Author Archives: planetunderpressure

How Science & Business Can Cooperate on Keeping our World Sustainable

World Café

Finding common ground & richness in diversity. Business and science working together — an important theme running throughout this conference. This is a conversation that could take us places.

What does science need to do & what does business need to do, to help keep our world a sustainable place to live & thrive in, for all? The results from this conversation go forward to New York in October.

What’s the common ground that lies between us — where can we work together to get a better outcome for all? What is the contribution of science and what is the contribution of business? What do you have to share that might help us go further together? Sixty people began to consider the Café question:
What are the respective roles of science and business in the sustainability agenda? What would facilitate a useful exchange?

Engage in your own conversations starting from where you are, enjoying this fine World Café’s harvest on how can we enhance & encourage each other’s contribution to the common goal of a better world for all? [PDF doc].

Gallery photos by Kim Davis – Courtesy of Planet Under Pressure 2012

Harnessing Energy to Satisfy Fundamental Human Needs

Pro Action Café

Generating new ideas for energy security.  Ten projects get the expert coaching treatment, as we contribute our knowledge and experience to help enhance the work of colleagues during a Pro Action Café.

Forty-five people came to take part  in the Pro Action Café, a space for creative & action oriented conversation where participants are invited to bring their project, ideas, questions or whatever they feel called by and need help with to manifest in the world.

Ten people had the opportunity to host a table conversation aimed at assisting them to deepen and refine their project ideas around harnessing energy to globally satisfy fundamental human needs & generating new ideas for energy security.

Engage in your own conversations starting from where you are, enjoying this fine Pro Action Café’s harvest on an opportunity to pool our knowledge in support of projects around energy [PDF doc].

Unconference – Making a Space for Open Exploration

Unconference – Open Space

A time to raise your own issues.  A moment within the busy schedule of the Planet Under Pressure conference for delegates to come together in inquiry around their own questions, concerns, issues & explorations.

One in a series of events designed to give space for reflection, this session used Open Space as its operating system, offering each an opportunity to engage others in what they are most passionate about.

Participants were welcomed into Open Space as a place where they could bring the topics, issues, explorations and questions that haven’t been covered in other parts of the conference. This was a time when they could put forward what they most wanted to discuss & invite others to join them.

Engage in your own conversations starting from where you are, enjoying this fine Open Space’s harvest on burning & unanswered questions the delegates had [PDF doc].

My Takeaways from Planet Under Pressure

By Nisha Pillai, Conference Moderator

Looking back on Planet under Pressure I can’t help feeling a touch dazed. What an extraordinary event to have moderated at, with the next Earth Summit, Rio +20 looming on the horizon. The sheer scale of the conference was mind-boggling, as three thousand people – scientists, NGOs, policy makers, a sprinkling of business folk and about a hundred journalists – descended on London’s ExCeL Centre from the four corners of the world. Yet somehow the level of debate was mostly high, the boiled-down, ten minute-long presentations were the most memorable I’ve encountered at many a conference, and the electronic questions, despite my initial misgivings, were a triumph…

A short digression on the use of social media and electronic questions, if I may. With time of the essence at such a vast event, the Planet under Pressure organisers decided early on to abandon conventional questions from the floor – and rely entirely on electronic questions sent in via Twitter, or text/sms, or directly through our live webstreaming page. And it worked! Reams of questions poured in: well over five hundred over the four day event. That, plus the ability to scan the questions on my ipad, gave me a far better chance to connect the audience to our plenary speakers and panellists than if I had simply called on random contributions from the floor. It also meant that a further three thousand or so people joining the conference via the live webstream could also participate by sending in their comments remotely. Best of all was: “no mic hogging from the floor”, as one tweet so memorably put it.

Other personal highlights: Sandra Diaz’s beautiful slides illustrating her presentation on biodiversity in peril; Lord Giddens of LSE’s humane wisdom; Bina Agarwal from Delhi University’s plea for small scale projects involving women; Richard Wilkinson’s persuasive evidence on how equality, not growth, is what delivers wellbeing; Oran Young and Maria Ivanona, who did the seemingly impossible and made governance interesting, even imperative. But the biggest surprise was Anne Glover, chief scientific advisor to the European Commission – was there ever such a blunt, outspoken, kick ass advisor as she?

Those are some of my personal takeaways from the crazy jamboree that was Planet Under Pressure. Please take a moment to add your own comments below – how was it for you?

PS: And I made a whole family of new friends too. From the IGBP: Wendy Broadgate, Owen Gaffney, Reed Evans, Hilarie Cutler, and my ace Twitter guru, Andrew Merrie. Also, Priya Shyamsunder, Felix Dodds and Nigel Cameron, not to mention the incomparable duo, Lidia Brito and Mark Stafford-Smith, plus always smiling, ever so helpful, John Ingram.

My Takeaways from Planet Under Pressure was published 3 April 2012 by Nisha Pillai at Nisha Pillai’s blog site with the author’s permission.

Global Sustainability Goals

World Café

Transition to a sustainable future Earth.   An opportunity to have a look at the process of creating global sustainability goals — talking together in World Café, creating a graphic look at our priorities, coming together around how it might happen.

This session was attended by a liberal mix of scientists, policymakers, representatives from NGOs, government, media, academics and others.

The intention was to gather suggestions on the process of developing the Sustainable Development Goals framework.  So what it is that we can see together that none of us can see alone?

Engage in your own conversations starting from where you are, enjoying this fine World Café’s harvest on the means to a desired end: How might we get the best out of creating goals in order to co-create the future we collectively want? [PDF doc].

Gallery photos by Kim Davis – Courtesy of Planet Under Pressure 2012