The Planet Talks

Presented by the University of South Australia


Join some of the world’s great minds at WOMADelaide's Planet Talks in a series of fascinating live conversations about our environment and sustainable relationship with the planet. Set under the stunning tree lined canopy of Botanic Park’s aptly named ‘Speakers' Corner’, the Planet Talks is a unique outdoors ideas festival within the festival.

Generously supported by David & Claire Paradice.

*Please note: unfortunately Sir Tim Smit has had to cancel his appearance at the 2016 Planet Talks due to health reasons.



David Suzuki Keynote

For four decades Canadian David Suzuki has been one of the most prominent, articulate, passionate and effective advocates for our planet and its environment. At 79 he shows no sign of slowing down. Spend an hour with one of the greatest eco-warriors of our time.

What’s love got to do with it?

Is winning the battle for our hearts more important than the economy, politics and carbon numbers?  As we increasingly live in cities is our society losing its connection with nature? If so, how might we change this?  Our panel looks at cultivating love for the environment and how this helps bring about positive change at the human rather than political level.

* Please note: unfortunately Sir Tim Smit has regrettably had to cancel his appearance due to health reasons.


Off the grid game changers

Three South Australian leaders of 'off the grid innovation and activism' look at what the near future could hold in powering homes, business, streets and cities. Will there be any place for coal fired power stations in that future?

A green growth economy

Is economic growth possible if we truly address climate change or will a transition require serious economic pain before any gain? Is coal about to disappear as fast as Kodak did and, if so, can new energy technologies deliver a ‘win-win’ for the environment and the economy? This panel features some of our foremost economic and political minds discussing the possibility of a new economy and clean growth.

* Please note: unfortunately Sir Tim Smit has regrettably had to cancel his appearance due to health reasons.

Georgia Pollard | Deb Tribe (host)

For this workshop, we will explore different methods of transforming organic waste into compost for people in different situations. You may be time-poor or time-rich; you may be keen to exert yourself or not into a lot of manual labour. But if you’re interested in getting creative with gardening and don’t mind getting your hands a bit dirty, this composting workshop is for you.


Should we trust scientists?

Who should we trust and why? When should we accept what scientists say? How is it that scientists do not always agree when analyzing the same information? Big questions like these require deep empathy, big brains and peer reviewed consideration. Over to you, Dr Willis, Dr Karl, Prof Oreskes and Prof Monro...

Words, pictures and climate change pitches

Can effectively communicating facts about climate change make any difference to how people vote in the next election? What is the PR pollution clouding carbon politics? Is it possible to make an issue this complex simple enough to get good decisions within our short-term electoral cycle? This panel of communications gurus and a canine political cartoon commentariat are masters of words and pictures, so what’s their world-saving climate change action pitch?

John Boland | Chris Bryant | Deb Tribe (host)

How much space you have, how much time you have and the climate all impact fundamentally on garden design. This workshop will explore and provide tips on how to set up and layout a garden - whether large or small. It will also demonstrate how to maintain a sustainable garden, how to deal with large quantities of produce and the beneficial impact of a sustainable garden on the comfort of your home.