In addition to pursuing a research-based master’s degree, I have worked on several research efforts spanning social innovation, systems change, resilience, leadership, business strategy and sustainability, and sustainable development goals (SDGs).
Civil Society Responses to Covid-19
The Covid-19 public health crisis gave rise to a hunger crisis in South Africa as “lockdown” policies made it even more difficult for already vulnerable households to access sufficient nutritious food. Despite the lockdown diminishing, the hunger crisis did not. Our research collaboration focused on how civil society and social entrepreneurship initiatives adapted to changing circumstances amidst the ongoing Covid-19 crisis in South Africa. Our work has been published in The Conversation and Social Stanford Innovation Review to date and was also highlighted in the UCT GSB Year in Review 2020. You can read more about my personal research topic here.
Western Cape Economic Development Partnership
The Western Cape Economic Development Partnership (EDP) helps partners from different sectors – public, private, civil society, philanthropy, education and research – to address system challenges, to work together to support national plans to implement the SDGs, and to grow the local, metropolitan and regional economy in an inclusive way. As a graduate researcher, I provide ongoing support to the EDP's new food systems programme, a focus area that emerged as a result of COVID-19 and the lockdowns in South Africa. This included supporting the design and facilitation of learning journeys to bring Western Cape food systems challenges to life.
Businesses, SDGs, and COVID-19 in Africa
This study aims to shine a spotlight on how businesses in Africa are responding to long-term sustainable development aspirations - including their use of the SDGs for issue identification, prioritization, and target-setting - while also responding to the COVID-19 crisis. The research project took shape over the course of a year during which companies were studied in their national context in Kenya, Nigeria, Mauritius, and South Africa. The project also included a collaboration with the UN Global Compact to host a dialogue on preliminary findings. The research findings have been published in Business & Society and Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development and have also been featured by BLab.
Resilient Leadership: Learning From Crisis & Climate Leadership
The Resilient Leadership project captured weekly insights from 12 decision-makers as they navigated their organizations' response to the Covid-19 pandemic from April to July 2020. Roughly half of the participants were senior executives in significant global corporations while the other half were Chief Resilience Officers of major cities in Europe, Africa, India, Brazil, and the US. The project produced weekly insights, podcasts, and graphics to share insights and culminated in a summary report. The second Resilient Leadership project focused on global climate leadership leading into COP26 and produced weekly insights and summaries for project participants.