Hamilton Public Lecture Series

14 Mar 2023 5:45 PM

'The biggest adventure of humanity' by Dr Florian Graichen

Has the reality of climate change hit you this summer – did you need Cyclone Gabriel or were you aware before?

Don’t take this personal – you are not alone.

Continents, countries, companies, and communities are waking up to this inconvenient truth. Like other future threats we are very slow to realize them and react.

There are several messages I want to leave with you during and after this lecture.

Business as usual, solutions from the past and incremental change does not get us even near to solutions for the challenges that we are facing over the coming decades. Our current approaches and way of thinking got us into the situation we are in. Relying exclusively on our current approaches would fulfil Einstein’s definition of insanity – “…doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”! Climate change is the challenge of our generation - it is a global disruptor - economically, environmentally and socially.

But I also want to leave you with a different message - Climate Change is also the opportunity of our generation - There are enormous opportunities and rewards for the continents, countries and companies that are (becoming) disruptors rather than disruptiees.

There are stories of success and hope – driven by creative people and built through innovation – let me tell you a few of them – so many opportunities for Aotearoa.

In this lecture I would like to reflect on topics like:

  • How do we address the urgency of responding to climate change and biodiversity loss without missing the big opportunities – like the global transition to circular and bioeconomies) that this challenge provides?
  • The world is moving towards 10 billion people – 10 billion people that require food, clothing, housing….everything we know we are using today – but we will need to derive it from sustainable – not fossil materials. How do we address the increased demand for sustainable feedstock for both – our existing and the new and emerging sectors – and the growing world population?
  • How do we take a more people centred approach to local economic development that works to produce broadly shared economic prosperity, equity and a just transition for all.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step – let’s be brave enough to take this step.

This 45-minute public lecture will be held at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, starting at 5.45pm. Opus Bar will be open from 5pm.

Free parking is available on campus via Gate 2B, Knighton Road, Hamilton from 4.30pm.

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Tickets: Free

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