Photo: ©  Michael Groenewald

The Accidental Runner

This is an adapted version of a feature that appeared in a local running magazine recently. 

'Just shy of her 40th birthday, science writer Leonie Joubert stumbled upon trail running. Now, a few years after her 'peak', she's heavier, slower, and has dropped to the back of the pack. But she's still convinced that we really are all born to run.'






Leonie was commissioned by the urban food farming initiative, the Oranjezicht City Farm, to tell their stories. Written in collaboration with some of the OZCF volunteers. Out in late 2016.  





FLOW: 'Fostering Local Wellbeing'

Leonie co-wrote the short book which captures the stories of FLOW: 'a two-year long... research project that took place in two South African municipalities, from August 2014 to September 2016. The project engaged out-of-work, out-of-school local youth to build both individual and community capacity to thrive and innovate in the face of the growing challenges of climate change, resource depletion and inequality.' 



Photo: © Sydelle Willow Smith

City Desired

This is a collaborative exhibition which tells the story of ten Capetonians in the face of many of the city's development challenges. Local writers, photographers and film makers worked together to produce this cross-disciplinary work with the University of Cape Town's African Centre for Cities. Leonie wrote two of these stories. 

The Farmer - about the city's foodscapes.

The Entrepreneur - climate change in informal settlements.


  Photo: © Michael Groenewald

Photo: © Michael Groenewald

Burning the Karoo

'For one week each year, a temporary village blossoms in the desert of the Tankwa Karoo. To some, it’s home to an orgy of self-expression, psychedelics, and dancing. Beneath it lies an ethos that’s about finding new ways to solve old societal problems. At a time when we have to share an over-stretched, tightly packed planetary life support system, learning to play nicely together has never been more urgent. Curly the ’Burner went on an epic trip in search of fiery effigies, protest art, and the spirit of AfrikaBurn.'

  Photo: © Leonie Joubert

Photo: © Leonie Joubert

The Ruin

Unpublished essay, written in March 2015 as part of course work for the doctoral programme with the University of Cape Town's  Environmental Humanities South

  Photo: © Rob Tarr

Photo: © Rob Tarr

Escape to a Lonely Island

'When Leonie Joubert voyaged to Marion Island, she found more than just the fingerprint of climate change. She found herself.' Getaway, August 2014.  

Photo ©  Derek Keats

View from Southern Africa

The energy 'landscape' in South Africa is  changing so quickly, that articles on the matter are almost out-of-date before the ink has even dried on them. Energy Transitions is a bi-monthly blog in 2015 and 2016 which tries to keep pace with events. It's an exciting time to be writing about the energy transition in the Global South. 






Leonie works with the University of Cape Town's Environmental Policy Research Unit (EPRU) to help get their research out to a wider audience. EPRU is the regional chapter of the Environment for Development (EfD) initiative, based at the University of Gothenburg, and is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). 

Read some of the latest EPRU news here