Author of the timely best seller 'There is no Planet B, a Handbook for the Make or Break Years'
Professor at Lancaster University's Institute for Social Futures
Founder of Small World Consulting
“Mike is an engaging and entertaining speaker who, nonetheless, pulls no punches in setting out the challenges for humanity in ‘There is No Planet B’. He makes the scale and range of the problems crystal clear and presents practical actions that everyone can adopt to make a difference.”
‘Mike manages the balance between entertainment and seriousness so brilliantly! A great event.”
Mike Berners-Lee is an expert on sustainability and on how we can address this overarching 21st century challenge.
He is the founder of Small World Consulting, an associate company of Lancaster University, which is a world leader in the field of supply chain carbon metrics and management. Small World works with organisations of all sizes and sectors, from the world’s largest tech giants to SMEs. Mike is a professor at Lancaster University, where his research includes sustainable food systems and carbon metrics. He has made numerous speaking, radio and television broadcast appearances to promote public awareness of sustainability and climate change issues, and most notably appeared in Climate Change: The Facts alongside Sir David Attenborough. He is the author of three acclaimed books.
His latest book, There Is No Planet B: A Handbook for the Make or Break Years is a practical and holistic tour of the 21st century’s biggest challenges, laced throughout with practical guidance for individuals, businesses and politicians. About his first book, How Bad Are Bananas? The Carbon Footprint of Everything Bill Bryson wrote “I can’t think of the last time I read a book that was more fascinating, and useful and enjoyable all at the same time”. A fully updated version of this book was published in Summer 2020.
His book,The Burning Question , co-written with Duncan Clark, explores the big picture on climate change and the underlying global dynamics, asking what mix of politics, economics, psychology and technology are really required to deal with the problem. Al Gore described it as “Fascinating, important and highly recommended”.
Mike has a degree in Physics from Oxford University, a PGCE in Outdoor Education and Physics from Bangor, and an MSc in Organisational Development and Consulting from Sheffield Hallam University.
Themes and Topics
Investing for a Sustainable Future
Every spend and every investment pushes for a one type of future or another. Mike guides asset managers and financial advisers to better understand the Anthropocene-fitness of their portfolios; the risks and opportunities faced by each company in a transitioning world. How well is each company placed to thrive as carbon is taken out of the economy and the world undergoes deep systemic change. And to what extent does each company enables that change ?
The Big Picture of Everything
Joined up and cross-disciplinary analysis of the of the challenges and opportunities facing humanity today. What needs to happen and who can do what to help us thrive through the coming decades and beyond.
Education for the Anthropocene
The next generation face radically different challenges and opportunities to any before it. These will require new thinking skills, habits and values. What are these and how can how can they be developed in our schools and universities?
Business Purpose and Ethics for the 2020s
A fresh look at business purpose and ethics as well as the practicalities of low carbon transition.
Feeding the world, climate change, biodiversity, antibiotics, plastics – the list of concerns seems endless. But what is most pressing, what are the knock-on effects of our actions, and what should we do first? Do we all need to become vegetarian? How can we fly in a low-carbon world? Should we frack? How can we take control of technology? Does it all come down to population? And, given the global nature of the challenges we now face, what on Earth can any of us do? Fortunately, Mike Berners-Lee has crunched the numbers and plotted a course of action that is practical and even enjoyable. There is No Planet B maps it out in an accessible and entertaining way, filled with astonishing facts and analysis. For the first time you’ll find big-picture perspective on the environmental and economic challenges of the day laid out in one place, and traced through to the underlying roots – questions of how we live and think. This book will shock you, surprise you – and then make you laugh. And you’ll find practical and even inspiring ideas for what you can actually do to help humanity thrive on this – our only – planet.
“Fascinating, insightful, important and entertaining. We need books and thinkers like this to inspire people to act now, not only to motivate a debate. This book is full of useful insights and advice on how you and I can make a difference, every day. Climate change is no longer a distant threat, but a visible reality. With a deep and wide-ranging analysis this book sparks the activist in all of us.” Jesper Brodin, CEO and President, INGKA Group (IKEA)
We all want to do the right thing for the planet, but what’s the real impact of each of the things we do and buy?
We hear a lot about driving and flying but what about sending a text message, buying a cappuccino or keeping a pet? How do apples compare oranges or bananas, buying a newspaper with surfing the internet, or cut flowers with house plants? How much does a Zoom call save on a meeting or conference? And what about the big things? How much CO2 is generated by a wildfire, a volcano, or a war? Can any of it be genuinely offset?
This new edition of How Bad are Bananas? has been fully updated throughout, and includes new entries on pets, cryptocurrencies, E-bikes, supermarket deliveries, negative emissions and a 20-page guide on how to reduce your own carbon footprint.
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