in regions where it is now plentiful – and worsen shortages across a vast swath of Africa and Asia, spurring conflict and migration, the bank said.
Read more here.

The Energy Revolution Is Actually Happening Right Now.
By the end of 2016, there will be twice as much solar as there was in 2014. Read article here.

iStart2 Believe Again ... Ntsiki Mazwai

She's powerful. She's hot. Often politically "incorrect". She has a stage presence that rocks the audience. She is also very kind and full of jokes when not writing open letters to view her strong opinions as a woman's activist, poet and musician.

On Thursday we join our Sustainability Hero of the Week, President Thabo Mbeki. 

It's been twenty years since he made his iconic 'I am an African' speech.
The highly-regarded address was delivered on the day South Africa formally adopted the Constitution. To mark the event, President Mbeki and his foundation hosted a public meeting at Freedom Park in Tshwane on Sunday 8 May 2016.

We join the conversation and chat about the relevance of the Constitution 20 years after. Tune in to the iStart2 Show on Thursday at 17h30 to listen to the show. 

Keitu Gwangwa & Pierre du Toit host the iStart2 Show on Thursdays at 17h30. Radio Today broadcasts on 1485 MW (AM) in greater Johannesburg and countrywide on ‪#‎DStv‬ audio channel 869. Radio Today also streams globally on

Friday, May 6, 2016

Desperation to Destiny ... Dr Stanley Arumugam

"The book, Desperation to Destiny is about a journey that we all undertake as human beings. It is about that space in time when we really come to a difficult time in our lives. The key message is that it is a good place. Pay attention to that place that you are in. It is actually a holy place. Don't escape it, embrace it," says Stanley Arumugam on the iStart2 Show. "You need to make a decision on where you want to go."

We chatted to Stanley about his role as
Senior Head - Governance, Leadership & Accountability at ActionAid International and his views on sustainability issues affecting our people. "Things like climate change has a significant impact on people and especially the poor." Stan is of the opinion that we have a middle class that is quite disinterested in what is happening and his hope lies in asking people to rethink the question of what it means to be a good a neighbour. He further believes that the ancient wisdom of servant leadership is still very applicable. 

"I believe in South Africa and the magic and diversity we have in our people. iStart2 hope for the country" - Stanley Arumugam 

To get in touch with Stanley email him at and to listen to the interview, just click play:

Thought of the Day:

In the words of David Whyte:

Despair is a necessary and seasonal state of repair, a temporary healing absence, an internal physiological and psychological winter when our previous forms of participation in the world take a rest; it is a loss of horizon, it is the place we go when we do not want to be found in the same way anymore. We give up hope when certain particular wishes are no longer able to come true and despair is the time in which we both endure and heal, even when we have not yet found the new form of hope.

We take the first steps out of despair by taking on its full weight and coming fully to ground in our wish not to be here. We let our bodies and we let our world breathe again. In that place, strangely, despair cannot do anything but change into something else, into some other season, as it was meant to do, from the beginning. Despair is a difficult, beautiful necessity, a binding understanding between human beings caught in a fierce and difficult world where half of our experience is mediated by loss, but it is a season, a wave form passing through the body, not a prison surrounding us. A season left to itself will always move, however slowly, under its own patience, power and volition.

The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words.
© David Whyte and Many Rivers Press 2015

Monday, May 2, 2016

Sustainability Conversations ... do you Start2?

Snippets of sustainability news around the world, challenges we face in South Africa, interesting projects and a dash of Art ...

Start  Close in ...

Take that step you don't want to take ... iStart2 ...

Is the signing of the historic Paris climate deal on Earth Day 22 April 2016 by 175 nations just symbolic?

(Photo: Mary Altaffer, AP)

Echoes from the Valley ...

PJ Powers on the iStart2 Show

Scribbles on the Cave Wall ...

View from the Edge

On Thursday we chat to our Sustainability Hero of the Week, Dr Stanley Arumugam We chat about his new book, Desperation to Destiny, his views on the biggest sustainability challenges we face as a society and what they are doing  in their company ActionAid International to create a more sustainable world.  Tune in to the iStart2 Show on Thursday at 17h30 to listen to the show. 

Dr Stanley Arumugam 
is the Senior Head - Governance, Leadership & Accountability 
at ActionAid International

Keitu Gwangwa & Pierre du Toit host the iStart2 Show on Thursdays at 17h30. Radio Today broadcasts on 1485 MW (AM) in greater Johannesburg and countrywide on ‪#‎DStv‬ audio channel 869. Radio Today also streams globally on

"I'm sweating like hell.
So help me, if I hear someone tell me it's the humidity one more time..."
"Actually it is not the humidity, it's humanity."