Prof Doreen Atkinson
Prof Doreen Atkinson has lived in the Karoo for 12 years. She has conducted research on local government and rural development for 20 years. Previously, she was a Research Associate of McIntosh Xaba and Associates, and thereafter established the Bloemfontein branch of the Human Sciences Research Council. She has co-edited three books: The Small Miracle: South Africa’s negotiated transition, with Steven Friedman (Ravan Press, 1994); From a Tier to a Sphere: Local Government in the new South African Order, with Maxine Reitzes (EISA, 2000); and A Pathway to Sustainability: Local Agenda 21 in South Africa, with Penny Urquhart (Department of Environmental Affairs, 2000). Her most recent book is Going for Broke: The fate of farm workers in post-apartheid South Africa, HSRC Publishers, 2007.
Prof Lochner Marais
Lochner Marais is currently director of Centre for Development Support (University of the Free State). Prior to this, he lectured at Vista University in Bloemfontein for seven years and in the Department of Geography at the University of the Free State for two years. He obtained a BA, BA (Honours), MA and Ph D in Geography from the University of the Free State. His Ph D focused on post-apartheid housing policy in the Free State (a peripheral region). He has authored, co-authored and compiled more than 100 research assignments, some 47 refereed articles (including chapters in books  and refereed conference proceedings ) and a co-edited book. Marais’s research and teaching activities are focused on the areas of housing policy, integrated development planning, local economic development, the Second Economy, urban sustainability, monitoring and evaluation and capacity building. He has managed the revision of the Free State Growth Development Strategy during 2006. Other consultation services are in the field of capacity building, strategic planning, objective management and housing finance. He has conducted work for the Free State Provincial Government, the National Department of Housing, CDE, GTZ, DFID, the Flemish Government and for USAID.
Prof Lucius Botes
Prof Lucius Botes, Dean of Humanities, University of the Free State. He heads the National Research Foundation’s Research Niche Area called “Local Economic Development in the Karoo”.
Dr Mark Ingle
is based at the Karoo Institute in Philippolis. He is currently completing his PhD, at the University of the Free State’s Centre for Development Support (CDS). His topic is the impact of urbanites moving back to the Karoo (“reverse migration”), and the associated questions of Karoo tourism, crafts and cultural development.