Keynote and featured speakers
Dr. Sue DenhamWotelsat UK Ltd (UK)
Prof. Alexander FlorUP Open University (PH)
Minni JainThe Flow Partnership (UK/IN)
Prof. John MartinUniversity of Plymouth (UK)
Dr. Mona NasserUniversity of Plymouth (UK)
Lody PadillaWeDpro / University of the Philippines Diliman (PH)
Dr. Rogel Mari SeseRegulus SpaceTech (PH)
Dr. Angelo VermeulenDelft University of Technology (NL) / SEAD (Space Ecologies Art and Design)
Minni Jain is the Operations Director of the Flow Partnership (TFP), a UK based NGO working to rejuvenate landscapes and counter the increasing threat of floods and droughts through community collaboration. In partnership with communities and using their innate, local wisdom, TFP helps them build natural infrastructure which serve to slow surface rain water runoff, allowing it to filter and store, helping minimize erosion, recharge aquifers, regulate localized weather patterns and create wildlife habitat. The principles of their work in India are proving increasingly useful and being applied successfully by communities across the world. The Flow Partnership is setting up a Global Water School where these methods of rejuvenating landscapes will be freely available. Minni is also a Trustee of the Agroforestry Research Trust/UK, an Editor of the Holistic Science Journal and a Board member of the Berkana Institute/USA.
Using simple, natural and traditional techniques, 7 rivers have been revived in India and many villages have been stopped from flooding in the UK and Europe. Remarkably, building the same kinds of interventions in the landscape can help to keep both droughts and floods at bay. What makes landscapes healthy (as opposed to parched and dry or flooded and rotting)? Understanding how to catch and store water and keep its natural cycle flowing is fundamental to life on earth. Traditionally communities had the knowledge and skills to protect the health of their landscapes by building small, effective natural infrastructure which worked with nature rather than against it. These natural interventions help to slow surface run off water, minimize erosion, recharge aquifers, create wildlife habitat, regulate localized weather patterns. Over time, this local wisdom has been disappearing from communities as they too become increasingly fragmented and these natural interventions are rarely being built. With falling water tables, reserves of fresh water are dwindling, threatening global food security and quality of life. We know there can be no urban resilience without rural resilienceand we know that no civilization has ever been able to survive the ongoing destruction of its natural support systems. Minni will recount the successful community-based revival of 7 rivers in Rajasthan as well as present on some of these natural interventions that are transforming landscapes suffering from flood and drought in the UK, Europe and in other parts of the world.
Dr. Mona Nasser DDS, MSc, PgCert, FHEA, PhD is an Associate Professor of Evidence-Based Dentistry at the University of Plymouth. She is the co-convener of the Cochrane Priority Setting Methods Group, member of the steering group of the Evidence based Research Network and the President-Elect of the Evidence based Dentistry Network of the International Association of Dental Research (IADR). She teaches critical appraisal and evidence-based health care to undergraduate, postgraduate students and other researchers. She has published >70 peer reviewed publications ranging from systematic reviews, meta-epidemiological studies, medical history to oral health inequalities and human health in spaceflight. Her research programmed focuses on a) How do the methods of clinical epidemiology inform decisions about priorities, funding, and project management by officials of public agencies and staff of philanthropies hat support health research? (b) How can engaging a diverse range of stakeholders in “speculative research scenarios” e.g. future space missions to stimulate the development of new and useful methods in clinical epidemiology (c) How can new approaches to social engagement enhance the engagement of disadvantaged groups in health research.
Mona will be organizing a workshop on using methods in evidence synthesis and evidence-based research in an interdisciplinary research program on sustainable development.
Dr. Rogel Mari Sese led the lobbying for the legislation of the Philippine Space Act in Congress and Senate, which would establish the Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA). PhilSA is envisioned to harness space technology to address some of the country’s most pressing challenges, from disaster risk reduction to agriculture, food security and climate change. He is also the president of Regulus SpaceTech Inc, a pioneering space consultancy and services company that provides investment and business development opportunities to the emerging Philippines space sector. Dr. Sese is one of the few astrophysicists in the Philippines and is regularly featured in various media channels. He has a doctorate degree in physics (specializing in computational astrophysics) from the University of Tsukuba in Japan.
Angelo Vermeulen is an artist, biologist and space systems researcher who co-founded Space Ecologies Art and Design, an international transdisciplinary network of artists, scientists, engineers and activists who reimagine and reshape the future through critical inquiry and hands-on experimentation. He is a researcher at the Delft University of Technology, where he is developing bio-inspired concepts for interstellar exploration. He advises several European space companies and, together with the LDE Center for Sustainability, connects space technology and horticulture to foster innovation in global food production. Vermeulen has been (guest) faculty at universities across Europe, the US, and Southeast Asia. A Senior TED Fellow, Angelo’s TED Talk about his space-related work has garnered over a million views. He is currently preparing a series of art/science experiments on board the International Space Station.
When humanity is going to stay in space for prolonged periods of time, inside spacecraft and extraterrestrial settlements, spacefarers will have to become increasingly autonomous and less reliant on supplies from Earth. As a consequence, the future of human space exploration will rely on the broad adoption of regenerative systems that recycle all waste materials. In his talk, Angelo Vermeulen will show what we can learn from such radically circular approaches, and how we can bring these concepts back to Earth to build a more sustainable world.