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We hosted an open dialogue on food waste in South Africa

A third of all the food that South Africa produces ends up in the dump. This, in a country where millions go to bed hungry.

The energy we waste every year producing food we never eat could light up Johannesburg for sixteen weeks. The equivalent of six hundred thousand Olympic swimming pools is wasted producing this food. Ninety-five percent of this food is wasted before it even reaches the dinner table.

This level of wastage will dampen South Africa’s prospects of meeting its global commitment to halve food waste by 2030. …


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The nature, texture, and posture of the farm are changing.

The gates are opening — slowly if not surely — to many who were previously excluded. Land reform promises to deliver tangible justice to those who’ve been deprived for far too long.

Human population is projected to reach an astounding 9.7 billion by 2050. Every mouth will need to eat, and do so well. What the farm needs to do today, to ensure that none go hungry tomorrow, is no longer a mystery.

Climate change remains a challenge. But human ingenuity is hard to beat. Strategies and tactics will emerge. They must emerge. …


TEDxJohannesburg hosted a live stream of the TED Conference, direct from a cold Vancouver in Canada, on the evening of Wednesday, 17 February.

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Image by Roy Blumenthal.

The theme was Dream. Because dreams matter. And TED2016 was dedicated to the greatest dreams we are capable of dreaming. Our event covered two sessions out of a week of mind-altering, breath-taking, awe-inspiring ideas. As promised, it was a week to stare hard at humanity’s toughest challenges, to listen to our greatest thinkers, artists and storytellers. A week to stir the blood.

The sessions we selected lived up to every expectation.

We closed with Session 6 — titled Code Power — a mental bow to the pervasiveness of code in our world. See the recaps below, in chronological order.


TEDxJohannesburg hosted a live stream of the TED Conference, direct from a cold Vancouver in Canada, on the evening of Wednesday, 17 February.

Image for post
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Image by Roy Blumenthal.

The theme was Dream. Because dreams matter. And TED2016 was dedicated to the greatest dreams we are capable of dreaming. Our event covered two sessions out of a week of mind-altering, breath-taking, awe-inspiring ideas. As promised, it was a week to stare hard at humanity’s toughest challenges, to listen to our greatest thinkers, artists and storytellers. A week to stir the blood.

The sessions we selected lived up to every expectation.

We opened with Session 2, Radical Repatterning. This session featured speakers who made their names from their ability to see beyond the status quo. …


The man who was crazy enough to think he can change himself

By Ithateng Mokgoro, TEDxJohannesburg Curator

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The Pavement Bookworm — the memoir of 24-year-old Philani Dladla — one of the most inspiring, young South African stories you’re ever likely to encounter.”

There are strong relations it seems, between the gods that govern drug addiction, those that oversee mental illness, and the ones who give us the gift of creativity. It’s as if one can’t exist without the others. They are joined at the hip, completely inseparable. The first two, it seems, are the price you must pay for the latter, the gift of creativity. The misfits of society, the round pegs in the square holes, have to pay more than all of us. Perhaps even for all of us.

Why is it that while some people cruise through life going from one good fortune to the next, others seem to be stuck in a nightmarish groundhog day of hardship and misery? …


By Adam Oxford

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Alan Knott-Craig Jnr on theTEDxJohannesburg stage, at Soweto Theatre. Picture by @Umuziphotoclub.

I’m confident that within my lifetime there will be free WiFi within walking distance of every African citizen.

That’s the bold claim from Project Isizwe founder Alan Knott-Craig Jnr that continues today’s blogging from TEDxJohannesburg at the Soweto Theatre.


By Adam Oxford

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Martin Brown and his all-terrain wheelchair. Picture by @Umuziphotoclub.

Spoken word artist Radile Mokone kicked things off with the tale of how, despite having family and friends at the receiving end of all of South Africa’s ills from the Sharpeville Massacre to present day miscarriages of justice and police brutality, he still has hope for the future of the country.

It’s a breezy day here at the Soweto Theatre where TEDxJohannesburg has just got underway, and if the first two sessions are anything to go by it’s going to be a moving day.


Life Lessons from the Women of TEDxJohannesburg

(Article 9/20 in the series)

August is Women’s Month in South Africa. To celebrate, we’re conducting long-form interviews with 20 women who have spoken at TEDxJohannesburg. Inspired by Huffington Post’s Sophia project, we’re asking them to share stories and advice about topics that are central to a well-lived life.

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What is a recent realisation you have had about living a more rewarding/fulfilling life?

Sometimes we seem to be waiting for goals to be achieved or stuff to be acquired or things to happen in our lives in order to feel happy, rewarded and fulfilled. Yet true happiness emerges when we stop focusing so much on our own needs and our own desires. And when we look outwards to others, to the world, to our community, to complete strangers, to our friends and family and see how we can be a source of inspiration to them. …


Life Lessons from the Women of TEDxJohannesburg

(Article 8/20 in the series)

August is Women’s Month in South Africa. To celebrate, we’re conducting long-form interviews with 20 women who have spoken at TEDxJohannesburg. Inspired by Huffington Post’s Sophia project, we’re asking them to share stories and advice about topics that are central to a well-lived life.

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Michaella Janse van Vuuren at TEDxJohannesburg 2014 on how she uses 3D printing technologies to create sculptures that combine technical complexity with artistic merit. Click on the image to watch the talk.

What is a recent realisation you have had about living a more rewarding/fulfilling life?

Life is full of challenges, and on top of this we are bombarded with messages from advertising and other cultural pressures about what we should aspire to or want. It is hard to hear one’s own voice. I have shifted the focus from achieving unrealistic ideals to experiencing my own life. …


Life Lessons from the Women of TEDxJohannesburg

(Article 7/20 in the series)

August is Women’s Month in South Africa. To celebrate, we’re conducting long-form interviews with 20 women who have spoken at TEDxJohannesburg. Inspired by Huffington Post’s Sophia project, we’re asking them to share stories and advice about topics that are central to a well-lived life.

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Jeannette McGill, one of the foremost thinkers in mining, at TEDxJohannesburg 2014. She makes the point that the mining needs to embrace technology if it’s ever going to reach the productivity levels of its past. Click on the image to watch the talk.

What is a recent realisation you have had about living a more rewarding/fulfilling life?

We don’t have do everything, or be everything to everyone to feel whole.

Tell us something about an area of your expertise that took you years to learn.

The global mining sector remains a complex and intriguing industry. Through 20 years of multi-dimensional professional contribution I have an understanding of the complex impact of commodity cycles and the interrelationship of global supply and demand and how technology and innovation remains the “swing-vote” or modifying factor to drive change. …

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