Category Archives: Events

The Biodiversity Crisis: Environmental, Social and Economic Impacts

Humans are having an extraordinary impact on the life of the planet with species extinction rates now 100-1000 times the background rate. From a largely local phenomenon of habitat-loss and over-exploitation, biodiversity decline has now become systemic, driven by our increasingly globalized economy, expanding consumerism and accelerating climatic change. Indeed, many scientists believe we are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction event in the Earth’s history, and that the impacts on biodiversity, our life support system, will accelerate over the next century.

On October 7th, the Sydney Environment Institute (SEI) and the Balanced Enterprise Research Network (BERN) at the University of Sydney will be organizing a Sydney Ideas public lecture delivered by two of the country’s leading researchers on biodiversity decline from environmental and economic perspectives.

Professor Lesley Hughes from the Department of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University and the Climate Council will pose the question ‘Can Biodiversity Survive the Human Race?’. In her talk she will explore how we let things get this bad, whether we still have a chance to save the Earth, and what we can all do to avert catastrophe.

Our second speaker, Manfred Lenzen, Professor of Sustainability Research at the University of Sydney, will explore how globalization and international trade are key drivers of biodiversity decline. He will outline his research which charts how demand for consumer commodities in developed economies drives species extinction in developing countries.

Details for this exciting event can be found here.

Sustainable Economic Growth in SE Asia: Pipedream or Reality?

As part of the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre ASEAN Forum to commemorate 40 years of Australian engagement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), on Thursday September 11th, Sydney Ideas will be presenting a public event focusing on issues of sustainability in Southeast Asia .

Continue reading Sustainable Economic Growth in SE Asia: Pipedream or Reality?

Fossil Fuel Divestment: Climate Proofing Your Finances

With the growing success of the divestment movement in the United States and concern over ‘stranded assets’ as the climate crisis exacerbates, the Balanced Enterprise Research Network (BERN) at the University of Sydney Business School, in association with 350.orgMarket Forces and the Australia Institute, hosted a panel discussion on Thursday 29th May exploring the potential for fossil free investment. You can view a video of the event below.

Continue reading Fossil Fuel Divestment: Climate Proofing Your Finances

Book Launch: Climate-Challenged Society & Globalization and the Environment

ScreenHunter_51 Nov. 22 19.19

Australia has long been known for its environmental politics – movements, policy, and academic analysis. On Wednesday 11th December, four of the most well-known Australia-based academics of environmental politics from the University of Sydney, University of Melbourne, and Australian National University will convene to discuss and celebrate two recent books aimed at analysing and stimulating debate on the current and future state of environmental and climate politics.

Continue reading Book Launch: Climate-Challenged Society & Globalization and the Environment

Launch of the Sydney Environment Institute

ScreenHunter_50 Sep. 21 22.09

Last Tuesday evening I attended the launch of the new Sydney Environment Institute (SEI) at the University of Sydney. SEI is a cross-Faculty research institute which aims to address two of the key questions of our time:

  • how do we understand and redesign the fundamental relationship between human communities and the natural world that supports them; and
  • how can people and societies adapt positively to environmental change?

Continue reading Launch of the Sydney Environment Institute

New research network focuses on sustainability and business

In the decade ahead, Australia and the world will face environmental, social and financial challenges of an unprecedented scale. These include tensions between economic growth and environmental degradation, a need to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions in response to climate change, and pressure to improve social inclusion and equity in a world of significant poverty and inequity. Businesses are clearly key players when it comes to responding to these challenges, but can businesses look beyond their short-term bottom line and better balance their economic needs with social and environmental priorities?

In focusing on these issues, recently the University of Sydney Business School launched its Balanced Enterprise Research Network (BERN) which explores how business in particular, can better balance economic, environmental and social concerns and improve the well-being of a wide range of stakeholders, including employees, communities and society more generally.

Continue reading New research network focuses on sustainability and business

Bill McKibben – Do the Maths

Bill McKibben - David vs Goliath (Image: Christopher Wright)
Bill McKibben – David vs Goliath (Image: Christopher Wright)

Last night I attended Bill McKibben’s first public Australian lecture at the University of Sydney. It was sell-out event and the Seymour Theatre was full as young and old crammed in to hear what one newspaper has termed the “rock star of the global warming movement”. Waiting for the doors to open it did have that feeling of a big event – a performance by someone who has been willing to call-out the elephant in the room – our convenient but ultimately suicidal race to change the physics of the Earth in the name of “business as usual”. People were hungry to see and hear the unassuming American who has become the most prominent public face of the fight against global warming.

Continue reading Bill McKibben – Do the Maths

Symposium on Business Responses to Climate Change

In March this year, the Sydney Network on Climate Change and Society in association with the University of Sydney Business School organized a one-day symposium exploring how businesses as social actors have responded to the emerging climate crisis. The symposium featured a keynote address by Professor Andy Hoffman, the Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan, followed by contributions from other influential academic writers on climate change, and insights from a range of business practitioners at the leading edge of corporate environmental sustainability.

Continue reading Symposium on Business Responses to Climate Change

Leading US Business Scholar to Discuss the Social Implications of Climate Change

professor_andy_hoffman_thumb

This month the University of Sydney Business School and the United States Studies Centre will be hosting a visit by leading US business scholar, Professor Andrew Hoffman.

Andrew is the Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan. Within this role, he also serves as Director of the Frederick A. and Barbara M. Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise.

Professor Hoffman has written extensively about corporate responses to climate change; how the interconnected networks of NGOs and corporations influence change processes; and the underlying cultural values that are engaged when these barriers are overcome. His research uses a sociological perspective to understand the cultural and institutional aspects of environmental issues for organizations.

Continue reading Leading US Business Scholar to Discuss the Social Implications of Climate Change