4 minutes | Oct 12, 2021
Season 2 Intro
Hello again, its me, Lee, I am back finally with season 2 called Big Questions.This is just an intro and small taste of whats to come.Look out for new episodes dropping soon!
15 minutes | Dec 31, 2020
100: What lies ahead?
Thank you to my faithful listeners for your ears and attention over the last 2 years. This is the last seedpod episode of the year and of season 1. I will be launching a season 2 in the coming months, i have some big ideas and intentions so stay tuned. And this final podcast is a message from my heart to yours amongst the madness we find ourselves in. Much love and peace, see you next year.
101 minutes | Nov 13, 2020
99: Theo Ndindwa - I am not my environment
I had the absolute privilege of meeting and interviewing Theo Ndindwa, who is for those who don't know, one of the first internationally recognised black ballet dancers in South Africa. He was selected to be part of a Nutcracker production in the early 90’s which was the first multiracial ballet production in post Apartheid South Africa. Then aged 12 he had the foresight to see that this was an opportunity to greater possibilities than what he had dreamt available to him till that point. Theo threw himself into the ballet world which took him to great heights, ultimately studying and dancing at some of the top institutions in Europe. But he knew in his heart that he was destined to return home to South Africa to play his part in providing the opportunity he was given to children from similar disadvantaged backgrounds. Having successfully run Ikapa Dance with his wife for 15 years doing just that, Theo now finds himself in search of the next challenge, how to expand and scale this type of access to creativity and education to the townships of South Africa.Theo is a legend, generous with his time and his heart and I could not help being totally inspired by his story. Its a story of vision, will and passion. Enjoy.
76 minutes | Oct 16, 2020
98: Peter Schelstraete - We have all the solutions
This weeks guest Peter Schelstraete is the co-founder and CEO of UBUNTOO, a technology startup whose mission is to accelerate scalable sustainability solutions and innovations by providing a digital platform for global visibility and collaboration. The Ubuntoo platform connects innovators and industry leaders to collaborate on solutions and technologies in support of the UN SDGs, starting with solutions to end plastic waste & pollution. Previously, Peter was at The Coca-Cola Company for 19 years’ tenure, where he held a variety of high profile roles including CMO for Asia Pacific region. Being a true world citizen, Peter has lived and worked in four continents. He has a Master’s degree in Commercial Engineering at the University of Leuven, Belgium and also holds a Postgraduate Master’s degree in Business Management from the University of Montpellier in France. I was inspired by Peters positivity, enthusiasm and drive to effect real change in our world. He has a huge wealth of knowledge in many areas of the sustainability sector and I see his platform making a massive contribution towards shifting the world towards a more sustainable one. Thank you Peter.
66 minutes | Sep 24, 2020
97: Misha Teasdale - Moving the needle
Misha Teasdale needs little introduction. As the self proclaimed Tree-E-O of Greenpop South Africa, a tree planting land restoration organization, he aims to not only facilitate the healing of our planet but ourselves as well. Misha has a B-Tech in Sustainable Industrial Design, and before he started Greenpop, he went on a journey from Cape Town to London, profiling NGO’s and CBO’s across the continent to attract CSI funding and encourage knowledge sharing and grassroots volunteering. This experience changed his life, altering his thinking and planted the seeds that have become the Greenpop we see today. September is Arbour month, its not something many of us know or celebrate anymore, and so this conversation comes at the right time. Misha for me represents the innovative, powerful energy of the social entrepreneurs and eco warriors pushing every day for the improvement of life on our planet. It was a privilege to share some thoughts with him and I have no doubt you will walk away richer from this conversation. Enjoy.
55 minutes | Sep 10, 2020
96: Jakob Trollbäck - Creative Multiplication
Earlier this year at design Indaba I had the pleasure of talking to in my mind one of the most influential designers alive today. Swedish graphic designer Jakob Trollbäck is the main architect behind the communication language for the United Nations’ 17 Global Goals – an ambitious and inspiring agenda for a better world by 2030. With a client list that is impressive – Apple, Google, Nike, Spotify, Volvo, BBC, ESPN, NBC, CBS and the TED conferences – his team has received a slew of creative industry awards over the years. But now since working on the Global Goals project he dedicates all his time at The New Division, his sustainability agency that focuses solely on work that promotes new thinking and sustainable values. We discuss how the global goals project fundamentally changed his life, shifting his work focus, turning vegetarian and causing a complete life perspective change. We discuss the weight of the knowledge of the global issues that he now carries and how he deals with that on a daily basis. For me it felt like sitting down with an elder where I gained insights and left a better person for the conversation. Thank you Jacob.
