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Sustainability Soirée with George Monbiot
On the evening of February 24, 2023, OSBE hosted "Sustainability Soirée with George Monbiot." The evening commenced with an inspiring talk by George Monbiot, a prominent environmental advocate and the author of the groundbreaking book, "Regenesis." Mr. Monbiot engaged the audience with a compelling discussion about the critical global issue of farming as the world's greatest cause of environmental destruction. He emphasized the need to confront this issue head-on, challenging the denialism found in popular media around the ecological and climate impacts of industrial farming.
George Monbiot challenged attendees to consider the staggering impact of farming, which sprawls across thirty times more land than urban sprawl. He highlighted the devastating consequences of ploughing, fencing, and grazing vast portions of the planet, which has led to deforestation, wildlife loss, and the pollution of rivers and oceans—all in the pursuit of feeding ourselves. Monbiot's message underscored the paradox that, despite these destructive practices, millions still go hungry.
However, the event also offered hope and a vision for a better future.
Monbiot introduced the audience to the central theme of his book, "Regenesis".
This book offers a groundbreaking vision of a new future for food and humanity. Drawing on incredible advances in soil ecology, Monbiot unveiled the potential for growing more food with less farming, transforming our relationship with the planet.
He highlighted the individuals and scientists who are pioneering innovative methods in agriculture, such as fruit and vegetable growers revolutionizing fertility, breeders of perennial grains liberating land from ploughs and poisons, and scientists exploring new ways to produce protein and fat sustainably. These discoveries demonstrate how the tiniest life forms could hold the key to resolving one of humanity's most significant dilemmas: how to feed the world without harming the planet.
In conclusion, the "Sustainability Soirée with George Monbiot" on February 24, 2023, was an enlightening and inspiring event that addressed the urgent need to discuss farming's impact on the environment. George Monbiot's presentation not only raised awareness about this crucial issue but also provided a glimpse into a future where regenerative practices could revolutionize the global food system. The event left attendees with a sense of purpose and a vision of a more sustainable and harmonious coexistence with our planet—a vision of Regenesis.
In Conversation with Dale Vince
OSBE hosted a captivating evening that unveiled the thought-provoking book, "Manifesto," through an engaging conversation with its author, Dale Vince. The event commenced with a dynamic dialogue led by Dale Vince, offering attendees an exclusive opportunity to explore the distinctive fusion of biography and visionary blueprint that "Manifesto" represents. As the visionary founder of Ecotricity and chairman of Forest Green Rovers, Mr. Vince drew upon his experiences as a traveler and his remarkable quarter-century journey leading Ecotricity to craft a bold plan—a manifesto—for safeguarding our planet.
The Q&A led by Cass McDonald delved deep into the heart of "Manifesto," meticulously chronicling pivotal moments from Dale Vince's extraordinary life and career. This included the dramatic rescue mission that saved Forest Green Rovers football club in 2010, showcasing his unwavering commitment to sustainability in the realm of sports.
"In Conversation with Dale Vince on 'Manifesto'" was a thought-provoking and inspiring event that underscored the urgency of addressing global challenges through innovative and sustainable approaches. It not only highlighted the remarkable content of "Manifesto" but also fostered a dynamic exchange
between the audience and the author, allowing participants to gain a deeper understanding of the visionary thinking driving Dale Vince's dedication to a more sustainable future.
In Conversation with Adrienne Buller and Matthew Lawrence
The Oxford Business and Entrepreneurship Society (OSBE) hosted a thought-provoking event that brought together visionaries in the field of economics and environmental policy: Adrienne Buller and Mathew Lawrence. This engaging discussion explored the themes of their books, "The Value Of A Whale" and "Owning The Future," offering valuable insights into the illusions of green capitalism and the possibilities for a more equitable and sustainable world.
"The Value Of A Whale" challenges the prevailing narratives of green capitalism, shedding light on the shortcomings of mainstream climate and environmental governance. It delves into the troubling trend of commodifying nature and the increasing influence of the finance industry on environmental policy. In the face of pressing crises, the book encourages us to reflect on our true values and priorities.
