Seed Speakers


Gillian Burke – BBC
A biologist with an eye and an ear for drama and storytelling, Gillian hosts alongside Chris Packham BBC Winterwatch, Springwatch and Autumnwatch; yet has worked from Researcher to Producer/Director on several Animal Planet and Discovery Channel series. She is passionate about sharing her love of the natural world through film, and is a particular champion of the animals most people love to loathe like the Ultimate Guide to Spiders & Ants for Discovery Channel; to King Cobra! & Anaconda! and one of the highest grossing IMAX films to date, Bugs!  Gillian is the patron of the Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust and an active volunteer of the Marine Strandings Network where she frequently attends call-outs for stranded marine mammals and seabirds.

Craig Bennett
What is progress, how are we doing and where next?
“You can’t stop progress!” is the lazy heckle often lobbed at environmental campaigners. But what is ‘progress’ exactly? How has the concept of ‘progress’ evolved through history and what does it mean today? What should it really mean and, most importantly, how are we doing and where should we be heading? And who, then, are the real enemies of progress?

Maddy Harland
Learning from Nature: restoring ecosystems large and small
Nature is under assault but we can fight back, working to restore ecosystems and regenerate our damaged lands. Experience projects that have started this healing process, restoring the water cycle and replenishing carbon in the soil. Whether you farm, garden, or care for our environment, we can all be climate activists.

Mac Macartney
The Childrens Fire

Mac is an international speaker, writer and change-maker. Mentored by indigenous people over many years, he has acquired profound and original insights into questions preoccupying many contemporary leaders. Mac seeks to inspire the emergence of the leader in each of us, the leader who will take courageous action for a better world. Championing A New Story of Sustainability lies at the heart of this.

Dr Gail Bradbrook
Co-founder of Extinction Rebellion –  If Not You, Who? 

The social movement launched in October 2018 which rapidly spread across the UK and internationally. It is based on the idea of telling the truth about the extent of the ecological crisis and asking people to act accordingly. The movement focusses on mass civil disobedience, rapid decarbonisation and  lowering of consumption and the establishment of a Citizen Assembly as a response to the democratic deficit. Gail has previously been involved in Transition Stroud, Tax Justice Network, Compassionate Revolution and Street School Economics. She has worked for a charity focused on digital inclusion and has a PhD in molecular biophysics.

Ian Redmond OBE
Animal Gardeners of the Forest – how primates and elephants help stop climate change.  

Forests play a central role in efforts to prevent dangerous climate change, and yet deforestation continues apace. Even where the trees are left standing, we hunt the animals therein. In the tropics, most tree species depend on animals to disperse their seeds.  Birds, bats, monkeys, apes and elephants eat fruit, then deposit the seeds in their droppings – first rate organic fertiliser – far from the parent plant.  If we want healthy forests in the future, we must protect the Gardeners of the Forest today.

Rachel Huxley
The work of C40cities

C40 is a network of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change. C40 supporting cities to collaborate effectively, share knowledge and drive meaningful, measurable and sustainable action on climate change.

Alison Tickell
The Creative Climate Movement: An Overview

As the founder and CEO of Julie’s Bicycle, Alison Tickwell believes that we are facing an enormous task. We need a political and corporate consensus, backed by public will, to stand up to climate change. The power of the voice (giving a platform to muted climate scientists), the debate around the Paris Agreement, the evidenced apex performance of renewable energy and clean technologies and the growing youth, cultural and city perspective are changing the game. Climate change is back on the agenda.

Rob Hopkins
Founder of the Transition Movement
Make Britain Imaginative Again
Rob will introduce his forthcoming book which explores the importance of imagination, and why it is that at a time that demands us to be at our most imaginative, we instead find ourselves in a time of such imaginative poverty. He will explore the power of ‘what if’ stories, rich with examples of imagination taking power. You will leave with your imagination reignited, recharged and refocused.

Giles Hutchins
Regenerative Leadership 
At The Heart of Our Life-Affirming Futures

Times are changing. A ‘new norm’ is required across all sectors, and to meet this challenge, a new leadership consciousness is required: one that embraces complexity, senses the systemic interconnected nature of our human systems, and attunes with the more-than-human world we are a part of. Regenerative Leadership is at the heart of this necessary revolution in consciousness, to enable our life-affirming futures.

Dame Fiona Reynolds
The Fight for Beauty
Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, Fiona was the Director-General of the National Trust until November 2012.
Fiona will argue that beauty matters to us all, yet we have lost sight of its importance in our rush for material gain. And as we face ever more challenges, beauty can and must help us to find a better future

Roman Krznaric 
How Can We Be Good Ancestors?
Public philosopher and empathy expert Roman Krznaric gives a sneak preview of his forthcoming book on long-term thinking. How can we overcome the pathological short-termism of the modern world – in politics, business and cultural life – so we can meet the long-term challenges of the coming century, from the global ecological crisis to growing wealth inequality and the risks of new technologies? Roman argues that we must end our colonial domination of the future, rethink our attitudes towards legacy, and shift to a new age of the Good Ancestor. 

Bibi van der Zee
Animal farming and climate change
The contribution that animal farming makes to climate change is finally centre stage, after years of obfuscation and denial. Why has it taken so long? And what do we do about it?

Shaun Chamberlin
The Sequel to Economic Growth – A Future Worth Rebelling For
Shaun authored the Transition movement’s second book, The Transition Timeline, and has served as both chair of the Ecological Land Co-op and a director of Global Justice Now.  He is the editor of David Fleming’s posthumous Surviving the Future: Culture, Carnival and Capital in the Aftermath of the Market Economy, and executive producer of 2019 film The Sequel: What Will Follow Our Troubled Civilisation?

Albert Bates
Biochar Master Class

Explorer of alternative futures, examining all aspects of biochar to reverse climate change. This includes a variety of production methods and equipment, varied purpose conditioning and applications of feed supplements and fertilizer in concrete, plasters, paints, fibres, plastics and 3D printing. Known as an Emergency Planetary Technician, Albert is the founder and president of Global Village Institute for Appropriate Technology.

Dr Andy Letcher
Sacred Activism: Spirituality at a time of Crisis
Many people feel that a crisis of spirituality lies behind the current ecological catastrophe. What’s the role of religion in shaping today’s problems and what part might spirituality play in remedying them? What would it mean to become ‘sacred activists’? 
Dr Andy Letcher, senior lecturer at Schumacher College specializing in the field of Ecology and Spirituality