2014 Program

The program for WOMADelaide 2014 is packed with amazing artists! KidZone, street theatre, workshops, Artists in Conversation, Taste the World and more! 

The Planet Talks

The Planet Talks return to Speakers Corner with a line-up of stimulating and inspiring speakers from Australia, Europe and the USA.

Taking the WOMADelaide fans' experience beyond discovering new sounds, sights and flavours, the sessions explore a range of new ideas and topics that deal with our sustainable relationship to the planet in six thought-provoking panel discussions.

The sessions will be hosted by Robyn Williams (ABC Radio National) and Bernie Hobbs (ex ABC TV's The New Inventors).

The Planet Talks is presented by the University of South Australia


 Generously supported by David & Clare Paradice.

Saturday - Our Environmental Reality

SESSION 01 - The three great threats to biodiversity: climate change, people and habitat loss

Hosted by Robyn Williams
Speakers: Peter Ward, Chris Daniels, Peter Owen

Life on this planet is under extreme duress. The three pressures, whilst being interlinked and ultimately originating with humans all affect ecosystems in different ways.  A warming earth affects the water cycle which ultimately determines the susceptibility of terrestrial landscapes to support life.  Cities across the world are growing dramatically over the best land, and habitat clearance to support human needs eliminates biodiversity. What will the term biodiversity mean in 2100?

 Peter, Chris and Peter talk about how great these three threats are, and how the earth can survive.

SESSION 02 - Transforming Society

Hosted by Robyn Williams
Speakers: Paul Gilding, Simon Holmes à Court, Richard Slaughter

With a change of government and climate change action policy, where to now for “the greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time”?

 Our panel discuss some of the social, corporate and political structures that we still have at our disposal to deal with a planet wide emergency now and into the future.

Sunday - Politics, Media, Law and Merchants of Doubt

SESSION 01 - The Captain Kirk & Dr Spock of communicating climate change

Hosted by Robyn Williams
Speakers: Annabel Crabb, Tory Shepherd, Tanya Ha

The Media, MPs and Mothers all play vital roles in shaping our emotional (Kirk) and rational (Spock) attitudes to environmental action.

 How do they frame a climate change message in ways that are relevant, accurate and meaningful to their audiences?

 Our panel of expert science, environment and politics communicators discuss some of the social, cultural, political and psychological machinations behind the things we see, hear and read about climate change.

SESSION 02 - When Polly met Peter & Tim

Hosted by Bernie Hobbs
Speakers: Polly Higgins, Peter Garrett & Tim Flannery

Find out what happens when one of the world’s most visionary thinkers in the area of law and environmental action - Polly Higgins - meets Australia's leading environmental thinker, writer and activist Tim Flannery and former government minister, ACF president and Midnight Oil frontman Peter Garrett for a frank conversation about why and how the law and legislation must tackle climate change.  

Monday - The Future and Positive Change

SESSION 01 - Climate change and 100 million person cities

Hosted by Bernie Hobbs
Speakers: Tom Wigley, Steffen Lehmann, Amie Albrecht

Thanks to the latest research from a host of the world’s most respected climate scientists like Tom Wigley, the weight of evidence pointing to the human role in changing our weather is now beyond compelling. Consequently, if their forecasts of climate change increases do occur, life in our most densely populated areas face an unprecedented and urgent call to action.               

With 26 cities on the planet currently housing between 10 and 20 million people each and projections of a future with 11 billion people on the planet including the first 100 million person cities, this panel looks at up to date research on how and why our climate may change and how our built environs and transport systems must adapt to accommodate life in future mega cities.

SESSION 02 - Gen Z and Distractions vs Action

Hosted by Bernie Hobbs
Speakers: Tim Hollo, Simon Sheikh, Ane Brun

Generation Z are the most globally exposed and connected generation in the history of the planet. They will inherit any mess made by their parents and grandparents but are they more concerned about celebrity culture and low carb diets than climate change and low carbon economies?  With the oldest Generation Z turning 19 this year how do we activate their hearts and minds to consider climate change action as their priority?  This panel looks at musicians, role models and ways to harness the power and influence of the most digitally engaged and globally connected generation we’ve ever seen.




