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Per Olsson

Programme director

Per leads the Stockholm Resilience Centre’s stream on Resilience Science for Transformation. His research is in agency, social-ecological innovations, transformations to sustainability, and how to reverse current trends of crossing critical thresholds and tipping points in the earth system. Per previously co-lead the Rockefeller Foundation Global Fellowship Program on Social Innovation and currently is serving as the director for the BALTIC-LEAD program. Per has invested heavily in facilitating interactions among scientists, policy makers, artists, businesses, and the public, through a variety of initiatives. For example, he is co-founder of Coral Guardians, which serves as an innovation space for combining music, policy, and science. He was also the co-founder of SHIFT, an accelerator for start-ups and social-ecological entrepreneurship. He served as the scientific advisor to MacGillivray Freeman Films, Incorporated IMAX film, Coral Reef Adventure, and was also the national coordinator for the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Program in Sweden.


Rushka Ely

Content expert and facilitator

Rushka Ely is a development practitioner with a focus on local, city, and town-scale challenges, processes, and solutions. She leads a number of programmes for the Western Cape Economic Development Partnership (EDP), a government support organisation enabling collaboration across governments, sectors, and regions. This role builds on her experience working within the South African government, having been a part of the green economy team at the Western Cape Government. Rushka is particularly interested in the role of public governance innovation as a mechanism for systems change. Rushka has extensive experience working with local and regional governments, as well as the private sector and civil society and has worked on a range of developmental challenges such as economic development, regional collaboration, housing, urban development, and governance. Rushka is academically trained in development studies.

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Lauren Hermanus

Content expert and facilitator

Lauren is the founder of Adapt, a network-based sustainable development practice. She is most thrilled by the integration of knowledge and imagination in service of speculative futures that interrupt unsustainable and unjust societal configurations. She has worked on sustainable development in the public and private sectors, which she continues to do, with strong links to academic research centres. Her development practice and research is strongly grounded in her mentorship under the late Paul Cilliers, with whom she completed an MA in complexity and philosophy (Stellenbosch University). She has also more practice-centred training through her MPhil in development policy and practice (University of Cape Town). From 2016-2018, Lauren was the South African lead, through the African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI), on the international GREEN-WIN project. This was an interdisciplinary collaboration focused on bottom-up actions for a low-carbon transition, with UCT leading on energy poverty, and on rural and urban climate resilience. Lauren focusses on decentralised and distributed development challenges. She is currently reading for her PhD, focusing on decentralization in sustainable energy transitions. She also has an interest in public leadership and governance, interrogating issues of corruption and state capture in developing country contexts. 


Scott Drimie

Content expert and facilitator

Scott is a Senior Researcher and facilitator working on food systems in different global contexts with an emphasis on southern Africa. Taking a political economy lens, he has focused primarily on food policy and food system governance. Scott’s academic career builds on his role as Professor (Extraordinary) in the Department of Global Health at the Faculty of Health and Medicine Sciences at Stellenbosch University. Scott has been part of the leadership collective of the Southern Africa Food Lab since its founding in 2009. This is a multi-stakeholder initiative that brings together actors in the regional food system to identify and pilot innovative means to achieve long-term, sustainable food security. This is done through the use of collaborative learning and facilitation approaches. 


Ncedisa Nkonyeni

Content expert and facilitator

Ncedisa is the Social Systems Innovation Project Manager at the University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Business’s Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship. She leads the Africa regional hub of the global systems play team - a support and resource node for systems innovators pursuing the Sustainable Development Goals. She is also co-convener of the Social Entrepreneurship and Systems Change Executive Education course delivered by the Bertha Centre. She is deeply curious about what happens at the intersection of social justice and systems thinking, with a particular interest in the potential for counter-narratives to shift the values and beliefs that uphold unjust systems.  

Currently reading for a Masters in Philosophy (Inclusive Innovation) at the Graduate School of Business, her research question is around the institutional work that is necessary and possible to bring about inclusive education. Her academic background is in Clinical and Research Psychology (University of Cape Town and the university currently known as Rhodes, respectively). Her work and research experiences span a variety of sectors including film policy analysis, popular culture and oral history, gender, and identity. 


Michele-Lee Moore

Content expert and facilitator

Michele-Lee has a background in global governance, water, social innovation, and international policy. She is currently the Director of the Sida-funded Guidance for Resilience in the Anthropocene: Investments for development programme at the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC), Stockholm University, and co-lead of SRC’s Transformations research stream. Her research focuses on social innovation, transformations for social-ecological resilience, and water governance; and she invests considerable time in mobilizing knowledge for real-time development projects with practitioners. From 2013-2017, Michele-Lee was the co-lead of the Rockefeller Foundation Global Fellowship Program on Social Innovation. She also leads the Water, Innovation, and Global Governance Lab based at the Centre for Global Studies, University of Victoria, Canada.


Loretta Rose

Curriculum design and group facilitator

Loretta has a background in international development and intercultural education and has worked around the globe providing support to change-makers through process facilitation, capacity building, curriculum development, writing, and project management. She has worked with the University of Waterloo in various support roles on the Rockefeller Foundation Global Fellowship Program on Social Innovation, the WISIR online learning modules, the Banff Centre Getting to Maybe residency, the J.W. McConnell Foundation/WISIR’s LabWise social innovation lab process, and is was lead consultant working with a team at the University of Cape Town’s Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship to build a systems innovation community of praxis, called systems play. She holds degrees in Anthropology and Modern Languages, Intercultural Education, and Political Science (International Relations).


Emma Olofsson

Project assistant

Emma has a background in international development and has worked at the Swedish International Centre for Local Democracy with methods to connect research with policy and practice and provide support to municipal partnerships. She holds a Masters degree in Social-Ecological Resilience for Sustainable Development from the Stockholm Resilience Centre, a Masters degree in Peace and Development from Linnaeus University, and a Bachelors degree in Business and Economics from Uppsala University.

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