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Earth Cast

Earth Cast

By Olivia Taylor
Earth Cast is a platform for discussions about bridging the resource gap between people and planet.

Olivia Taylor (@olivia_earth) will be interviewing a series of changemakers, thinkers, and disruptors and asking them about their areas of expertise.

Together we will discover fresh perspectives and the most useful levers in society for change.

The main question that will be explored is: how are trade-offs made between people, planet, and profit? More specifically, how do we solve wicked problems and make decisions at the margin?
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EP17 Aaniyah Omardien | World Oceans Day & The Importance of Community
In this episode Olivia Taylor speaks to Aaniyah Omardien about World Ocean's Day & restoring historic injustice, the innovative work being done by The Beach Co-Op, storytelling & the power of community, the colonial context of conservation in South Africa, the role of women and girls in the marine environment, and so much more! Aaniyah is an intersectional environmentalist living in Cape Town. She has worked in marine conservation for 17 years. After leaving WWF as the Acting Head of the Freshwater and Marine Programs in 2010, she consulted in the environmental sector and became a mother. In 2015 she started a voluntary group, with scientific advice from Professor Peter Ryan, that collected marine debris. In 2017, Aaniyah founded a non profit company, The Beach Co-op (TBCO), which emerged from these early informal gatherings. Aaniyah was selected as part of the first cohort of Women for the Environment in Africa and has embarked on this journey for 2021 with 20 other African women. In addition, she is a registered PhD student at the Education and Learning Research Centre at the university currently known as Rhodes University. To follow more of Aaniyah's work, you can find her on Instagram @aani_crab or through the @thebeachco_op news streams.
June 7, 2021
EP16 Samir Randera-Rees | Water Wars & Poverty Traps
In this episode Olivia Taylor speaks to Samir Randera-Rees about the importance of intergenerational storytelling, Strategic Water Source Areas (SWSAs), poverty traps & environmental degradation, building stakeholder trust, understanding & respecting community needs & their solutions, and so much more! Samir is the programme manager for Water Source Areas at WWF-SA and has a Masters in Conservation Ecology, and a Conservation Leadership MBA from the African Leadership University. He is the Founder and CEO of Whispers of the Wild and a former presenter on 50|50. Samir and the WWF team have helped to make the Water Source Areas one of the country’s highest conservation priorities, and mobilised tens of millions of rands into these areas, which has gone towards empowering communal farmers, clearing thirsty alien trees, building youth capacity in the green economy and starting green businesses. This work earned him recognition when he won the Mail & Guardian Greening the Future award. Samir’s overarching approach to conservation is that it can only be effective with a good scientific understanding of the systems that you are working in, as well as an understanding of the hearts, minds and ambitions of the communities that interact with them. To follow more of Samir's work, you can find him on Instagram @samirrr_photography or through the WWFSA news platforms.
June 3, 2021
EP15 Elzanne Singels | Plants! Conservation vs Commercialisation
In this episode Olivia Taylor speaks to Elzanne Singels about the wonders of fynbos, archeology & how human's relationships with plants have changed: conservation to commercialisation, the inaccessibility of nature & biodiversity in South Africa, the role of plants in human evolution, the dangers of industrial agriculture, and so much more! Elzanne is a botanist and archaeologist interested in the plants which kept ancient humans alive and how. Elzanne has published widely and has worked as an environmental consultant in the fields of plant conservation, vegetation rehabilitation, sustainable agriculture and archaeo-botany for the past 5 years. Specifically, she is passionate about the importance of Fynbos plants in our species evolution, "the plants in this fynbos ecosystem literally fed us as our species evolved. This leads organically to how we interact with these plants nowadays: from conservation to commercialisation" (Elzanne Singels). To follow more of Elzanne's work, you can find her on Instagram @elzannesingels.
