BY HENRIK VON WEHRDEN AND JAN HANSPACH
Tomorrow, on Wednesday 4th of September, there will be a conference in Maastricht entitled “9 billion And You“. The title is rather general, but as you might have guessed, it is about the general challenges posed by global change, and about human population growth in particular, and how we can address these. People from different disciplines and backgrounds will reflect on how well prepared humanity is for these challenges, what needs to change, and how such change could be achieved.
There will be at least 14 presentations and just by naming a few speakers one gets a glimpse of what the conference might bring: Graeme Maxton, who is a fellow of the International Centre of the Club of Rome and just published a book about ”The End of Progress – How modern economics has failed us”; Dawn Engle and Ivan Suvanjieff who co-founded the PeaceJam Foundation, a learning program that seeks to educate young people from all over the world with the help of Nobel Peace Laureates; or Jan Rotman, a global change researcher who founded the Dutch Research Institute for Transitions.
The conference is a TEDX Event, which means a franchised TED event. TED itself is a series of conferences that started in the 1980s. Initially, these conferences covered new ideas and findings from the fields of Technology, Entertainment, and Design, but later were more broadly dedicated to “Ideas Worth Spreading“. TED became increasingly well known once talks were freely accessible on the web.
As bloggers for “Ideas for Sustainability”, we were asked by the organizers if we were interested in covering the event on our blog. We agreed, and so that’s precisely what we’ll try to do – we’ll be in Maastricht, sitting in the audience with 800 other invited listeners to get inspired by all the ideas worth spreading. Hopefully, we will be able to capture some of the spirit and main messages of this exciting event on this blog over the next days. Stay tuned!