ACDI Opportunities

Opportunities at, or through, the ACDI will be listed here as and when they are available.

Vacancy: Deputy Director of Team Science

Deadline: 17 June 2024

The African Synthesis Centre for Climate Change, Environment and Development (ASCEND) invites applications for the position of Deputy Director of Team Science. ASCEND is a research centre based in the African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI) at the University of Cape Town. The aim of ASCEND is to accelerate discoveries for more rapid, equitable, and sustained action on climate change and development for vulnerable people and places.

This is a senior leadership position in ASCEND. The role will include: leading the implementation of ASCEND strategy; designing the calls for ASCEND visiting research teams; managing the hosting and facilitation of research teams; leading on the evaluation process of ASCEND; mentorship of Postdoctoral Research Fellows; representing ASCEND at events locally and internationally; managing relationships with diverse ASCEND stakeholders; leading on aspects of capacity building for research teams; and developing and disseminating learning from transdisciplinary practices of ASCEND. The Deputy Director of Team Science for ASCEND will work with the ASCEND Scientific Director to ensure the success of the Centre.

For further information and application details, please click here


Using Design Thinking to Create Innovative Solutions for Climate-Related Issues in South Africa

The African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI) together with the Hasso Plattner School of Design Thinking at UCT (d-school Afrika) and the Bertha Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship are publishing a call for Expression of Interest from organizational teams working in the climate change space. Teams will participate in a bespoke programme integrating Design Thinking and Systems Innovation for practitioners. The programme includes a 5-Day Design Thinking in Practice workshop with the aim of co-creating human-centered innovative solutions that address real life climate-related issues of your choice. Some teams, where deemed suitable will be selected for the Systems Entrepreneurship Incubation Track in which they learn more about embedding a solution in society.

Click here for more information and details on how to apply


Where will the Design Thinking for Climate Solutions Programme take place?

The venue will depend on where the applying team resides. For example, if your team is based in Grahamstown, then the coaching team and organizers will travel to you and arrange for the programme to take place in a venue in Grahamstown.

What are the dates for the Design Thinking for Climate Solutions Programme?

We wanted to be flexible as we understand teams may have other commitments. Hence, we ask that each team indicate options of their availability during the period Dec 2023 – September 2024.  We will assess a team’s availability against our availability and negotiate a suitable date for undertaking the programme.

Does the Design Thinking for Climate Solutions Programme require you find you own team?

Yes, you will need to find people to work with and decide on a challenge you want to tackle. These can be people within or outside your organization, ensure that this is a South African based organization.

Design Thinking is best practiced within a team, offering multiple perspectives for collaboration and co-creation. You will need between 5-12 people to be eligible. The Design Thinking for Climate Solutions Programme is run separately for each team, giving a team individual attention. We work closely with each team to help them understand the challenge and find appropriate tangible solutions using Design Thinking and Systems Innovation.

What about the Entrepreneurship Incubation Track?

The Systems Entrepreneurship Incubation Track is an added element to Design Thinking for Climate Solutions Programme and is the available selected teams.

Successful teams will undergo the Design Thinking for Climate Solutions Programme during a 5-day period. During this period, we will assess the team’s eligibility for the Systems Entrepreneurship Incubation Track which should take place approximately 4-6 weeks after completing the Design Thinking for Climate Solutions Programme. This Track is a great opportunity for a team to engage with Systems Entrepreneurship experts and learn about embedding their solutions in society.

For more information about ACDI and UCT please visit and