Full 2017 Planet Talks Program Announced

The Planet Talks 2017

WOMADelaide and presenting partner UniSA today announced the full Planet Talks program for 2017! Led by US-Based iFixit Founder/CEO, Kyle Wiens, Crew Commander of University of Hawaii (HiSEAS) 365-day Mars Simulation mission, Carmel Johnston, UK’s Eden Project founder Sir Tim Smit and internationally respected University of Oslo Geographer and founder of, Karen Obrien.

American Carmel Johnston is at the forefront research into the social dimensions of human life of Mars. In a collaborative study between the University of Hawaii and NASA (HiSEAS 4), Johnston and five others simulated living on Mars for one year in a secret Hawaiian location.

Joining Johnston in a discussion about how colonising Mars will benefit the Earth is Australian Mars One Candidate, Josh Richards, who is one of a handful left on a shortlist to be a part of the first one-way trip to live and die on Mars. This session will be led by ABC Science Broadcasting legend, Robyn Williams.

The forum also welcomes US-based cult hero of the right-to-repair movement Kyle Wiens. Described as the Bernie Sanders of the electronics world, Wiens is co-founder and CEO of iFixit, an online community of millions of people that contribute to a global ‘free repair guide for everything, written by everyone’. At WOMADelaide Wiens will be joined by UNSW’s Professor of Materials Science and former ABC TV New Inventors Judge, Veena Sahajwalla and UniSA’s reverse logistics expert Nicholas Chileshe, in a discussion panel about waste as a resource, reclaiming the right to repair, and replacing the current throwaway economy with a circular economy.

WOMADelaide Director Ian Scobie, said that presenting an important discussion forum on an international stage is something that symbolizes the inclusiveness and breadth of the WOMADelaide festival.

“The Planet Talks will again focus on some of seminal issues facing humanity today and into the future, and it is a testament to the event that we are again able to offer audiences the opportunity to listen to internationally leading voices on a variety of subjects across the festival weekend.”

Also announced alongside Johnston and Wiens for the Planet Talks is a special live conversation between ABC local radio’s Richard Fidler and Sir Tim Smit founder of the UK’s most famous eco tourism destination – The Eden Project. The former chart topping music producer and archeologist is now best known for his environmental entrepreneurship in restoring the Lost Gardens of Heligan, dubbed the ‘eighth wonder of the World’, and the Eden Project in 1995. Eden is a cradle of life containing world-class horticulture and startling architecture symbolic of human endeavor that has attracted over 16 million people since it began in 2000.

To see the full list of amazing speakers and thinkers, plus the fascinating discussion panels and topics they will lead us through, head over to our Planet Talks page!