Better Living Challenge



Jul 02, 2014

An unprecedented panel of 47 experts is on a hunt for South Africa’s most affordable green solutions for low cost living!

JUNE 2014: An impressive number of experts have stepped up to the challenge of uncovering the country’s leading green ideas in the field of low-income housing. Drawn from across South Africa, and totaling 47 top-level thinkers in their respective fields, the panel boasts members with expertise in renewable energy, sustainability, green architecture, energy efficiency, education, business analysis, product and industrial design, interior design and the media. Tasked with evaluating 130 entries, they’re on the hunt for the finalists of the Better Living Challenge (BLC), a competition that aims to promote and take to market the very best affordable green ideas which are designed to improve low–cost living.

The BLC Selection Panel includes prominent thought leaders in their respective fields, such as Dr Jonathan Marks, Director of the Full Time MBA Programme
at the Gordon Institute of Business Science; Liza Cirolia, co-ordinator of the Sustainable Human Settlements CityLab at the African Centre for Cities and architect Olwethu Jack, previously of the Community Organisation Research Centre (CORC) and the South African Slum Dwellers International Alliance (SDI) and now Managing Director of Ubuntu Growing Minds Consultants; and a host of others. The full list is available on the competition website

Invited to participate in the BLC Selection process by the Cape Craft & Design Institute (CCDI), which has been charged with managing the rollout of the BLC, this Selection Panel is a formidable “think tank” around sustainability, green technology, affordability and marketability of innovative solutions. The BLC is part of the Western Cape Government’s 110% Green initiative, which encourages organisations to commit to the Green Economy. The BLC competition is intended to take powerful ideas to market and to provide a platform for consumers to experience and interact with innovative solutions.

“We need to find solutions for home improvement that are affordable, result in better living conditions and quality of life, and provide people with the choices and resources to help themselves at their own pace,” asserts CCDI Executive Director Erica Elk.

Because of these aims, the BLC was selected as an official project (WDC#204) of the Cape Town World Design Capital 2014 (WDC2014) programme. Designers and innovators, inventors and creators, students and professionals, manufacturers and retailers were encouraged to enter their ideas into the challenge. Three winners will each receive support worth R500 000 to facilitate commercializing their solution. Three student entries will each receive a R40 000 cash prize.

In order to ensure that the competition’s outcomes are unbiased, and that due process is respected during this selection phase, leading global auditors, KPMG have offered expertise in observing the scoring process.

Entries will be judged in their relevant entry categories, and have been matched to Selectors with top-level expertise in this particular arena. Every individual entry will be reviewed three times by three different Selectors. The BLC finalists will be announced mid-July this year. The finalists will then progress to a BLC Showcase and Exhibition, to be held in October this year. The Showcase will allow members of the public to vote on the various entries and this will contribute to the final scoring of the competition winners; those  whom will see their ideas come to life in the marketplace through half a million rand’s worth of support.

For more information: | Facebook – The Better Living Challenge | Twitter – @TheBLChallenge 

Issued On behalf of: Cape Craft & Design Institute (


BLC project manager Fran Cox | | 021 461 1488

110% Green Jenny Cargill, Special Advisor Office of the Premier, Western Cape

021 483 3380 |

WDC2014 Priscilla Urquhart PR and Media Manager | | 082 852 2428