60 minutes | Sep 2, 2020
95: Peetachai Dejkraisak - Creating new opportunities
This weeks guest is based in one of my favourite countries in the world, Bangkok Thailand. Peetachai Dejkraisak or more simply known as Niel is the co-founder and CEO of Jasberry a sustainable social enterprise that seeks to solve some of the worlds most pressing issues. The jasberry rice is a superfood which delivers high nutrition, is farmed sustainably and organically and is helping to lift the ordinary rice farmers of South east Asia out of poverty. Niel has a degree in Environmental engineering and an MBA and by combining these he and his co-founder have developed a model that is changing the lives of thousands of people, giving them dignity, pride and rebuilding communities. What struck me most about Niel from our conversation was his empathy, humility and strong desire to change the status quo. He shares some incredible stories about the changes he has seen in the small holder farmers that he works with, about the personal journey he is on and where he is heading. I left our conversation feeling inspired and hopeful knowing that there are people like Niel dedicating themselves to improving the lives of others in a way that for me demonstrates a great model for the people planet profit paradigm, enjoy.
71 minutes | Aug 19, 2020
94: Maryke Musson - Remember to care
My guest for this week, Maryke Musson grew up with the ambition of being a dolphin. When that didnt work out, she managed to obtain science degrees in various fields including marine biology, medical physiology, fisheries science, psychology and neurology. She has worked in the marine science field for the past 25 years, from aquariology, to research to sustainable production and governance, and has presented at many conferences locally and internationally. Her focus is on making a difference, every day, through marine conservation, awareness, research, education and sharing inspiring ocean stories. She is currently the CEO of the Two Oceans Aquarium Education Foundation, a Public Benefit and Non-Profit Organisation with a variety of environmental education and outreach programmes and a very successful sea turtle rescue, rehabilitation and release programme. My biggest take away from this conversation was Maryke’s overwhelming positivity, even in the face of suffering and devastation. She shared some incredible stories with me about some of the animals she has helped save and rewild. I left with a deeper connection and understanding of what the lives of, in this case marine conservationists, and all conservationists must be like. We need these brave souls to remind us of our humanity and role as custodians of this earth, I thank and salute all of you!
30 minutes | Aug 11, 2020
93: Nhlanhla Mahlangu - Chant of a nation
In this week's episode I jump back to an interview I did at Design Indaba earlier this year but the relevance of the content has not changed and if anything in light of recent events is that much more powerful to listen to. I had the privilege of a half an hour conversation with Nhlanhla Mahlangu known both locally and internationally for his richly choreographed theatrical productions and his work with the famous South African artist William Kentridge. Nhlanhla is the very embodiment of tenacity. Born in Phola Park informal settlement on Johannesburg’s East Rand during the height of Apartheid, he was unable to complete his matric due to the ANC, IFP and the ‘Third Force’ violence in the Nineties, dashing his dreams of going to music school. This is probably the most political conversation I have had on my podcast and it was humbling. I learnt a lot from this short exchange. Nhlanlha does not hold back on his beliefs about the state of our country. He embodies a fierce courage that gently cuts straight to the heart of the matter. Listening to this again 6 months later I am deeply saddened about where we are as a country today, made even worse by the events of our times. Don’t skip this episode, it is important to have the difficult conversations and hear the hard things in order to heal and move forward.
77 minutes | Jul 29, 2020
92: Justin Needham - The business of waste
Justin Needham, my last guest for the plastics free July series, has been involved in recycling for many years on a grassroots level. Having started one of the first consumer recycling collections businesses in South Africa he has first hand knowledge of how the system works and what the inherent shortfalls are. After spotting a gap in the market he is now pioneering the sector once again by bringing the reverse vending machine concept to our shores but tweaking it for local application and backing it with data and a custom consumer app. We discuss the state of the recycling industry here in South Africa and some of the stumbling blocks in the way of really scaling and reaching true success. We also discussed the current business models, how they are not currently serving the planet and its communities and what needs to change to drive real transformation and make business a strong force for good. This was an enlivening and motivating conversation for me, I learnt a lot and enjoyed throwing some big ideas around with Justin. If you are interested in recycling you cant miss this one, enjoy.
