Guy Lieberman

20 April

Founder / The Giant Flag


"Conscious Capitalism - The Integrated View: Capital, Humanity and the Earth"


The Giant Flag is a 66 hectare South African Flag, made up of two and half million coloured desert succulents and a 4 megawatt solar field. It will be established on municipal land on the outskirts of Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape Karoo. The Giant Flag project will layer several streams of environmental, social and economic activity under one over-arching project, that will extend over decades. The concept is to take one Karoo municipality, the Camdeboo, made up of the three towns of Graaff-Reinet, Aberdeen and Nieu-Bethesda, and generate a socio-economic shift so effective that it will change the course of that community forever. All the jobs linked to the Giant Flag, either through direct employment, small, medium and micro enterprise (SMME) incubation or contract, will be considered green collar. All public tenders will favour Camdeboo citizens and companies as a priority, extending to the broader Eastern Cape. The Giant Flag project will be a direct example of how a zero-carbon, innovation economy can function and succeed, while simultaneously generating a national pride campaign, the impact of which will be felt by the local community, throughout the nation, and across the globe. The Giant Flag will be a manmade natural phenomenon, viewable from space. A NPO Trust has been formed to oversee the running of the project, and will do this through the creation of an endowment fund—the express purpose of which is to generate further opportunities in the innovation, green and social sectors in the Camdeboo and Karoo, as well as facilitate an education fund for the poorest schools and students in the region. .


“I am a social innovator, green entrepreneur, human rights activist and former filmmaker. Since the early 90's I’ve been involved in a variety of projects promoting global citizenship and ethical sustainability, both from advisory and leadership roles. My focus is to collaborate with thought leaders, captains of industry and sustainability experts to explore innovative ways to address balancing the scales of ecosystem security and human development. As an activist, I have and continue to act as liaison for the visits of HH the Dalai Lama to South Africa, and have proactively campaigned for Tibetan freedom since 1994; including facilitating both meetings between the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela. I was also co-Director of the PeaceJam Foundation South Africa, which creates apprenticeships in peacemaking between teens and Nobel Peace Laureates. As a filmmaker, I produced and directed documentaries on topics ranging from culture, music and the environment. I was one of the Tällberg Forum’s 2010 Changemakers, and now head up the FCB Foundation. Since mid-2010, I’ve been wholly dedicated to the creation of the Giant Flag, an FCB initiative that seeks to create an iconic South African tourist destination, an idea I came up with following the 2010 World Cup Soccer. ”


Why do you want to be part of UCT Upstarts? “Why has it taken so long for a university to realise the value of this new narrative? UCT Upstarts is the language all students should be speaking.”

HOW DO YOU ‘IMAGINE A NEW AFRICA’? “An Africa blending ancient wisdom with cleantech infrastructure, caring for her people & building Co2-neutral cities; vast permaculture farms feeding the planet. ”