May 31, 2021
EP14 Niharika Elety | Regenerative Fashion
In this episode Olivia Taylor speaks to Niharika Elety about regenerative fashion, sustainable supply chains and the people behind them, the real cost of a garment & affordability, the role humans play in the ecosystem, greenwashing, and so much more! Niha is a Creative Artist and Sustainability Activist on Instagram. She uses fashion, art and heritage as a vehicle to bring awareness about sustainability and its importance. Her platform looks to amplify and incorporate Indian heritage to bring inclusivity to the sustainable fashion and environmental movement. She is passionate about using media to amplify social and environmental justice initiatives and BIPOC knowledge. Niha is also the Founder and Co-creator at Tega Collective a sustainable fashion brand that champions Adivasi communities from India and their textile traditions. To follow more of Niha's work, you can find her on Instagram @nihaelety.
May 27, 2021
EP13 Jolynn Minnaar | Fracking, Film & The Future of Energy
In this episode Olivia Taylor speaks to Jolynn Minnaar about fracking in the Karoo, economic development & job opportunities, gender-based violence, storytelling, dispelling myths about the gas industry, the possibility of a just renewable energy transition & divesting, climate change, Eskom's rolling power cuts, building inclusive wildlife filmmaking communities, and so much more! Jolynn Minnaar is a filmmaker who focuses on stories that matter. She is an award winning South African director who I have often heard described as fearless. Her films have screened at many prestigious festivals and for her documentary work, she is one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South Africans, Glamour Women of the Year as well as a member of the prestigious 21 Icon family. Jo's passion lies in capturing intimate, insightful portraits that challenge perceptions and inspire new thought. To follow more of Jolynn's work, you can find her on Instagram @Jolynnminnaar.
May 25, 2021
EP12 Andile Ngcobo | Agribusiness, Bees & Opportunities
In this episode Olivia Taylor speaks to Andile Ngcobo about financial savviness, agriculture supply chain trends, the transition from subsistence production to commercial farming & the use of pesticides, bees & climate resilience, upskilling, the limitless career opportunities that lie in the agri sector, and agriculture as a viable investment opportunity. Andile Siphesihle Ngcobo is a 27-Year-old farmer in Pietermaritzburg, managing Tusokuhle Farming (Pty) Ltd. He is an experienced Farm Manager skilled in Strategic Management, Sustainable Development, Business and Agricultural Production Planning, Public Speaking, and Leadership. Andile was on the front cover of the Farmers Weekly in January 2019 and holds a Diploma in Agriculture from Cedara College of Agriculture in KwaZulu-Natal. To follow more of Andile's work, you can find him on Instagram @as_ngcobo.
May 20, 2021
EP11 Maxine Gray | Philanthropy vs Impact Investing | Partnership or Competition?
In this episode Olivia speaks to Maxine Gray about the history and role of the sustainable development goals, financial services’ ability to enable responsible and impact seeking investment behaviours, the role of philanthropy in achieving the SDGs and its potential to focus on creating strong partnerships, tackling global problems with local innovation, and so much more! Maxine Gray is passionate about the intersection of sustainable development, business strategy, human behaviour and being a catalyst for societal change. She has a Bcomm (Economic Science, Management and Business Finance) and a Bcomm Honours (Business Finance and Investment) but considers herself to be a lifelong learner. Within her role at Investec Wealth & Investment she focuses on driving the development and implementation of business strategy, change management, and sustainability.  Additionally, Maxine is a Philanthropy Consultant working with Private Client Charitable Foundations in developing their strategic philanthropic direction of achieving sustainable societal upliftment. Maxine is a UN Young SDG Innovator Alumni and Mentor on the 2021 Young SDG Innovators programme with the United Nations Global Compact focusing on sustainable business, innovation and the Sustainable Development Goals. Maxine was named the UN Global Compact Network SDG Pioneer for South Africa in 2020. The foundation of her career is in Risk Management and Governance as a former Operational Risk Manager within IW&I SA. Maxine is a One Young World Ambassador and Board member of imagine.nation (NPO) focusing on early childhood development and entrepreneurship in rural communities within South Africa. To follow more of Maxine’s work, you can find her on Instagram @MaxineGray.
