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'Steve Jobs of Green' to address Green Building Convention

Jason McLennan, known as the 'Steve Jobs of Green' in the built environment sector, will be the keynote international speaker at the 12th annual Green Building Convention, set for 2-4 October in Cape Town.

McLennan is a sought-after designer, consultant and thought-leader in the architecture and green building industry. He is renowned as a visionary, disruptor and game changer, whose work has made a strong impact on the shape and direction of green building around the world.

“We are excited to welcome Jason to the Green Building Convention stage. Our theme this year is about going beyond and we believe that he is the perfect thought-leader to inspire and move the built environment sector in South Africa forward,” said Dorah Modise, the CEO of the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA).

McLennan is the creator and chairman of the International Living Future Institute, a leading NGO that focuses on transformation towards a world that is socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative. He is also the founder and creator of the Living Building Challenge, which is widely recognised as the most progressive and stringent green-building programme.

Over the years McLennan has reaped many awards for his work, including the prestigious Buckminster Fuller Prize for socially responsible design, the World Changer Award from Green Biz Magazine, and Yes! Magazine voted him as one of the top 15 people who are helping to reshape the world.

He has penned five books, including Philosophy of Sustainable Design - regarded by many as the authoritative text on green building.

“The convention attracts humans and organisations that are not just talking about change, but actually doing something about it. We genuinely feel privileged to be part of it as it allows us to engage with and learn from the most beautiful minds in Africa,” said Edward Colle, CEO of Belgotex.

It’s the second year that Belgotex is bringing an international thought-leader on green to South Africa. Last year, they made it possible for delegates to learn from renowned environmentalist, Paul Hawken, who is the mastermind behind Project Drawdown – a comprehensive plan aimed at reversing global warming.

Buildings of the future

The convention is tackling a range of important topics to drive beyond thinking and will put the built environment in the spotlight, looking at the latest trends, global innovation and buildings of the future. It will also explore policy and leadership, investment and the value chain of the green building sector.

A major focus of the convention is on shaping the cities of tomorrow. Last year, the mayors of Tshwane, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban pledged their commitment to introducing requirements that will ensure that all new buildings are green. The convention will once again host a satellite session with all the relevant role-players on the C40 Cities South Africa Buildings Programme to evaluate its progress and map the way forward.

“People are at the heart of what we do, so the dialogue on building greener, healthier and sustainable spaces where people live, work, learn and play is critical as we look to the future. In South Africa we contend with a lot of unique historical challenges, so we have to ensure that our vision of future cities is inclusive, diverse and vibrant,” Modise added.
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