The Green New Deal Conference. Melbourne, 10/24-25, 2009

We are living in extraordinary times. Our choice is to move consciously towards a new sustainable and satisfying future or be overwhelmed by multiple converging global crises. Business as usual—a return to “trend growth”—is not a viable option. The idea of a “green new deal” is shorthand for taking deliberate, long-sighted, transformative steps to tackle these crises, not piecemeal, but in an integrated and holistic fashion.

This conference is your opportunity to help shape an Australian Green New Deal and start discussing what it might mean in Asia and the Pacific. The necessary changes are both societal and practical. We will map steps forward at all levels from household to global, and in contexts from work to recreation to relationships. We aim to catalyse new action and reinforce what is already underway.

The keynote speaker, crossing live from the UK, will be Professor Tim Jackson, author of  Prosperity without Growth about to be published as a book. As Tim says:

Prosperity consists in our ability to flourish as human beings—within the ecological limits of a finite planet. The challenge for our society is to create the conditions under which this is possible. It is the most urgent task of our times.

All our speakers in their different spheres are part of meeting this challenge—as are you.

People from all walks of green life are welcome to be part of this important conference: community, academia, government and business, small and large.  Bring your family, friends and colleagues. Join us for a vibrant, challenging and fulfilling weekend.


Conference overview

The conference includes a mix of presentations, workshops and forums — thought-provoking, informative and with plenty of time for discussion and exchange. The aim is to build momentum for change by connecting people and groups who will help shape our green future through their commitment and action.

Everyone is invited to Bob Brown’s public lecture on Friday evening (no need to book). And, most importantly, be seated in the Copland Theatre at 9 am on Saturday morning for the video-cross to the UK for Tim Jackson’s keynote speech (it will be 11 pm Friday night for him).

Friday 23 October 2009

Early registration and drinks/nibbles
When: 4.00 pm–6.00 pm
Where: Copland Theatre Foyer (this is the main venue for the conference, building 148 at the Parkville campus of the University of Melbourne).  From here it’s a short walk to the venue for Bob Brown’s public lecture.

The Greening of Politics – Greens Leader Senator Bob Brown
When:   6.00 pm for 6.15 pm start
Where:    ‘The Spot’, The Basement Lecture Theatre, the Faculty of Economics and Commerce Building, University of Melbourne. The Spot is at 198 Berkeley St (cnr Pelham St) Carlton. It earned a five-star Green Star Education Pilot rating from the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA).
What:  This is a public lecture,  supported by the Melbourne University School of Graduate Research.  A gold coin donation will be appreciated.

Saturday 24 October 2009 – conference day 1

The conference will be held in rooms in and around the Copland Theatre at the University of Melbourne.

7.45 am–8.45 am   Registration (with coffee)

9.00 am sharp Plenary 1 via video link from the UK
Keynote speech by Prof Tim Jackson, author of the groundbreaking report for the UK Sustainability Commission Prosperity Without Growth.  Moderated by Senator Bob Brown.

11.00 am   Welcome to Country: Joy Wandin Murphy, Senior Elder of the Wurundjeri People.

Lunchtime   Join our 350.org event

6.00 pm   Day 1 finishes

6.30 pm   Conference dinner, Queensberry Hotel, 593 Swanston St Carlton
Book and pay for the dinner when you register for the conference and you are welcome to bring guests (there is space on the registration form to book additional places for dinner).  Cost: $30 per person ($20 low income) plus drinks.

Sunday 25 October 2009 – conference day 2

8.30 am   Registration desk (and coffee) open

9.30 am   Day 2 begins

and ends with a nice surprise before at

4.00 pm   Conference finishes


Workshops and Forums

There’s something for everyone amongst the wonderful program of workshops and forums.  The focus is ideas into action!  What needs to change, how can change be brought about, and what will we do to help.

There will be three workshop sessions during the weekend, each an hour and a quarter long, with nine or ten workshops and forums to choose from. Confirmed workshops and forums are listed here; details for each will be added as they become available.  Download the Workshops and Forums program.

Workshops and forums are listed below, grouped loosely into five categories.

Prosperity without growth

p1, p2, p3   Responding to Tim Jackson’s challenge.  A series of three broad-ranging workshops.  Including discussion of priorities for government spending in a green new deal. With Steve Keen in the third workshop. Facilitated by Janet Rice,

Green new deal

g1   A green new deal for Aotearoa/New Zealand.  Presented by Green MPs from New Zealand.  Realistic and practical ways for New Zealand to address the current twin crises of global economic recession and global environmental collapse/crisis.

g2   A green new deal for Asia and the Pacific, with a strong focus on climate justice.  Including participants from Indonesia, Taiwan and New Zealand.

g3   Green new deal for State and Local Governments. Convened by Councillor Cathy Oke (Melbourne City Council) with contributions from other local governments, Mark Parnell’s office (South Australia) and more.

g4   An Indigenous green new deal.  With Cheryl Buchanan (Kooma Traditional Owner), Major Sumner (Ngarrindjeri elder) and Geoff Buchanan (Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy and Research).

