The Planet Talks

Join some of the world’s great minds at WOMADelaide's Planet Talks in a series of fascinating live conversations about our environment and sustainable relationship with the planet. Set under the stunning tree lined canopy of Botanic Park’s aptly named ‘Speakers' Corner’, the Planet Talks is a unique ideas festival within the festival.

Generously supported by David & Claire Paradice

Saturday

Internationally celebrated environmentalist, scientist, explorer, writer and 2007 Australian of the Year, Professor Tim Flannery will open the Planet Talks with a keynote address and conversation about our sustainable relationship with the planet joined by the father of Australian science broadcasting, the legendary Robyn Williams.

Currently Professorial Fellow at the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute and chief councillor of the Australian Climate Council, Australia’s largest and most successful crowd funded organisation, Tim Flannery has published over 140 peer-reviewed scientific papers and named 25 living and 50 fossil mammal species. His 33 books include his latest publication is ‘Sunlight and Seaweed’ and the award winning “The Future Eaters” and “The Weather Makers”, which has been translated into over 20 languages. He has made numerous documentaries and regularly reviews for the New York Review of Books.

Our Most Vital Connection to Nature & What They Tell Us About the Planet & Ourselves

Our human relationship to birds is like no other creature on earth. These wondrous and miraculous animals captivate, inform and enrich all life on the planet in extraordinary ways.

New York Times writer and author of "The Wonder of Birds" Jim Robbins, professor of animal behaviour at Flinders Uni Sonia Kleindorfer, and passionate bird lover and VP of Flora and Fauna International, Rove McManus, will come together for a fascinating conversation about the wonder of birds - our most vital connection to nature and what they tell us about the planet and ourselves.

Sunday

ABC’s Eleanor Hall brings her fascinating Techtopia segment from ABC Radio to the Planet Talks.

Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Machines represent the most significant social and organizational challenges since human civilisation emerged 5000 years ago. How humanity engages with these technologies today is the key to ensuring that the future development of these tools benefit both society and the environment. Joining Eleanor Hall for a live discussion exploring the ramifications of technologies set to disrupt our sustainable relationship with the planet will be three of Australian brightest minds - cultural anthropologist and former Adelaide thinker in residence Genevieve Bell, futurist and Director of .MOD, Kristin Alford and one of the world’s leading scientists researching Artificial Intelligence, Toby Walsh.

While the world’s richest countries talk about climate change, many of the poorest nations are experiencing its devastating effects right now. Climate justice activists, Ursula Rakova (Carteret Islands) and Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner (Marshall Islands) are the human face of climate change. Their homelands are the first nations of people being forcibly displaced due to manmade global warming. Ursula Rakova and Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner are joined by Julian Burnside and Tim Costello to explore our responsibilities and the human face of climate change.

Monday

Respected sustainable fashion journalist and author Clare Press brings her popular "slow fashion" Wardrobe Crisis podcast to a live recording at the Planet Talks! The WARDRODE CRISIS Podcast decodes the fashion system and digs deep to explore fashion’s effects on people and planet. Sitting down with Clare are intrepid documentary makers Gab Murphy and Megan O’Malley of "Walk Sew Good" to investigate the impact of our modern fashion consumption habits. These two intrepid explorers walked 3500km across South East Asia to find and document positive stories they hope will change the way people see, value and talk about fashion.

Peter Greste is an award winning foreign correspondent who worked for Reuters, the BBC and Al Jazeera around the world, including London, Belgrade, Africa, South America and Afghanistan. Most recently however, he has become best known for his campaign for press freedom after enduring 400 days in a Cairo prison on charges of terrorism and producing fake news to undermine Egyptian national security.

Peter will be joined in a conversation about press freedom and its importance for the future of democracy by three time Walkley Award-winning journalist Ben Doherty from the Guardian. 

An estimated five trillion plastic items - mostly less than five millimetres in size - are currently circulating the surface of the world's oceans and scientists cite microplastics (particles less than 5mm) entering our food chain as a potential toxic ticking time bomb. Let that sink in for a minute... ('scuse the pun).

Three experts in waste, microplastic contamination research and consumer behaviour, Vaughan Levitzke, Vivian Sim, and Anne Sharp sit down with the ABCs Deb Tribe to discuss the scale of the world's addiction to plastic and the possible solutions.

Speakers