71 minutes | Jul 22, 2020
91: George van der Schyff - Pristine heart
In his latest incarnation, this weeks guest, George van der Schyff heads up Pristine earth, an NGO based in Cape Town working in the environment and specifically plastics waste and pollution. Their goal is to form collaborations and bring stakeholders together to enhance the best solutions in order to support them to achieve maximum impact. One of the projects they have involvement with at the moment is brimming the Litterboom concept to Cape Town which provides a simple yet innovative way or retrieving litter from rivers. Our conversation traversed plastics pollution, our plastics industry, poverty and equality in South Africa, Surviving Covid as a new parent and the effects of having a father who was an Apartheid policeman. George shares his passion to make change in such an open heart felt way that cant help but rub off and inspire me to do the same. Thank you George.
37 minutes | Jul 14, 2020
90: Paul Cocksedge - Inspiring joy
London-based Paul Cocksedge has worked on projects as diverse as a flower-powered light, a canopy for the world’s largest botanical gardens, and furniture that fuses different metals through a freezing process. It’s impossible to pigeonhole the restlessly inventive Cocksedge, who studied industrial design at Sheffield Hallam University and product design under Ron Arad at the Royal College of Art in London. Few people are more adept at seeing everyday problems that cry out for design solutions – and he’s intent upon solving these problems in elegant and unexpected ways. For me to sit and unpack the creative mind of someone like Paul Cocksedge at Design Indaba earlier this year was an incredible privilege. He is such a humble down to earth human being and I could not help but be inspired by his infections enthusiasm. This definitely ranks as one of my favourite conversations to date, enjoy.
81 minutes | Jul 7, 2020
89: Ian Dommisse - To Ecobrick or not
This week for plastic free July I chat to eco pioneer Ian Dommisse who is an architect with a passion for alternative, environmentally friendly construction methods. In 2013 he founded The EcoBrick Exchange (EBE), a recycling non-profit, which aims to use upcycled plastic waste as a building material. Ian now also focuses on landscaping projects, education and training as his way of making a difference. We chatted about many of the myths around Ecobricks and how they can best be used to divert waste from landfill and microplastics from the ocean. Going into the conversation I was speculative about the use of Ecobricks but after understanding their place in the eco system I am totally convinced they can play an important role in tackling our plastic problem. Thanks Ian for your dedication and vision.
28 minutes | Jun 30, 2020
88: Manu Prakash - Democratising science
This weeks guest Manu Prakash, who I met at the design Indaba earlier this year, did his master’s and PhD in applied physics at MIT before founding the Prakash Lab at Stanford. “Manu works at the molecular scale to literally try and understand how the world really works. he is the co-inventor of the Foldscope and co-founder of Foldscope Instruments. Manu is dedicated towards inventing and distributing “frugal science” tools to democratize access to science , diagnostics of deadly diseases like malaria and convening global citizen science communities to tackle planetary scale environmental challenges such as mosquito surveillance or plankton surveillance by citizen sailors mapping the ocean The Foldscope is an idea that's more relevant now than ever. We are in my mind seeing the decentralisation of power on so many spheres and this is yet another. As we discuss in our conversation there has been a big loss of trust in science today because the funding system often builds in biases which are hard to overlook. Manu has the goal of democratising science through making it accessible to everyone which I find a thrilling and powerful idea. You can’t argue against something that is proven by hundreds or thousands of people. The recent months have shown again how polarised and distrustful many people are in science and for good reason, but with people like Manu pioneering projects like Foldscope, there is hope. Listen to our conversation to find out more.
67 minutes | Jun 23, 2020
87: Rowan le Roux - Business for good
As part of my Foodnext conference series I had the privilege to interview Rowan le Roux, who has been involved in sustainable activities for over 15 years from ecological economic research, to environmental finance to being sustainability manager within a large plastic manufacturer. Rowan believes, wholeheartedly, in business as a force for good and in the role that purpose driven businesses can play in restoring environmental and community systems in South Africa. Rowan is currently Operations Director at the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship South Africa where changing business for good is their business I learnt a hell of a lot in this conversation. Rowan is a powerhouse with such a depth of knowledge around the various aspects of how plastics are produced, used, recycled and has some fascinating thoughts on the situation we find ourselves in environmentally and economically and how we might move forward. We discussed everything from the gig economy, social entrepreneurship to circular economy and climate change. This is a must listen episode with many seeds for thought.
38 minutes | Jun 17, 2020
86: Catalina Lotero - Natural by design
Together with a multidisciplinary team, Catalina Lotero is tackling the global energy crisis with a surprisingly simple, plant-based idea. The Colombian-born American, who studied industrial design in Bogotá, Colombia, and is currently doing her Masters in design at Keio University in Tokyo, came up with the sustainable solution to solve a pressing problem. One in eight people worldwide does not have access to electricity, with 84% of them living in rural areas. Lotero’s ‘Raiki’ – essentially an autonomous generator – is sure to be a game-changing project. This conversation was one of the inspiring interactions I had at Design Indaba earlier this year. Catalina and I discussed how her ground breaking research works, the creative process, some of the larger issues facing us as humanity and a one of my biggest take aways was that some of the things we are doing to try and solve our problems might be creating even more. We also explored the concept of soft power where we can accept mistakes, be ok with being wrong and take a collaborative approach to solving problems. Enjoy this fat dose of inspiration.