Tim Flannery is one of the most well known Australian environmentalists and climate change activists of our time. With a long list of published works and a past Commissioner of the Australian Climate Commission, Flannery brings a wealth of practical experience and fundamental understanding of the key issues facing our planet today.

Annabel Crabb


Annabel Crabb is currently the ABC’s chief online political writer and host of the popular political cooking program Kitchen Cabinet. Crabb's popularity is continuing to soar - from her days as a journalist at The Advertiser, Sydney Morning Herald and The Age to Walkley Award winner.

Professor Chris Daniels


Professor Chris Daniels is Professor of Urban Ecology at the University of South Australia and the Director of the Barbara Hardy Institute at UniSA (a research institute focused on creating sustainable communities and environments). Daniels has also written 9 books and over 140 articles on animal ecology and evolution.

Peter Garrett


A renowned activist, the former politician and lead singer of Midnight Oil is a long-time, passionate advocate and campaigner on a range of local and global issues. Garrett is the only Australian politician to receive the ‘Leaders for a Living Planet’ award from the World Wildlife Fund.

Polly Higgins


Polly Higgins is an international barrister, award winning author and professor. In 2010 Higgins proposed to the UN that Ecocide (the extreme damage to and destruction of the ecosystem/s) be the 5th Crime Against Peace.

Paul Gilding


Paul is a writer, strategy advisor and advocate for sustainable economy and is widely recognised as a global authority on the economic and business implications of sustainability and climate change. His book “The Great Disruption” has been widely acclaimed, including by Tom Friedman in the New York Times. 

Simon Sheikh


Simon Sheikh is the former National Director of advocacy group GetUp. During his tenure at the organisation its membership tripled to reach over 600,000 Australians. Prior to his position at GetUp Sheikh was on the founding board of directors for the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. 

Peter Owen


Peter Owen is one of South Australia's leading environmentalists. Over the past decade, he has been instrumental in the protection of vast areas of land and seascape including the Nullarbor Plain, the Offshore Islands, the Arkaroola Mountains, the Mawson Plateau and the declaration of the State’s 19 Marine Parks. In 2011, Pete was named South Australian of the Year and won the Jill Hudson Award for Environmental Protection.

Peter Ward


Peter  Ward is a geobiologist who has recently moved to the University of Adelaide from Seattle, Washington. Ward studies past mass extinctions so as to better forewarn our own world about the very real dangers of climate change. 

Richard Slaughter


Dr Richard Slaughter is an author of 20 books, practitioner and innovator in Futures Studies and Applied Foresight. In 2010 he was voted one of 'the best all-time Futurists' by members of the Forewight Network.

Simon Holmes à Court


Simon Holmes à Court has a longstanding interest in the social, environmental, economic and technical facets of the clean energy revolution. Simon was the founding chairman of Australia's first community-owned wind farm, Hepburn Wind and went on to establish Embark, a non-profit helping Australian communities to share in the benefits of renewable energy.

Dr Steffen Lehmann


Dr Steffen Lehmann is Chair Professor of Sustainable Design and Director of two flagship research centres at the University of South Australia: the Zero Waste Centre for Sustainable Design and Behaviour and the China-Australia Centre for Sustainable Urban Development.

Tanya Ha


Tanya Ha is an award-winning environmental campaigner, a best-selling author, science journalist, television presenter and behaviour change researcher. Ha is best known for her popular guidebooks, including Greeniology 2020 and Green Stuff for Kids and her TV shows, including Catalyst, Can We Help? and Eco House Challenge

Tim Hollo


Tim Hollo is an environmentalist and musician and founder of Green Music Australia. A member of FourPlay String Quartet, he was previously communications director for Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne, and has worked for organisations including 350.org, Lock the Gate and Greenpeace.

Tory Shepherd


An award-winning journalist and columnist, Tory Shepherd also admits to an unhealthy obsession with religion, pseudoscience and conspiracy theories.

Tom Wigley


Dr Tom Wigley is a Professor at the University of Adelaide and has a position at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. He is one of the world’s most highly cited scientists in the field of climatology. 



Amie Albrecht is a mathematician at the University of South Australia. She works in Operations Research — the science of making smarter decisions for problems with limited resources. Her research mainly focuses on finding solutions for more efficient and sustainable transport.

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