Climate change: cutting to the chase

Roving Reporter’s director, Fred Kockott, cut to the chase in launching a series of seminars on Critical Conversations in Sustainability at Regent Business School in Durban last night. Zamo Phungula reports.

“How does one train future business leaders to be more environmentally responsible?” asked Kockott.

Roving Reporters director, Fred Kockott.   Photo: Zamo Phungula

Kockott’s question followed the screening of two short videos, Our Future narrated by Morgan Freeman and a Big Think interview with Andrew Winston: Business Can Play a Profitable Role in Combating Climate Change.

Whie Freeman’s video – the opening film at the United Nations Climate Summit in New York in 2014 – argues that climate change is solvable, Winston gives advice on how business can make it possible.

Responding to Kockott’s question on the training of business leaders, Ahmed Shaik, the managing director of Regent, said the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provided good guidelines.

But guidelines themselves were not enough, said Shaik.

“Meaningful discussions such as these happening right now, will inform and contribute toward change we need,” said Shaik.

Regent’s opening Critical Conversations seminar attracted a diverse crowd of opinion makers last night. Photo: Zamo Phungula

Prior to the screening of the videos, Kockott challenged the audience to think about the welfare of generations to come, quoting 87-year-old, native American, Oren Lyons.

“In our way of life, in our government, with every decision we make, we always keep in mind the Seventh Generation to come.
It’s our job to see that the people coming ahead, the generations still unborn, have a world no worse than ours – and hopefully better. 
When we walk upon Mother Earth we always plant our feet carefully because we know the faces of our future generations are looking up at us from beneath the ground. We never forget them.”

Oren Lyons is a leading human rights and environmental activist, and author of numerous books. Click here to read more about the man.

Today, journalist Lyse Comins will present a follow up discussion on Sustainable Development Goals – Business Beyond Usual. The panelists are Helen North, the Provincial Executive Manager of Stats South Africa, and Hyacinthia Naidoo, the chief policy analyst for EThekweni municipality’s Environmental Planning and Climate Protection department.

The seminar gets underway at 2 pm at Regent Business School’s Institute for Entrepreneurship.

For further information contact Portia Ntetha on 031 304 4626 or email

“Organisations do not transform unless people at the top of the organisations adopt new values and change behaviours. The organisational culture for sustainability reflects the personality of the current leadership and brand image of the company. ” – Ahmed Shaik, Managing director, Regent Business School.

“Leadership is about showing the way, by going in advance, and influencing the behaviour of others. It includes introducing new business behaviour, practices, or technologies, which demonstrate that sustainable development is possible.” Professor Yusuf Karodia, Principal, MANCOSA.


1 thought on “Climate change: cutting to the chase”

  1. Great write up . . . Highly appreciated. It was an engaging session last night and indeed a diverse audience. The questions posed were succinct and captured the nuances of Sustainability, which is most relevant at this time as planet earth is being slowly destroyed by capitalist imperatives and human failings. It is hoped that we at Regent Business School will play a meaningful role, in some small measure to deal with the vexing problematic of climate change and sustainability issues more comprehensively. It is hope that the 12 part series that runs up to October 2017 will capture the minds and hearts of people attending, in order to contribute to this important narrative for the sake of our children and their children. The ball is in the court of governments and every citizen of the world.

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