The 21st Century: How much water, how many people?

Water Wars: the geopolitics of water

This panel session was recorded for broadcast on ABC Radio National Late Night Live.

Mad Cows, GMOs and Food Cultures: Sustainability and Food Security in the context of globalisation.

Who’s leading our energy transition?

Around the world, a community energy revolution is underway. Citizens are having varied success in provoking change within the energy regimes of their countries. Energy companies, governments and regulators are operating under one paradigm while citizens demand another. South Australia is at a critical point in its transition to a renewable energy future but will it take a citizen-led uprising to get us where we need to go?

Roads to ruin, pathways to prosperity

South Australia came through the global financial crisis in much better shape than expected. We weathered the global economic storm but the high Australian dollar was a wrecking ball on manufacturing, and collapsing commodity prices ended the mining boom. Now we face closure of the automotive manufacturing industry and perhaps our steel industry. All this threatens to plunge South Australia into economic stagnation and rising unemployment. We know how to avoid this, but will we?

Resistance and persistence

Will we ever see the end of disease? Can the social inequities in health ever be eliminated? If not, what does the future of medicine look like? What might ‘good health’ mean to the next generation?

New lives for older people

With people living longer than ever before, what are the opportunities and challenges as we age in the 21st century?

Sustainable jobs in sustainable communities

A sustainable future means more than renewable energy and environmentally sound food production. How will citizens earn a living? Hi-tech jobs in a global digital work space? Looking after yourself in a local organic co-operative? Who will build the houses, fix the taps, keep track of the accounts? Will it be you? Will the robots take over? Will the value we place on time, money and possessions change?

The Orange Catastrophe

The world citrus industry could well collapse in the coming years. The history of the devastating disease responsible for this is explained in view of what this means for the sustainability of agricultural exports as well as native biodiversity in Australia on the one hand, and the frightening reliance of humanity on a minute range of the world’s plant resources on the other.

Please note: permission to record this session was not granted

Ideas Whose Time Has Come: from Cosmology to Cancer

From dark energy to the Higgs boson, from cancer folklore to synthetic biology: great ideas often languish in obscurity until, decades later, they burst into relevance. World-renowned physicist, best-selling author, and 2013 Adelaide Festival of Ideas dedicatee, Professor Paul Davies, shares some of the more exciting and significant examples that revolutionising science today, and asks: “what else lies in the dusty storehouse of human ideas that may yet transform our future”? In this enlightening presentation, he traverses the spaces between cosmology, computation and information theory, and cell biology to propose a unique view on the way cancer could be understood and ultimately treated. Following the talk, Prof Davies engages in fascinating conversation with Phillip Adams. Introduction to the session by Robert Phiddian, Chair of the AFOI Advisory Committee.