MANCOSA hosts Greenpeace International Executive Director - MANCOSA


MANCOSA hosts Greenpeace International Executive Director

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In pursuance of its mission to respond to the changing education demands of both public and private sectors in dynamic economies through the provision of innovative education, MANCOSA facilitated a masterclass presented by the Executive Director of Greenpeace International, Dr Kumi Naidoo. The masterclass titled ‘Responsible Business Education and the Greening Revolution’ took place at the Dr Chota Motala Auditorium at the Mancosa [GSB] on 13 October 2015.

During his lecture, Dr Naidoo highlighted the disturbing consequences of South Africa being the 14th largest carbon emitter in the world and pointed out the complications for business education. This includes the need for students to be best prepared with appropriate knowledge that will enable a peaceful co-existence with nature, the importance of sustainability and the need for students to be capacitated with skills that can inspire the design of renewable energy technologies. He added that the curricula should be responsive to environmental realities, challenges and solutions.

Drawing upon the revolutionary words of Dr Martin Luther King, Kumi Naidoo also challenged business education not to be well adjusted to the abnormalities and violence of inequality. He questioned the logic of ‘growth’ indicators when the people of Africa still encounter many barriers to basic livelihood and their rights. He also gave examples of Greenpeace activism to force business and industry to clean up their supply chains. The strategies deployed were underpinned by the logic of a 21st century relational society, where quick-time relational capital can either empower reputational capital or compromise it. Kumi Naidoo reminded the audience that nature does not depend on human beings and is capable of restoring itself. Hence, the green revolution is ultimately about the transformation of an extractive and consumption obsessed society into an environmentally conscious humanity. It is about the fundamental survival of the human family.

In conclusion, he noted the possible use of human faeces in the renewable energy supply chain. He narrated his experience from his tenure at Uppsala University in Sweden where he had the opportunity to learn from transport operators who were using human faeces as an alternative fuel source for the public transport system. Termed as ‘Poo Buses’, he convincingly argued that this method of transforming human faeces into an alternative energy source could be a worthy environmental pursuit for Africa as well.