Professor Will Steffen (Climate Change Institute, Australian National University, Canberra)

"The Anthropocene: Where on earth are we going?"

An audio recording is available here (60 minutes duration)

The proposed Anthropocene epoch has generated much discussion around its reality, its possible start dates, and its implications for contemporary human societies. Relatively less effort has been aimed at understanding the potential future trajectories of the Anthropocene and what processes and feedbacks might determine them. This talk will take a deep time, complex systems perspective on the future trajectory of the Earth System in the Anthropocene. We’ll describe the nature of Earth System dynamics in the late Quaternary in the framework of a limit cycle, and explore possible futures in terms of bifurcation points, internal feedbacks, and tipping elements in the system. An important feature of any future state or trajectory of the Earth System is its potential irreversibility, at least in the timeframes that matter for humans. Finally, we’ll discuss the challenge that the Anthropocene poses for contemporary human society, and the changes in values that are required to meet this challenge successfully

Will is an Earth System scientist. He is a Councillor on the publicly-funded Climate Council of Australia that delivers independent expert information about climate change, an Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, a Senior Fellow at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Sweden, and a Fellow at the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, Stockholm. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Canberra, working with the Canberra Urban and Regional Futures (CURF) program, and is a member of the ACT Climate Change Council. He is chair of the jury for the Volvo Environment Prize; a member of the International Advisory Board for the Centre for Collective Action Research, Gothenburg University, Sweden, and a member of the Anthropocene Working Group of the Sub-committee on Quaternary Stratigraphy. From 1998 to mid-2004, Will served as Executive Director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, based in Stockholm, Sweden. His research interests span a broad range within the fields of climate and Earth System science, with an emphasis on incorporation of human processes in Earth System modelling and analysis; and on sustainability and climate change.

Dr Belinda Wade (Belinda is a lecturer in strategy in the UQ Business School coordinating the Corporate Sustainability, and Business Strategies for Sustainability and Innovation courses. Her research primarily examines organisational decarbonisation and sustainability following on from her doctoral research which examined best practice carbon management within Australian businesses)

Mr Avi Aviandito (Avi is a student of the Master of Sustainable Energy at The University of Queensland. He has 3 years experience as a petrophysicist for a major oil & gas services company in Indonesia, graduated from the Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia with a degree in Geology and is currently interested in energy economics and the role of off-grid generation for rural electrification in Indonesia)

Will Steffen, Avi Aviandito, Belinda Wade


About UQEI Energy Express Seminar Series

Welcome to the 2020 UQEI Energy Express Seminar Series! We again look forward to providing you with an opportunity to continue your participation at informative and topical seminars that will open and promote discussion amongst us all.

In offering the Energy Express Seminars, we aim to bring multidisciplinary research capability together on some of the significant energy challenges facing today’s world and connect that capability with industry and government partners. The series is designed to provide a regular forum to present and discuss a range of energy-related topics and themes. They are open events, and bring together industry, government, and the broader UQ community including academics, researchers, students and alumni.

All seminars will start at 6.00pm, with light refreshments to follow. Guest speakers will be announced in due course.

This year again, we especially welcome our Master of Sustainable Energy students - the timing of our seminars is scheduled to coincide, where possible, with the eight core teaching blocks that they will undertake throughout the year.

We encourage and welcome comments and feedback and look forward to engaging with you on global energy challenges.

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Details of the first of our 2020 Energy Express seminars will be published soon.