WOMADelaide’s Planet Talks program, the festival’s forum since 2013 of conversation and discussions about the environment and how we can work to ensure a sustainable future for the planet, will feature some of the world's foremost thought leaders, activists, scientists and change-makers. Presented in the Planet Talks Pavillion in the heart of the festival in Adelaide’s Botanic Park/Tainmuntilla, over Saturday to Monday across the festival long-weekend, 9-11 March 2024.

Sharing new ideas, information and solutions that transcend conventional boundaries, the program of panelists includes former President of the Republic of Kiribati Anote Tong; proud Kulkalaig woman from the Island of Masig and Badugal, and First Nations rights advocate Tishiko King; Zenadh Kes Masig man, climate advocate and traditional owner of Masig Island Yessie Moby; former Tasmanian Greens Party leader and environmentalist Bob Brown; and wildlife scientist, woman in STEM/STEAM, science communicator and author Dr Vanessa Pirotta who will explore a diverse range of issues including the future of activism, climate leadership and urban nature regeneration.

These thought-provoking Planet Talks sessions unravel the complexities of issues affecting our everyday lives while presenting innovative, practical solutions and insights.


Facilitator: Noah Schultz-Byard
Panellists: Bob Brown, Elaine Johnson and Roj Amedi

With protest laws tightening, misinformation campaigns on the rise, and the media landscape changing, what is the future of social and environmental activism? A discussion to explore the myriad ways there are to fight for change, whether it’s in the courtroom, at shareholder AGMs, in online communities or through targeted political and media stunts.


Facilitator: Tiahni Adamson
Panellists: Anote Tong, Tishiko and Yessie Mosby

Can Australia shift its global reputation from climate laggard to climate leader, and fulfill its hopes of co-hosting the 2026 UN Climate Change Conference with the Pacific? Although Australia has committed to net zero by 2050, it continues to give approval for the extraction of new coal, oil and gas reserves. We are now under increasing pressure from within the Pacific region and our borders to commit to an end to the expansion of fossil fuels.
Are we reaching a pivotal moment for climate action? Join a panel of Torres Strait and Pacific Islanders to hear first-hand about the growing climate movement emerging from our nearest islands.

SESSION 3: WILD CITIES, 1.00-2.00pm

Facilitator: Chris Daniels
Panellists: Darryl Jones, Sheryn Pitman and Sarah Bekessy

Imagine a world where cities are homes to thriving ecosystems of plants, animals and other life, and not just a concrete metropolis. Australian cities have the potential to transform into nature wonderlands, but how can nature be better integrated within our towns and cities? What role do individuals, neighbourhoods and communities have to play? We will explore diverse approaches to greening our streets, towns and cities.


Facilitator: Andrew Lowe
Panellists: Joe Morrison, Martine Maron, Ariadne Gorring

How can our nation transform from being a global leader in species extinction to a global leader in nature regeneration? The term Nature Positive has entered the conversation and sounds like a good thing, but what does it really mean? Could it be a game-changer or is it just another buzzword, or worse, yet another form of greenwashing.
Australia will host the first Global Nature Positive Summit in October 2024, and governments and businesses are starting to incorporate ideas of Nature Positive into the way they operate. Hear from a range of experts on what this means for our environment, and how we can help build momentum for Nature Positive ideas to help restore and regenerate Australia’s fragile ecosystems and deliver positive outcomes for First Nations people.


Facilitator: Clare Peddie
Panellists: Abbie Barrows, Annie Ford, Vanessa Pirotta and Bronwyn Gillanders

The health of our oceans is being severely threatened by numerous factors, including rising temperatures, high levels of microplastics, and noise pollution caused by seismic exploration and shipping. These stressors make it challenging for marine animals to communicate and can cause significant harm to the integrity of our marine environments. We must take action to protect and preserve the oceans before it's too late.
A powerhouse panel of female marine biologists, who are using new technologies and citizen science to better understand these impacts, will discuss the different ways to advocate for the necessary change.


Facilitator: Shannon Evenden
Panellists: Andrew Skeoch and Anthony Albrecht & Simone Slattery (The Bowerbird Collective)

The soundscape of the natural world is rich with the voices of birds, insects and animals. What might these species have to say to us? Can listening to them help us learn not only how to care for them, but how to create a ‘culture of care’ for nature? Can listening help create stronger emotional connections between humans and the natural world? Featuring multimedia presentations from one of Australia’s most prolific nature-sound recordists Andrew Skeoch and music duo the Bowerbird Collective. Have you ever heard humans perform a dawn chorus of birdsong? Come along and hear for yourself.

The Planet Talks are generously supported by Claire Pfister and David Paradice, with thanks to the City of Adelaide/Adelaide Economic Development Agency. The daily programs are proudly presented by The Environment Institute and The Australia Institute.

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