Title: Co-Director
Hometown: Queensland, Australia
Qualification: PhD (UQ); MSc (cum laude); B.App.Sci (Hons)
Email address: leif.petersen@livelihoods.org.za

Leif is a social entrepreneur with a range of research and personal interests pertaining to people and the environment, informal economy culture and business practice. Leif completed his PhD in 2013 with the University of Queensland, studying Cape Town’s informal economy of natural resources and traditional medicines. He is an extra-ordinary Senior Lecturer with PLAAS at the University of the Western Cape, where he recently concluded a Post-Doctoral fellowship in informal food markets within the township economy. He has further consulted and advised at all levels of the private and public sectors, academia and international agencies. Leif jointly founded SLF in 2010 and has lived in South Africa for over twenty years.

For a more in-depth and comprehensive view of Leif’s publication history, please visit his profile on Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.co.za/citations?user=WxwweTUAAAAJ&hl=en

Major Grants Awarded

2021: Collaborator – Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, Compagnia di San Paolo, the Wallenberg Foundation and VolkwagenStiftung (14.940.000 SEK) Title: Decay without mourning: Future-thinking heritage practices. Duration 4 years.

2019: Technical support – Local Economic Development, National Treasury Cities Support Programme (ZAR 15,000 000) Title: Township economic development strategies; Duration: 3 years.

2019: Co-Investigator, UK Research Innovation Global Challenges Research Fund (£992 388) Title: Water and Fire: Enhancing capacity and reducing risk through 15 ‘Best Bets’ for transformative adaptation with vulnerable residents on the Cape Flats; Duration: 3 years.

2018: Principal Investigator, South African National Lotteries Commission grant (ZAR 1.4 million). Title : State of the Nation; Duration:12 months.

2017: Principal Investigator, Competition Commission of South Africa / Economics of Tobacco Control Unit / Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (ZAR 1.95 million). Title: A study of competitiveness in the township retail grocery sector; Duration: 12 months.

2015: Team Leader, Evaluation of “Business in a Box” programme for ABI Coca Cola (ZAR 1,000 000) Duration: 8 months.

2015: Team Leader, Informal economy study for the City of Cape Town (ZAR 1,000 000) Duration: 12 months.

2015: Team Leader, “Herbanisation” urban habitat regeneration with social, economic and ecologically important plant species (ZAR 450,000) Duration: 18 months.

2011: Co-investigator, Formalising the informal economy – township economic development research (ZAR 6,000 000) Duration: 5 years.