Thinking Like (and for) a Planet

Thursday 16 May, 3.30pm - 5.00pm

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Seminar Room 650, Level 6, Social Sciences Building, Science Road, University of Sydney



Utrecht University

We face environmental issues of a planetary scale – climate change and extinctions in particular. Our institutions, however, have been designed for a different scale, and a different set of problems. Cities can only do so much, and the nation-state has been more of an obstacle to solutions than a generator of them. In an era of planet-wide transformations, we need a new model for planet-wide thinking and governance. Can we think like a planet, for a planet, rather than for states or human beings alone? How can thinking at a planetary scale change our approaches to institutions, politics, and ethics? What difference can such a shift make in the necessary work to transform existing trajectories of catastrophe?

Join visiting scholar Professor Frank Biermann (Utrecht University), along with Professor David Schlosberg, Professor Glenda Sluga, and Associate Professor Susan Park for an interactive public panel discussion.


Frank Biermann is a research professor of Global Sustainability Governance with the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, The Netherlands. He is the director of the GlobalGoals research programme on the steering effects of the Sustainable Development Goals, supported by a major European Research Council personal ‘Advanced Grant’; the founder of the Earth System Governance research alliance, a global transdisciplinary research network; and the editor-in-chief of Earth System Governance.

Glenda Sluga is Professor of International History, and ARC Kathleen Fitzpatrick Laureate Fellow at the University of Sydney She has published widely on the cultural history of international relations, internationalism, the history of European nationalisms, sovereignty, identity, immigration and gender history. In 2013, she was awarded a five-year Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship for Inventing the International – the origins of globalisation.

Susan Park is Associate Professor of International Relations at the University of Sydney. Her work focuses on the question of accountability in global environmental governance, both generally and in more specific terms on how state and non-state actors use formal and informal influence to make Multilateral Development Banks greener and more accountable.

David Schlosberg is Professor of Environmental Politics and Director of the Sydney Environment Institute. His work is in environmental politics, environmental movements, and political theory – in particular the intersection of the three with his work on environmental justice and sustainable materialism. He is also a co-leader of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences research program on multispecies justice.

This public event is part of a Partnership Collaboration awarded to SEI, which aims to develop research collaborations between scholars at the University of Sydney and Utrecht.