Inspiring keynote speakers at Leverage Points 2019

by Lotte Lutz

The planning and organizing of the conference is gaining momentum while the deadline for the call for abstracts is coming closer. Meanwhile, we are very happy to present the keynote speakers of Leverage Points 2019 to you: inspiring personalities who are dedicated to study and facilitate transformational change.


Karen O’Brien is a professor in the Department of sociology and human geography at the University of Oslo, Norway. Karen’s current research focuses on the relationships between climate change adaptation and transformations to sustainability. The AdaptationCONNECTS project explores the conditions, approaches and paradigms that support transformations, including the role of creativity, collaboration, empowerment, and narratives. She is co-founder of, an initiative that supports transformation in a changing climate.


Ray Ison was appointed Professor of Systems at the Open University in 1994, his research and scholarship spans the biophysical and social and is primarily interdisciplinary and collaborative. Ray has had periods as head of the former Systems Department, Director of the Environmental Decision Making Program, and is currently involved in managing and presenting the post-graduate program in Systems Thinking in Practice (STiP). Ray also contributes to the activities of the Applied Systems Thinking in Practice (ASTiP) Group, including leading an initiative to create a LEVEL 7 (Masters) Apprenticeship for the Systems Thinking Practitioner based on the UK Apprenticeship Levy and undertaking international research.


Gogo Dineo Ndlanzi is celebrated as a sangoma, spiritual teacher, life coach and and professional African storyteller, poet, writer, dancer and facilitator. Gogo is a facilitator of change. She is passionate about enlightening people to view life from a different perspective through bringing about changes in outlook to allow for holistic healing. Gogo Dineo brings creativity to facilitate safe learning spaces and processes of social change. She is also a licensed Heal Your Life Teacher and certified Organisational Systems Coach.She is a well-known media and radio contributor. She has consulted with companies such as Nedbank, Standard Bank, FNB, Impala Mines, Anglo Platinum, the Gordon Institute of Business Science, Gautrain and Activate Architecture, amongst others.


Niki Frantzeskaki holds a PhD on ‘Dynamics of Sustainability transitions’ from Delft University of Technology and is an Associate Professor on Sustainability Transitions’ Governance at DRIFT, Faculty of Social Sciences at Erasmus University Rotterdam. She is working at DRIFT since 2010 where she researches contemporary sustainability transitions and their governance across Europe, USA, Brazil and in developing countries like Vanuatu, and Ghana. Niki is coordinating research on environmental governance, and urban sustainability transitions. She contributed as a lead expert in international dialogues and projects, being the lead expert in the European Union and Brazil platform of science exchange and co-production under the theme of innovating cities with nature-based solutions.

Ioan Fazey

Ioan Fazey is Director of the Centre for Environmental Change and Human Resilience at the University of Dundee and Professor in Social Dimensions of Environmental Change. He is an interdisciplinary researcher with current research focusing on resilience, adaptation, what it means to achieve equitable and sustainable societal transformations and the practices that can help facilitate such changes. Ioan‘s work has included international projects on diverse issues relating to ecosystem services, biodiversity, agricultural systems, social change, vulnerability and climate change. Professor Fazey is council steward on the SDG Transformation Forum and trustee of the University of the Third Horizon, of which both seek to build capacity for and support work that contributes to transformative change.

The Call for Abstracts is open until 30 June 2018.

You can register for the conference here.

For more information please visit:

If you have any specific enquiries about abstract submission please contact:

Feel free to distribute the conference flyer, available as a PDF here.

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