May 13, 2021
EP10 Jackie May | Fast Fashion Hot Planet
In this episode Olivia Taylor speaks to Jackie May about fashion as a positive force for good, Twyg & independent media, generational needs & conspicuous consumption, capitalist greed, inclusivity along the value chain, the power of storytelling, and then Jackie flips the switch and asks Olivia a question too! Jackie founded Twyg in response to a need for compelling stories about sustainability and circular design. This is also based on her conviction that story-telling is a powerful tool for transformation. Twyg, a media, events and projects platform, has a strong focus on fashion, design and people. They have created a learning hub for designers and launched the Twyg Sustainable Fashion Awards in 2019. Jackie is also passionate about research and continues to consult and remembers a career in big and medium-sized mainstream media organisations for more than 20 years. When she’s not producing content for her site, she’s freelancing for newspapers and magazines. She is a graduate of Stellenbosch University, University of South Africa and University of London. To follow more of Jackie’s work, you can find her on Instagram @JackieMay_SA.
May 10, 2021
EP09 Denisha Anand | Restorative Justice & Indigenous Plant Intimacies
In this episode Olivia Taylor speaks to Denisha Anand about the layered historic injustices of the Cape Town fires, intersectional environmentalism, indigenous plant practices, holistic approaches to care, ancestry and, the criticism of hardcore sciences as being too linear. Denisha is an intersectional environmentalist working in marginalized biodiversity spaces characterised by racialised neglect. She holds a BSc degree in Biodiversity and Conservation Biology, a BSc Hons in Biodiversity and Conservation Biology and, is currently completing a Masters degree in multispecies ethnography and plant knowledge systems at the University of the Western Cape, research site Kamiesberg, Northern Cape. Denisha is also the environmental/restoration project manager and oversees the management of a 109ha wetland system in Cape Town called Princess Vlei. She is a progressive environmental educator and advocate for restoration and rehabilitation of neglected biodiversity areas associated with BIPOC and, in particular, illegal evictions and abuse against displaced people. To follow more of Denisha’s work, you can find her at or @vegetal_involutioist/@theplanthropologist.
May 6, 2021
EP08 Bonné de Bod | Filmmaking & Authentic Documentary
In this episode Olivia Taylor speaks to Bonné de Bod about the links between air pollution, cancer and rhino poaching, the role of governments in species conservation, traditional medicines, dispelling racist myths, Stroop Documentary and more! Bonné is an award-winning television presenter and filmmaker, and well-known for her in-depth reporting on wildlife and environmental issues. She has been on South Africa's popular wildlife and environment programme 50/50 for nearly a decade which is known as the longest running wildlife and environmental television programme in the world. She is also a special correspondent for SABC's Newsroom and kykNET's Grootplaas. In addition her series 'Rhino Blog' is on DStv's People's Weather where it is ranked the most popular show. Bonné has also produced and presented in 'STROOP', a documentary feature film on the rhino poaching crisis. Her in-depth knowledge from four years filming on the ground and doing undercover work in Asia has led to Bonné facilitating discussions on illegal wildlife trafficking for the United Nations Environment Programme as well as talks on radio, film festivals and wildlife symposiums. To follow more of Bonné's work you can find her on Twitter @Bonne_de_Bod.
April 22, 2021
EP07 Yusuf Omar | Celebrating Diverse Voices Through Storytelling
In this episode Olivia Taylor speaks to Yusuf Omar about transparency and independence in journalism, social media algorithms, what makes a top news story, "eco-anxiety", and digital activism! Yusuf Omar is a Co-founder of Hashtag Our Stories, which is a global video publisher reaching millions of people daily on social media platforms. Hashtag Our Stories have empowered over 10,000 trained mobile journalists across 140 countries. However, Yusuf’s career started with the more traditional route and was the former CNN Senior Social Media Reporter. Yusuf has won international acclaim as a multi award winning journalist and has spoken on TEDx and even worked as a correspondent documenting wars in Syria and Congo. To follow more of Yusuf's work, you can find him on Instagram and Twitter @YusufOmarSA.
April 8, 2021
EP06 Edie Lush | Are the Sustainable Development Goals Achievable?
