Keynote and featured speakers

Dr. Sue Denham

Wotelsat UK Ltd (UK)

Prof. Alexander Flor

UP Open University (PH)

Minni Jain

The Flow Partnership (UK/IN)

Prof. John Martin

University of Plymouth (UK)

Dr. Mona Nasser

University of Plymouth (UK)

Lody Padilla Espenido

WeDpro / University of the Philippines Diliman (PH)

Dr. Rogel Mari Sese

Regulus SpaceTech (PH)

Dr. Angelo Vermeulen

Delft University of Technology (NL) / SEAD (Space Ecologies Art and Design)

Dr. Sue Denham

Sue Denham is the director of Wotelsat UK Lld Company (UK), which focuses primarily on satellite telecommunications activities and engineering-related scientific and technical consulting activities. Prior to her position at Wotelsat, Sue was Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience at the University of Plymouth (UK) where she worked for 24 years. She was the director of CogNovo, an innovative doctoral programme funded by the EU Marie-Skłodowska Curie initiative and the University of Plymouth, to foster research training in the emerging field of Cognitive Innovation. Between 2014 and 2017, CogNovo offered transdisciplinary training that combined scientific studies of the neural correlates and mechanisms of creativity, with investigations into the role of creativity in human cognition, and their application in sustainable technological and social innovation.

Prof. Alexander Flor, PhD

Prof. Alexander Flor is full Professor, UP Scientist III and Dean of the UPOU Faculty of Information and Communication Studies. Formerly Vice Chancellor for Research and Development, he was the first dean of FICS serving two terms prior to his reappointment in 2016. He chaired the Technical Committee for Alternative Learning Systems of the Commission on Higher Education and held the inaugural SEARCA UP Centennial Professorial Chair during the University's 100th year. He was Fulbright post-doctoral fellow at the East West Center Institute of Communication and Culture in 1989 under Sumiye Konoshima and Meheroo Jussawalla, later on collaborating with Godwin Chu as EWC research fellow in 1992. Dr Flor authored books on knowledge management (SEAMEO-SEARCA, 2001), ethnovideography (SEAMEO-SEARCA, 2003), development communication (UPOU, 2003 and 2007), environmental communication (UPOU, 2004) and informatization (UPOU, 2009). In 1990, he argued that development communication is the Fifth Theory of the Press. In 1993, he coined the term “ethnovideography” to brand his method of participatory video documentation of indigenous knowledge. In 1994, he associated Asian social movements with the concept of the collective mind. In 1995, he introduced environmental communication into the UPLB development communication curriculum followed by ICT for development (ICT4D) and knowledge management for development (KM4D) shortly thereafter. He is currently an editor of the Sustainability Science Journal published by Springer and the United Nations University. He served as technical adviser to international development assistance undertakings in 16 countries.

In his talk on the Information-Communication Sciences and Living Systems Sustainability, Prof. Flor presents the perspective of the UPOU Faculty of Information and Communication Studies search for a solid academic foothold within the disciplinal space. Established in 2004, FICS is unique because of the clustering of computer science, information systems, multimedia arts and communication science under one college. Capitalizing on its innovative beginnings, its academic agility as well as the affordances attendant to open and distance eLearning, the Faculty turned to transdisciplinary sciences such as systems theory and discovered Autopoiesis as a potential buttress. The paper presents a manifesto on the role of information and communication sciences in the evolution, growth and sustainability of living systems at all levels.

Minni Jain

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.

Prof. John Martin, PhD

Dr John Martin is the Head of Research Support and Development at the University of Plymouth (UK). He has extensive research experience and research interests in landscape/seascape character assessment; use of ubiquitous technologies in landscape management, protection and planning; He has also worked in the application of Decision Support Systems in natural environment appraisals. He is currently involved in a 4-year 10 million-euro EU-funded project under the Horizon 2020 programme called RURITAGE. The project aims to establish a new heritage-led rural regeneration approach, transforming rural areas into laboratories for sustainable development, building on the enhancement of their unique Cultural and Natural Heritage potential.

Dr. Mona Nasser

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.

Lody Padilla Espenido

Lourdes “Lody” Padilla Espenido is a development worker and a member of WeDpro, a nonprofit in the Philippines working to protect women and youth against all forms of violence. She is lecturer at the College of Social Work and Development at the University of the Philippines Diliman. For 6.5 years, Lody was the Program Coordinator of the Philippines-Australia Community Assistance Program (PACAP), the small grants community support facility of the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), which funded projects that contribute to the development of Filipino communities. She was also the community grants manager for the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives for 3 years. Generally, she is interested in social development and community organizing as well as in sustainable community projects and social enterprises.

Dr. Rogel Mari Sese

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.

Dr. Angelo Vermeulen

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.