In "Owning The Future," the authors tackle the intricate issues of power and property in our current age of crisis. They provide a
roadmap for envisioning a better world by advocating for systemic change and a new agenda centered on the decommodification of both nature and basic human needs. The book challenges us to reimagine the ownership of our economy and consider who benefits from it.
Adrienne Buller, a Senior Fellow at Common Wealth, a progressive think tank dedicated to building a democratic economy, shared her insights and research during the event. Her work has been featured in prominent publications such as The Guardian, The Financial Times, Bloomberg, and The New Statesman.
Mathew Lawrence, the founder and Director of Common Wealth, added his perspective to the discussion, providing valuable expertise on economic and environmental matters.
The event facilitated a dynamic exchange of ideas and perspectives, inspiring attendees to reflect on the intersection of economics, sustainability, and governance. Adrienne Buller and Mathew Lawrence offered a compelling vision for a more equitable and sustainable future, challenging us to reconsider our values and the systems that shape our world.
Sustainability at Mars: Jos Van Oostrum
The Oxford Business and Entrepreneurship Society (OSBE) hosted an eye-opening event, "Sustainability at MARS - A Conversation with Jos Van Oostrum," where the spotlight shone brightly on Mars, Incorporated's outstanding sustainability initiatives, including the groundbreaking Mars Assisted Reef Restoration System (MARRS). Jos Van Oostrum, a driving force behind Mars' sustainability endeavors, offered valuable insights, and the event underscored the pivotal role of large corporations in driving positive change.
Jos Van Oostrum, a distinguished sustainability expert, provided a comprehensive overview of Mars, Incorporated's steadfast commitment to environmental conservation, responsible sourcing, and societal impact. The event celebrated Mars' leadership in the food industry and its commitment to sustainability.
Central to the discussion was the innovative Mars Assisted Reef Restoration System (MARRS), a journey that began with a single question in 2010—Is it possible to rebuild a coral reef? Since 2011, Mars has continuously developed and refined MARRS, a low-cost, reproducible method of coral reef ecosystem restoration. MARRS involves installing a continuous web of "Reef Stars," hexagonal sand-coated steel structures adorned with coral fragments. These structures are strategically placed to cover barren coral rubble fields and gaps between existing live coral on the reef.
Over 19,000 Reef Stars, incorporating an astounding 280,000 coral fragments, have been meticulously installed, resulting in the creation of one of the world's largest restored coral reefs. This success story is spread across two island communities in South Sulawesi, Indonesia, and off the coast of Bali. MARRS has successfully demonstrated an increase in coral growth, diversity, and new recruitment, transforming once-barren areas into thriving ecosystems.
This innovative method contributes to the ecological footprint and biological value of the restoration site, producing coral larvae, nursery areas, and feeding stations for migratory species. Within a remarkably short span, all MARRS structures become integrated into the natural reef framework, attracting a diverse array of marine life and offering opportunities for long-term food security and local job creation.
MARRS is increasingly recognized by the scientific community as a proven method to restore damaged coral reefs, with the potential to rejuvenate coral populations worldwide, offering a lifeline in the face of climate change threats.
Mars, Incorporated's success in Indonesia has inspired the company to take its learnings to coral reefs globally. Partnerships have been formed with local universities and tourism operators, including James Cook University in Queensland, Australia, to explore the restoration of iconic reefs like the Great Barrier Reef. These collaborations represent Mars' commitment to addressing challenges across its supply chains, extending to areas like cocoa pollination and small farming productivity techniques.
Overall, "Sustainability at MARS - A Conversation with Jos Van Oostrum," hosted by OSBE, illuminated Mars, Incorporated's dedication to sustainability and showcased its pioneering MARRS initiative, a beacon of hope for coral reefs worldwide. Jos Van Oostrum's expertise and the interactive discussion left attendees inspired and empowered to explore sustainability initiatives within their own organizations and communities. The event emphasized the power of collaboration and corporate leadership in preserving our planet's beauty and biodiversity for generations to come. Mars, Incorporated, through initiatives like MARRS, embodies its vision for a better world today, setting an example for others to follow.
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