Meet some of the incredible youth that are working to secure our future and the future of our planet

This week Spark Talks asked a big question – is it too late to save our planet? On stage we met some incredible young people who are taking charge of their future and working to doing exactly this. They don’t believe it is too late, but they believe in implementing innovative change for a sustainable future.

In the audience pupils from Mfuleni High, Bloubergrant High School, Curro Academy Sandown and Generation School Imhoff were introduced to some inspiring and world-altering inventions and initiatives that are working to secure our future. Meet some of the youngsters who are changing the fate of our planet:

Fionn Ferreira working to rid our water from micro plastics

This Irish teenager has been named the overall winner of the 2019 Google Science Fair. His project focused on the removal of micro plastics from water which he is now working on expanding to a bigger scale to create safe drinking water for humans and animals and to help protect the environment. To lessen his carbon footprint, Fionn dialed in via Skype.

Rikalize Reinecke working on food security

18-year-old matric student Rikalize is working on producing high quality healthy food in a large scale and then to equip communities with skills and alternative solutions to create their own food.

Rikalize is an aquaponics and aquaculture entrepreneur and uses a symbiotic system incorporating plants and fish which contributes to the sustainability of the project.

Generation School Imhoff pupils who are taking environmental management as a subject

Cape Town based Generation School Imhoff became the first school globally to implement environmental management as a compulsory subject for students – creating a young, educated and informed generation of people who understand and are passionate about the environment and restoring what is left.

Chisomo Phiri working on Eco-Friendly and Liveable Neighbourhoods

Architect Chisomo Phiri a professional architect and PhD candidate has been working on an Eco-Friendly and the Liveable Neighbourhoods research project. Phiri believes that we have to start seeing ourselves as part of the environment and thus build smarter.

Growth without control is unsustainable and in our cities we need a new paradigm where people, profit and planet is one.

Edgar Edmund –  transforming trash into building material

19-year-old Edgar is the CEO of Green Ventures Tanzania. He recycles plastic waste into cheap and affordable building products such as paving blocks, roofing tiles and plastic lumber.

Edgar’s venture aims to help people to build houses but also helps to promote environmental sustainability. He employs 5 people that create bricks and they are paid according to the number of bricks they produce. 100 people a day collect plastic all over the streets of Arusha, Tanzania, for his project.

Thalita Noble from Two Oceans Aquarium

There’s a lot we can learn from turtles, and Thalita not only helps to rehabilitate these fragile creatures but has taken to heart the lessons we as humans can learn from them and implement in our daily lives. Thalita runs the Turtle Rescue, Rehabilitation and Release programme at the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town. She believes turtles are ocean ambassadors – they speak not only to the threats or oceans face but also the resilience of our marine environment


There is a group of young children in Cape Town who are nuts about the toads in their direct environment, and have gone to great lengths to protect them. Toadnuts is a volunteer group determined to save the Western Leopard Toad our local spotty hero. Toadnuts (Noordhoek’s Unpaid Toad Savers) was started in 2007 by Suzie J’kul and Alison Faraday. Suzie was driving down our main road late one winter’s night and saw many toads being killed while trying to cross. Neither she nor Alison realised that this would be the start of a huge community effort spanning many years as local residents got involved to save our toads.