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Our Team

Lauren Hermanus
Founder / Director

“I am most excited by the power of imagination to make possible as yet unknown futures. This capability, which we all share, is fundamental to the creation of a just, inclusive and sustainable world.”

Lauren has more than ten years of experience in sustainable development research and practice. During her career, she has worked in the private and public sectors, academia, and with NGOs, focusing on sustainable energy transitions, urban resilience and green economic development. Through how we adapt, she has initiated the Just Urban Transitions project, which aims to understand and support the low-carbon transition across levels of organisation in policy, planning and implementation.


Lauren has an academic background in complexity and systems thinking (Master of Art in Philosophy) and development (Master of Philosophy in Development Policy and Practice). 


Through her work, she has demonstrated her particular interest in decentralised development and collaborative, distributed solutions to complex problems.

Amanda-Leigh O'Connell

 “If one considers the complexity and uncertainty that characterises contemporary society, managing risk has become as important as creating value and generating impact. The financial sector, as key risk management institutions, are well-positioned to play a key role to support the flow of capital to manage risk for the public good”.

Amanda-Leigh has twenty years of experience working in various roles in banking and finance, business management, academia and research. Her academic qualifications include a Bachelor of Business Science with Honours in Finance (UCT) as well as a Master of Commerce (UWC) by research on corporate social responsibility as a risk management response to inequality and inefficiency. Proficient in financial analysis and deal evaluation, she has worked across a range of industries in African markets, including energy, soft and hard commodities, property and aviation. She has also lectured Business Finance and Financial Management at the University of the Western Cape.


Building on her finance and business base, her current interests lie in exploring opportunities to leverage the financial sector as a fulcrum to address society’s most pressing social and environmental challenges using risk management as a conceptual framework

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