Robert does not believe in the status quo! He believes in and works towards a society that is prepared to think and act differently in tackling poverty, corruption, environmental degradation, rampant materialism and other injustices.
Robert tries (and it can be a struggle) not to be motivated by values such as status, image and social power, wealth and possessions. Instead, he prioritises deeper values such as helpfulness, equality and responsibility, justice, empathy, inner harmony, wisdom and meaning in life. And he strives to express these in his worldview and work.
He considers himself to be a cultural creative – an activist for change that benefits all – and assists organisations and individuals develop the understanding and ability to drive positive change. In this regard, Robert offers a range of project management, training and advisory services.
Prior to charting a new course, Robert worked as an engineer for the steel company Iscor (Pretoria and Vanderbijlpark), management consultant for Deloitte (Johannesburg) and Booz Allen Hamilton (Frankfurt), business development director for an Internet start-up, DigiCash, (Amsterdam) and as a venture capitalist for Catalyst Innovation Incubator (Cape Town).
In 2005, he began working in the corporate sustainability consulting field, initially with Incite and a few years later independently. Robert is a previous board member of the climate change NGO Project 90. He regularly gives presentations and workshops on sustainability-related issues and he has worked with legendary explorer and environmentalist, Robert Swan, as a lecturer on one of his 2041 Antarctic Expeditions for international managers. Robert (Z) is also an Al Gore-trained a Climate Reality Leader. During 2009, he published the book Bending the Curve – Your guide to tackling climate change in South Africa – now also available as a free e-book.
More than occasionally, Robert's concern about environmental and social issues leads him to being an activist. In 2009, he cycled 2 900 km across South Africa giving numerous presentations to raise awareness about climate change ahead of the Copenhagen (COP15) negotiations. During this trip, he was made an Indalo Yethu (South Africa’s environmental campaign) eco-ambassador. Robert has also organised a number of 350.org protests to raise awareness about climate change.
In his spare time he can be found reading, doing yoga, or escaping into the backcountry to go rock climbing and hiking. He has climbed a number of high peaks around the world.
He has a BSc in Mechanical Engineering (University of Cape Town), an MSc in Industrial Engineering (University of Witwatersrand) and an MBA (Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, Netherlands).