2015 Program

The Planet Talks

The Planet Talks return to Speakers' Corner with a line-up of stimulating and inspiring speakers from Australia and across the globe. 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 Planet Talks 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 - Seeds of Hope

WORKSHOP 1 | 12:00pm - How Sustainable is Your Diet?

Participants: Simon Bryant, Dr Evangeline Mantzioris, Louisa Rose

Host: Deb Tribe

In this workshop Simon Bryant will teach you how to make a delicious meal using sustainable and organic produce and why we should think more about our food choices. Joining Simon will be UniSA’s nutrition expert, Dr Evangeline Mantzioris to provide some of the science behind an organic and sustainable diet and Louisa Rose, Yalumba’s head of winemaking to give you the lowdown on organic and sustainable wine. At the end of the session, there will be a chance to have a taste and take home the recipe.

SESSION 1 | 2:00pm - The Silver Lining in the Cloud of Climate Change

Speakers: Cecilia Woolford, Peter Langridge, Bob Brown

Host: Robyn Williams

Are our climate-altering activities hurtling us towards a bleak fate or is this the catalyst for a new era of environmentally sustainable ideas and innovation? Are we witnessing the dawning of an unstoppable wave of action and leadership?  According to our panelists we do have the ideas, innovation, motivation and people to give us the hope that we can and will respond to the challenge. Listen to our visionary panel discuss the optimistic future they have seen emerging in business, agriculture, politics and society.

SESSION 2 | 6:00pm - Valuing Our Planet

Speakers: Vandana Shiva, Paul Sutton, Tim Jarvis 

Host: Robyn Williams

A famous native American proverb says 'Only when the last tree has died, and the last river been poisoned, and the last fish been caught, will we realise we cannot eat money.' The panel's three leaders challenge this pessimistic prediction by discussing values - financial and what we love and care about - that we place on our land, food and water. They will range across themes including seed democracy, urbanisation and land management and what this means for the health of the planet and ourselves.

Sunday - Science and Satire

WORKSHOP 2 | 1:00pm - How to Create an Amazing Outdoor Playspace!

Participants: Sarah Sutter (Nature Play SA) and Sarah Boyd (Honk! Pop-up Play)

Host: Chris Daniels

‘Nature Play’ (unstructured outdoor play) is an essential component of every child’s health and wellbeing, but the average Australian child spends less than two hours a day outside - less than our maximum security prisoners! Join Nature Play SA’s Sarah Sutter, HONK! Pop up Play’s Sarah Boyd and UniSA’s Prof Chris Daniels in a workshop full of tips, information and demonstrations on how to encourage your kids to spend more time playing outside through creating outdoor nature play spaces at home or at the local park. Don’t forget to bring your kids to play in our mini nature play space while you listen to the workshop!

SESSION 3 | 3:00pm - I'm not a Climate Scientist but...

Speakers: Andrew Denton, Rod Quantock, Hannah Gadsby

Host: Robyn Williams

Climate change is no laughing matter … or is it?  Science or satire - How do we best communicate climate science and the urgency to act on the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced? Do more people turn to Will Ferrell’s climate change YouTube clips or Al Gore pie charts and PowerPoint’s for the truth? Are people more likely to share on social media Leigh Sales’ 7.30 interview with the world’s leading climate scientists or US political satirist John Oliver’s interviews with them? Who makes more sense of carbon politics, Andrew Bolt or Shaun Micallef? All will be revealed. Sit back and listen to the (comedy) experts.

SESSION 4 | 5:00pm - Can Human Beings be Well When The Planet is Sick?

Speakers: Paul Willis, Emily Johnston, Ingo Weber

Host: Bernie Hobbs

Is health the forgotten latecomer to climate change? The change in global temperatures is already causing significant stresses on human populations and we'll need to adapt to a hotter climate regardless of successful emissions reductions. What is the impact likely to be and how might we mitigate it? Our panel of health and science experts discuss what climate change means to our health and well-being.

Monday - Creating Hope For Our Oceans and Marine Environments

WORKSHOP 3 | 1:00pm - Eco-homes: Reducing waste, saving water, energy, money and the earth.

Participants: Dr Robert Crocker, Dr Martin Freney

Host: Rob Kelvin

This workshop will provide tips on how to reduce waste plus some innovative energy and water saving tips, ideas and demonstrations to help you start transforming your house into an eco-home. The workshop features University of South Australia’s Dr Robert Crocker, Director of Zero Waste SA Research Centre for Sustainable Design and Industrial Design lecturer Dr Martin Freney - who in 2003 completed the construction of his owner-built "eco" house with straw-bale walls, passive solar design and hot water, a reed-bed for recycling greywater, composting toilet, photovoltaic panels for electricity generation and non-toxic finishes.

SESSION 5 | 3:00pm - Repairing the Blue Heart of our Planet

Speakers: Sylvia Earle, Charlie Veron, Bronwyn Gillanders

Host: Bernie Hobbs

Marine experts have warned that we are in the middle of an unprecedented high-risk period of marine species extinction. On our watch the world’s oceans and natural wonders like The Great Barrier Reef have borne the brunt of a potent combination of over-fishing, pollution, unparalleled mining and farming run-offs, the acidification of the seas caused by increasing carbon dioxide emissions and the disruptive results of rising water temperature disruption. Our panel, three highly regarded marine scientists, discuss the vast challenge ahead to reverse these dire predictions for our blue heart. As Sylvia Earle herself said. “Life depends on the ocean, and to save it we must love it.”

SESSION 6 | 5:00pm - Creating Hope

Speakers: Simran Sethi in conversation with Sylvia Earle

Host: Bernie Hobbs

Simran Sethi and Sylvia Earle are two of the world’s most inspiring environmental messengers. Their mission is both clear and hopeful - to inspire us all to take responsibility for, and play a role in creating a better future for the earth for all generations to come. Listen to two of the world’s eco-heroes discuss their hopes and dreams for the planet.


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