79 minutes | Jun 8, 2020
85: Pavitray Pillay - Active awareness
This weeks guest, Pavitray Pillay, is the manager of the WWF (SASSI) program or Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative. She has been involved in consumer awareness, education, outreach and public engagement on sustainable seafood and marine conservation for the last 5 years. Coming from humble beginnings and a background in marine biology Pavs brings both passion and deep knowledge to the work she does. She is now heading up behaviour change at WWF using the experienced gained through the SASSI program combined with behaviour science to bring a new edge to the campaigns WWF are running aimed at driving real change. We went into detail on the mechanics of the SASSI program, whats working, where the challenges are where the biggest successes have been. We also had a fascinating discussion on behaviour change, how its been used commercially and medically and now how these tools can be used around environmental, climate related issues and plastics consumption here in South Africa. I really found this a stimulating and thought provoking conversation, enjoy.
37 minutes | Jun 2, 2020
84: Debbie Millman - Design your life
“Named “one of the most creative people in business” by Fast Company, and “one of the most influential designers working today” by Graphic Design USA, Debbie Millman is also an author, educator, curator and host of the Design Matters podcast. As the founder and host of Design Matters, one of the world’s first and longest running podcasts, Millman has interviewed nearly 500 artists, designers and cultural commentators over the past 14 years. Design Matters won a 2011 Cooper Hewitt National Design Award, in 2015 Apple designated it one of the best overall podcasts on iTunes, and in 2018 the show was honored by the Webby Awards. Debbie is the author of six books, her illustrations have appeared in publications such as The New York Times, New York Magazine, Print Magazine, Design Observer and Fast Company and her artwork appears in galleries across America. Debbie cofounded the world’s first graduate program in branding at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, was the President of Sterling Brands, one of the world’s leading branding consultancies, and has worked withn many of the worlds leading companies. She is frequently asked to speak internationally on design and branding and loves to travel. Debbie is currently working with Law & Order SVUactor and activist Mariska Hargitay’s Joyful Heart Foundation to eradicate sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse and the rape-kit backlog. Needless to say that it was an absolute honour for me to have Debbie on my podcast at Design Indaba 2020. We discussed a wide range of topics and our conversation ended up quite a philosophical one, discussing her personal visioning process that she does with her students, why people are not brands, some ideas about why we are addicted to things and she was very open about sharing some of her fears and struggles as a creative person. A lot has changed since this interview but we still remain the same flawed humans with the same needs and fears and I have no doubt you will be inspired by this amazing women and our conversation.
43 minutes | May 25, 2020
83: Nicki Russell - Big heart, big impact
Last year as part of the Foodnext series I had the privilege of chatting to Nicki Russell, head of Innovation at Pick n Pay. Nicki is a passionate foodie and product developer demonstrating a 20 year history of working across multiple categories in food retail. She is skilled in trend analysis, creating and landing new concepts and inspiring teams and suppliers to push product boundaries. Her world is “all about the product,” and the customer experience is key to ongoing growth. We had a great conversation focused on innovation in the retail space from supporting, growing and encouraging local small businesses to plastics, waste and food waste and how a large retailer like pick n Pay is pushing the envelope towards sustainability in South Africa. Its great to know that a large company like Pick n Pay still has a big heart and a willingness to change for the better for us all. Enjoy the conversation.
51 minutes | May 18, 2020
82: Vukheta Mukhari - Nature sees no waste
Earlier this year I had the privilege of attending the Design Indaba before lockdown. This weeks guest, similarly to last week really impressed me with his energy, passion and focus toward making our world a better place. A born innovator, Vukheta Mukhari was always going to be at the forefront of human knowledge. As a Masters candidate in civil engineering at the University of Cape Town (UCT) he is passionate about greening the economy, and the ground-breaking project he is currently involved with seeks to develop more eco-friendly building materials, such as bricks. What makes these ‘bio-bricks’ unique is that they are created from human urine. When not working in the lab, Mukhari drives a plastic pollution awareness campaign and is building smart technology that promises to revolutionise the health and fitness space. I thoroughly enjoyed my change with this bright inspiring young man and I am sure you will too.