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Ivanna Katz

2021 Intern

In her position with WWF, Ivanna Katz is an Environmental Manager intern focused on sustainable urban futures. Ivanna is part of a small team that works with cities and other relevant stakeholders to develop and implement innovative solutions to reduce climate change effects and impacts. This is something that speaks to her passion and skills, making this internship a solid stepping stone for her career.

Majoring in Geography, Ivanna obtained her undergraduate and Honours degrees from Wits University. She also has a Master’s degree in Environment, Society and Sustainability from the University of Cape Town.

We asked her to elaborate on her career aspirations:

What are you passionate about?
I am most passionate about cities and food. As crucibles for life in the 21st century, I believe cities are a crucial springboard upon which to develop solutions for challenges of climate change and social justice. This relates strongly to my fervour for equitable and sustainable food systems as this is a human right intrinsically linked to the right to life.

What inspired your choice of study?
I fell into a niche in my third year of university when I took a “Cities’’ module. One of the fascinating things I learned is that it is vital to pay attention to the way that people move around in spaces – including cities.

What excites you about your internship?
It has taken me a while to find a position that perfectly suits my academic background. I am most excited to be able to take all the things I studied at university and use them in the workplace. As an Environmental Manager intern with WWF, I get to work on a broad range of projects. We focus on topics such as urban food systems, urban nature-based solutions, green energy jobs, food loss and waste, and sustainable diets. Furthermore, I get to network, strategise and plan events, as well as conduct research and write articles.

What are your expectations of this internship?
My expectations are to gain practical experience in both project development and project management while positively impacting climate change, cities and urban food systems. I also hope to develop an extensive network of colleagues.

What contribution do you hope to make towards a future in which people and nature thrive?
I hope to help lead the charge in creating climate-resilient cities across Africa, as well as develop a social environment that distributes urban risks and resources more equitably, especially food.

Who inspires you the most and why?
Jane Battersby, an urban geographer whose works in the realm of urban food security inspired me to dedicate my time to doing the same. Her thought-provoking work on the construction of food security theory in northern and southern research context opened my eyes to things I felt but couldn’t explain. Further, her ability to meld the theoretical and applied components of this work felt like a clear path to the career I aspire to have one day.

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