Full 2016 Planet Talks Program Announced


WOMADelaide today released the full program of speakers, discussion topics and workshops for the 2016 Planet Talks, presented in partnership with the University of South Australia.

Hosted as part of the WOMADelaide festival in Adelaide’s Botanic Park on 11 - 14 March, The Planet Talks returns to the picturesque setting of Speakers’ Corner, as the ‘sustainability ideas festival within the festival’ highlighting the growing public conversation about our sustainable relationship with the planet.

Joining esteemed Canadian science broadcaster and environmentalist David Suzuki, is an impressive array of economists, scientists, media identities, PR gurus, educators, business leaders, activists and political experts; headed by internationally celebrated American academic and award winning author, Naomi Oreskes and co-founder and Chief Executive of the UK’s Eden Project, Sir Tim Smit.

A distinguished professor in the History of Science and affiliated professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University, Oreskes is an internationally renowned geologist, science historian, and co-author of “Merchants of Doubt” – one of the most influential and exhaustively researched books on the science, business and politics of climate change. Internationally celebrated for defending peer reviewed science, her 2004 paper “Beyond the Ivory Tower: The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change” analyzed nearly 1,000 scientific papers to address the accord on manmade Climate Change; a paper made famous in Al Gore’s, An Inconvenient Truth.

Oreskes will join a panel with distinguished Australian science advocates UniSA’s Professor Tanya Monro and Dr Karl Kruzelnicki to discuss a theme very familiar to them all - “Should We Trust Scientists?

An archeologist, turned chart topping music producer, Tim Smit is most recently best known for his environmental entrepneurship in restoring the Lost Gardens of Heligan and creating of the world’s most ambitious and successful horticultural restoration ventures – the Eden project- in Cornwall. Dubbed the ‘eighth wonder of the World’, Tim begun work on the Eden Project in 1995, creating stunning rainforesst biomes housing flora species from across the world. It is now one the most vitsited tourist attractions in Europe.

Sir Tim Smit joins David Suzuki and sustainability author Indira Naidoo on the Saturday examining the emotional currancy of climate change in “What’s Love Got To Do With It?”

‘With the support of UniSA, we’re thrilled to make an annual contribution to the growing public dialogue about environment and sustainability issues in the form of the Planet Talks,’ said WOMADelaide director Ian Scobie.

Hosted by Robyn Williams from Radio Nationals’ Science Show, RI-Aus Director Paul Willis, and two of Australia’s foremost Political Editors, The Guardian’s Lenore Taylor and Tory Shepherd from the Advertiser. The Planet Talks will be held in the afternoon from the Saturday to Monday of the festival weekend and will be opened by a keynote address from David Suzuki, leading into a collection of insightful and positive panels:

What’s Love Got To Do With It? – A panel discussion examining if winning the battle for our hearts is more important than the economics, politics and carbon numbers; with David Suzuki, Sir Tim Smit, and best selling food sustainability author Indira Naidoo, and National Director of the Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network Amelia Telford.

Off The Grid Game Changers – A discussion about off-the-grid innovation and activism with Internode founder and Executive Chairman of Renewable energy Battery Manufacturer, RedFlow, Simon Hackett, Repower Port Augusta campaign leader Dan Spencer, and Felicia Whiting, Director of Australian business for Infratech industries - manufacturers of Australia’s first floating solar project.

A Green Growth Economy – A paneladdressing the future of clean and green economic development in a climate constrained world with Australia’s most distinguished economist Ross Garnaut, and respected former federal Liberal party opposition leader and economics expert  John Hewson.

Should We Trust Scientists? – A discussion about science, communication, misinformation and debunking science skeptics with Dr Karl, Scientific Historian Naomi Oreskes and Professor Tanya Monro.

Words, Pictures, and Climate Change PitchesA conversation about the PR pollution clouding climate change communication with Australia's only Walkley award-winning marsupial-based cartoonist First Dog On the Moon and PR and communication gurus Dee Madigan, and Jane Caro.

Also announced today in the Planet Talks program are two workshops presented by UniSA staff and hosted by ABC 891’s Deb Tribe.

Composting 101 with Georgia Pollard – A beginners guide to getting started with home composting.

Designing and Maintaining a Sustainable Garden with Professor John Boland and Chris Bryant – tips on how to design, layout and maintain your own sustainable garden - large or small.

The Planet Talks are supported by David & Claire Paradice and presented by the University of South Australia.