In this episode Olivia Taylor speaks to Edie Lush about how to motivate change using storytelling, the inclusivity of the Sustainable Development Goals, purpose, profit, and so much more! Edie Lush is a British-American journalist & author, the executive editor of Hub Culture, a communication trainer and MC. She is co-host for the award winning Global Goals Cast podcast which tells the stories of the champions making the world a better place. And as such, Edie has thousands of interviews under her belt. In her role as Executive Editor at Hub Culture she is responsible for creating impactful social media content around the globe, from events in Davos to the UN General Assembly in New York to the COP Climate Summits. Eide has been the Economics and Political correspondent for Bloomberg Television, a columnist at The Week magazine and the Associate Editor of Spectator Business magazine. Her work has appeared in many publications including Prospect, the Spectator and the BBC. She runs her own business providing senior Leaders, Influencers, Academics and Executives with Communication training - focusing now on increasing impact in both online and in person appearances. To follow more of Edie's work, you can find her on Instagram and Twitter @EdieLush
April 1, 2021
EP05 Gracelin Baskaran | Creating Equitable Economic Growth
In this episode Olivia Taylor speaks to Gracelin Baskaran about development economics, the complexity of the sustainability polycrisis, mining, and making decisions at the margin! Gracelin is a consultant economist for the World Bank. She is a US-national with experience living and working in Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe and North America. Gracelin is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Faculty of Economics at the University of Cape Town, where she undertakes research on balancing social spending with fiscal sustainability. Gracelin has published widely and was a Fulbright Fellow and holds an MPhil and PhD in Development Economics from the University of Cambridge. To follow more of Gracelin’s work you can sign up to her newsletter
March 27, 2021
EP04 Ben Goldsmith | Rewilding & Biophilia: How to Re-Enchant Nature?
In this episode Olivia Taylor speaks to Ben Goldsmith about regenerative farming, politics (Common Agricultural Policy vs Environmental Land Management Scheme), beavers, bears, boars, awakening to the ecological collapse and, indigenous knowledge. Ben is the co-founder and CEO of Menhaden Capital, a London-listed investment trust with a focus on energy and resources. However, Ben has many other interests which boast a huge diversity: Some of these include: Chair of the Conservative Environment Network, Trustee of the Children's Investment Fund Foundation, Co-founder of the UK Environmental Funders' Network, Executive producer of Fire in Babylon, a film on the great, undefeated West Indies cricket team of 1975-1991 and, the Co-founder of the Ibiza Preservation Fund, the Aeolian Islands Preservation Fund and the St Vincent and the Grenadines Preservation Fund. To follow more of Ben's work you can find him on Twitter @BenGoldsmith.
March 19, 2021
EP03 James Mwenda | The Violence & Peace of Game Ranging
In this episode Olivia Taylor speaks to James Mwenda about hope & optimism, species conservation, poaching & the threat of extinction, education and, so much more! James is a member of the rhino unit team at @olpejeta Conservancy in central Kenya, where he and his teammates provide care and protection for the last northern white rhinos in existence. A 2018 recipient of the African Ranger of the Year Award, James has become a global ambassador for conservation and the realities of extinction. To follow more of James' work you can find him on Instagram @jemu_mwenda.
March 11, 2021
EP02 Aunnie Patton Power | (Ad)Venture Finance
In this episode Olivia Taylor speaks to Aunnie Patton Power about impact investing, climate change, distributive ownership and, how to get involved with accelerators! Aunnie is the founder of Intelligent Impact, A firm working in technology for social impact advisory, and a university lecturer on Innovative Finance, Impact Investing and Technology for Impact.  Aunnie is also, an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Skoll Centre for Entrepreneurship, an Associate Fellow at the University of Oxford's Saïd Business School, a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics' Marshall Institute and Adjunct Faculty at the University of Cape Town's Graduate School of Business. To follow more of Aunnie's work you can find her on Twitter @Aunnie.
March 4, 2021
EP01 Wandile Sihlobo | Agriculture, Land Reform & Economics
In this episode Olivia Taylor speaks to Wandile Sihlobo about inclusive growth, permaculture, land expropriation without compensation, and so much more!  Wandile Sihlobo is the Chief Economist of the Agricultural Business Chamber of South Africa (Agbiz) and the author of “Finding Common Ground: Land, Equity, and Agriculture.” He was appointed as a member of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Presidential Economic Advisory Council in 2019 after serving on the Presidential Expert Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture between 2018 and 2019.  To follow more of Wandile's work you can find him on Twitter @WandileSihlobo.
February 28, 2021