Mokena Makeka – Bioeconomy as the Next Industrial Revolution

Jun 28, 2024

Bioeconomy is the sixth industrial revolution that is upon humanity, argues Mokena Makeka, Special Advisor and Architect, The Cooper Union in a session at IUFRO2024 World Congress. Bioeconomy has a number of key components such as nature based solutions, innovative design and replacing non-renewable resources – where forest based solutions can play an important role.

Mokena Makeka explains the sixth industrial revolution as a planet-centered approach and a critical way of addressing the polycrisis consisting of aspects such as increased and unchecked pollution into the atmosphere, degraded landscapes, extreme weather patterns, poor land use management, as well as waste management.

“We need to think very carefully about what type of world are we able to achieve between now and 2050.”

Urban development and urban centres have an important role to play and Mokena Makeka argues that we need to start looking at our urban centres as bioeconomic opportunities.

“Cities will be the site of the most rapid evolution of living in human history. This is a result, not only of the demographic change that we are seeing, but it’s also in terms of how cities have evolved as both sites of extraction or products of extraction. Cities need to be imagined as sites of production, particulary nature-positive, regenerational production” he said.

In his session he also highlighted the importance of concepts such as Climate Smart Urbanism, an approach to architecture and urban development and planning that considers both challenges and opportunities due to climate change, Socio-Spatial justice to ensure that all individuals and communities have access to essential resources, services and opportunities, regardless of their location, and Bio-Innovation.

Watch the recorded session with Mokena Makeka: