Sustainability Institute (SI)
The Sustainability Institute is an international living and learning centre for studies and experience in ecology, community and spirit. Rooted in practice and applied research, learning for sustainability is the core mission of the Sustainability Institute. The aim is to educate and inspire a generation that will take leadership on sustainability challenges in government, business and communities.
The Sustainability Institute was established in 1999 as an educational institution to advance learning for sustainable living. Located in the Lynedoch Eco-Village near Stellenbosch, it focuses on combining practice with theory in a way that integrates ecology and equity in support of a sustainable South Africa, with special reference to reducing and eradicating poverty. It is engaged in research, teaching and a number of community outreach projects aimed at embedding sustainability in the local context, particularly with respect to early childhood development and youth education. Specific programmes include:
- a Master’s in Sustainable Development, with specialisations in global trends in sustainability, sustainable agriculture, development planning and renewable energy (in partnership with the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies)
- a transdisciplinary Doctoral programme in partnership with the Centre for the Study of Sustainability and Complexity (known as the TsamaHUB);
- transdisciplinary applied research that addresses the specific problems and challenges faced by partner institutions in government, civil society and business;
- capacity building programmes aimed at building grassroots leadership across key sectors, in particular early childcare, housing, agriculture, social enterprises and community development;
- using the knowledge gained from the building of the local Lynedoch EcoVillage (including preschool and primary school for farmworker children, small business development, first mixed income ecological housing development in SA, organic farming, land reform, indigenous gardens, etc) to design and develop viable socially mixed sustainable neighbourhoods.
The Sustainability Institute Trust (IT3011/99) is registered as a Non-Profit Organisation (051-245-NPO) with the Department of Social Development and as a Public Benefit Organisation with section 18A status (930020419) with SARS. A valid tax clearance certificate and a level 2 BBBEE certificate are available on request. The SI employs around 35 staff members and obtains funding from and/or provides services to a wide range of local and overseas individuals, businesses and government agencies.