WOMADelaide announces 2018 Planet Talks program

Speeches from Tim Flannery and Peter Greste will bookend WOMADelaide’s Planet Talks program that will consider the “key issues which confront humanity” with an array of boffins, personalities and activists from environmental and social realms.

The 2018 Planet Talks will program confront and mull pressing present-day issues, with informed discussion from those speaking on topics including climate change, press freedoms, the rise of artificial intelligence and human rights abuses.

Flannery, currently the Professorial Fellow at the Melbourne Sustainable Society and chief councillor of the Australian Climate Council will follow his speech with an in-conversation session with science broadcaster Robyn Williams. Greste will address the relationship between press freedom and democracy in his speech, and also be joined by Guardian journalist Ben Doherty for a discussion session.


Sunday’s discussions will feature a talk about the interplay between artificial intelligence (AI) and sustainability, with leading technologist Genevieve Bell and AI researcher Toby Walsh joined by Kristin Alford, UniSA’s Museum of Discovery director. This session will be hosted by the ABC’s Eleanor Hall, and be recorded for broadcast in her Techtopia segment on The World Today.

Climate change, its impact on island nations, and the ensuing Human Rights questions will also be discussed on the Sunday. After a speech from Ursula Rakova, executive director of Tulele Peisa, a Papua New Guinean organisation focussed on the relocating communities in the wake of the effects of climate change, Marshall Islands poet and climate activist Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner will join Julian Burnside, Tim Costello and Ben Doherty for a wider discussion of the topic.


Delving deeper into the natural world will be a discussion session focussed on ‘The Wonder of Birds’, and the effects birds have had on human development. Putting on his hat as Vice President of Flora and Fauna International comedian Rove McManus will join New York Times environment writer Jim Robbins and Flinders University professor of animal behaviour Sonia Kleindorfer for the chat.

Another discussion of note will be that between Marie Claire editor Clare Press, Megan O’Malley and Gab Murphy to talk about the growth of sustainable fashion in South-East Asia. O’Malley and Murphy walked thousands of kilometres across Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, documenting the sustainable fashion they saw on the way.


“Our ambition for The Planet Talks is to provide a civilized forum for informed discussion and debate about many of the key issues which confront humanity,” said WOMADelaide director Ian Scobie in a release. “This year’s extraordinarily diverse array of panels and topics will have the opportunity to listen, think, engage and, at the conclusion of the event we hope, feel informed and positive about our future.”

WOMADelaide Planet Talks
March 10-12
WOMADelaide, Botanic Park
Full program and tickets via womadelaide.com.au

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