Climate

c1  Safe climate:  why the government’s CPRS is not the answer and what is.  Senator Christine Milne, Dr Iain McGill and others.

c2 Youth and climate: call to action. Bringing the long term big ideas together and turning them into practical short term plans for action. As a result of the workshop we would like to have a network of people keen to get campaigns rolling throughout 2010 – focused on federal election and also general climate negotiations. Convened by Hannah Aulby and Jake Wishart.

c3 Getting to zero. p2p2020 provides a choice and a platform to lead ourselves to a clean, safe future and Beyond Zero Emissions, a volunteer run community campaign, provides the plan to transition Australia to zero emissions by 2020.

c4 Gender, climate and the green new deal. ‘You’ve got it, Penny – climate change is gendered!’ And so too, the green new deal!

c5 Restructuring the power industry. Strategies to restructure the power industry so that deep cuts in emissions can be achieved in a reasonable time frame. Presented by Chris Mardon.

Issues

i1 Jobs, green jobs and work. With Dean Mighell, Sue Lewis and Lin Hatfield Dodds. Facilitated by Barbara Pocock.

i2 Financial engineering and financial innovation. What part, if any, do they have in a Green New Deal Economy? Workshop led by Troy Nutley.

i3 Global population in 2050 – analysis and response. In 2050, the numbers of people on the planet and the way they live will be of crucial importance in shaping and ecologically and socially sustainable future. Presented by Dr Deb Foskey.

i4 Biodiversity for climate protection. Nature as climate solution, not casualty. Including an overview of the international REDD negotiations for reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation; and how we can improve fire management for biodiversity and carbon.

i5   How to eat your way to an equitable, cool and ecologically appropriate society. Healthy soil, healthy ecosystems, healthy people with healthy economies and societies. Convened by Frances Murrell from MADGE.

i6   Inclusiveness now! Practical ways to reach working class voters. With climate disaster on our doorstep, can we afford to keep Green politics trapped in a middle class inner city terrarium?

i7   Sustaining rural Australia. While more than 85% of Australians now live in cities, rural and regional Australia are vital links in building a sustainable economy and environment – so what can be done to strengthen the resilience of rural communities and support people who are fighting the often lonely fight for social and environmental sustainability in rural and regional Australia? And what can city people learn from the innovative community building that takes place in rural and regional Australia? The workshop presenters are members of the Centre for Rural Communities.

i8 Tackling violence at home – walking the talk. This workshop will explore the role Greens can take to address violence against women in our party, our communities and our country. Men are particularly encouraged to come to this forum. Convened by Kathleen Maltzahn.

Tools

t1 On-line campaigning. Introducting a variety of on-line tools for community action and campaigning.

t2 Not for profits in a green economy. A practical presentation for not-for-profits and charities by lawyer Derek Mortimer.

t3 What’s next for community climate action? Community groups across the country are working to protect the climate. Where to next for this escalating movement? Convened by John Cameron and Louise Crossley.

t4 Financing green initiatives. Zero interest loan funding for investments — how it works. Tell us how you would invest zero interest loans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and hear what others would do. Presented by Kevin Cox.

t5 Greening your rental property. How to live a sustainable existence within the confines of rental property. Policy and practical solutions for renters. Presented by Green Renters.

t6 Activism. The role of activism in creating change. Convened by Louise Morris, Friends of the Earth climate campaigner and Gunns20 defendant.

 

Speakers

Keynote speaker:  Tim Jackson
By the magic of 21st century communications technology,
Tim Jackson live from the UK.  Author of Prosperity Without Growth: The Transition to a Sustainable Economy, Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey, and Director of the Research Group on Lifestyles, Values and Environment (RESOLVE), Tim is also a professional playwright.

Public lecture:  Bob Brown
Greens Leader Senator Bob Brown was elected to the Senate in 1996 after 10 years as an MHA in the Tasmanian parliament.  In his first speech in the Senate, Bob raised the threat posed by climate change. Government and opposition members laughed at his warning of sea level rises and it has taken 12 years for them to finally begin to acknowledge the causes and effects of climate change.  Since 1996, Bob has continued to take a courageous, and often politically lonely, stand on issues across the national and international spectrum.

Welcome to Country: Joy Wandin Murphy
Joy Wandin Murphy, the Senior Elder of the Wurundjeri People, will welcome participants to Country. She has been involved with Aboriginal Issues for thirty years, and held executive positions across all sectors of Government. She and her much-loved partner (dec) share seven adult children and ten adored grandchildren. Amongst many activities, she is an honorary Professor of Swinburne University of Technology, Chair of the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Cultural Arts and Development at the Victorian College of the Arts, Co-Patron for Keeping Koori Kids in Catholic Education and Patron for Parliament of World Religions.

Margret RoadKnight
Margret is an artist whose lyrics are “noted for their wit and substance” (Musica Viva), who has shared stages with Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Pete Seeger, Ani Di Franco, Taj Mahal, et al, and with Nelson Mandela, Abbie Hoffman, Benjamin Spock, Helen Caldicott, Mort Sahl and David Suzuki. Margret is renowned for her memorable performances in Australia and overseas. She has 10 solo albums, an extensive roots-based repertoire, a powerful vocal style, plus humour and wisdom from surviving and thriving outside the mainstream for over 4 decades.

Australian Greens