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Discussion topics announced for SLOW LIFE Symposium 2013

The 2013 SLOW LIFE Symposium will catalyse new partnerships to tackle the most pressing environmental problems of our time. Around 30 Internationally successful visionaries – an eclectic mix of business leaders, investors, scientists, Hollywood,  senior travel media and environmentalists will engage in three days of informed debates, collaborative workshops, culminating with an ‘Innovation Bazaar’ in which they pitch to each other tangible and concrete ideas for future collaboration.

This year’s Symposium, a SLOW LIFE Foundation event, is appropriately sponsored by the Soneva Group, which as a world-leading sustainable luxury resort operator has demonstrated that environmental sustainability is good for the planet and good for business, with approximately 50% of clients being repeat guests.

As host, Sonu Shivdasani, CEO of Soneva and founder of the SLOW LIFE Foundation, will be hoping to repeat the success of 2011’s Symposium, which yielded WHOLE WORLD Water, a ground-breaking social enterprise which unites the hospitality and tourism industries to help solve our global water crisis.

“WHOLE WORLD Water shows what we can achieve when we collaborate and DO,” commented Sonu Shivdasani.  “We believe in the necessity for action so this event has been designed to facilitate scenarios that will lead directly to positive change. Soneva and the SLOW LIFE Foundation are committed to providing support to new ideas and to driving these forward as we have done for WHOLE WORLD Water.”

What are the likely subjects of these initiatives? Discussion topics will include how to scale environmental solutions that have a real impact, the crisis in our plundered and poisoned oceans, future-proofing business for a sustainable world, the oxymoron of sustainable travel, and the crucial role of technology in engaging the hearts and minds of those that live on this beautiful planet.

‘Oceans in crisis’ is not too strong to describe the problems of our water-dominated planet. Symposium participants will discuss solutions such as the Coral Triangle Initiative, a multilateral partnership between six governments working together to sustain extraordinary marine and coastal resources.

Reflecting on such collaborations will be charismatic adventurer and environmentalist David de Rothschild and award-winning writer and film-maker Jon Bowermaster, an expert on the inhabitants of coastal regions who depend upon the marine environment for their livelihoods.

The Symposium breaks down the usual conference boundaries between ‘speakers’ and ‘attendees’ with every delegate, including attending media, an active participant for the whole three days.  Also engaging with such themes will be actor and activist Daryl Hannah, ‘digital champion’ Martha Lane Fox, and global threats expert Larry Brilliant. The chair is Jonathon Porritt, who as a pioneer of sustainable business is perfectly placed to facilitate this group of visionary mavericks and encourage change from within.

On the theme of ‘People, Planet, Profit’, Tim Smit of the Eden Project will be in dialogue with Pavan Sukhdev on the latter’s powerful book Corporation 2020, which argues that we can increase social equity, decrease environmental risk and still generate profit.  Meanwhile Johan Rockström, developer of the ground-breaking ‘planetary boundaries’ concept, will address the theme of ‘Natural Resource Capital’ by demonstrating the global paradigm shift we now need in order to navigate towards global sustainability and human prosperity in an increasingly turbulent world.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead, the American Cultural Anthropologist.

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