Plenary Session: Reconciling Relations of Difference

Day 3, Plenary Session 3A: 9:00am – 10:30am

Location: Storey Hall (Building 16) – Main Auditorium, Level 5, Room 1

Chair: Professor Paul James (RMIT University)


Deborah Bird Rose Deborah Bird Rose

  • Anthropocene Noir
  • Abstract: Bob Dylan said it perfectly: ‘it’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there’. I will explore some aspects of darkness emanating from the concept of the Anthropocene and from the facts of the biosphere changes now in process. The larger questions concern action in a time when all action seems contaminated. What commitments might guide us, in an era of increasingly inscrutable and unacceptable choices? How may we keep faith with life in this era of loss and degradation?
  • About Professor Bird Rose: Deborah Bird Rose is Professor of Social Inclusion at Macquarie University and a Visiting Professorial Fellow at UNSW, Sydney, where her research focuses on multi-species inclusion/exclusion in this time of extinctions. She came to Australia to live with Aboriginal people in the hopes of learning about their relationships with country and other species. Instead of going home, she stayed here as an academic to work with people on land claims and other matters. Her research explores possibilities for multi-species communities, complicated by escalating violence. Her most recent book is Wild Dog Dreaming: Love and Extinction, University of Virginia Press. She is a prize-winning author and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.
Alice Cope Alice Cope

  • Collective Impact and the Power of Many
  • Abstract: Just over 12 months ago the United Nations Secretary General set forth a challenge to the High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post 2015 Development Agenda. It is set against an ever changing world with a further billion people on the planet in 2030, where more than half of us now live in cities and where private investment in developing countries now dwarfs aid flows. It is a world where technology is transforming our lives both personally and commercially. There are now more than 6 billion mobile phone subscriptions compared to only a handful in the eighties. It is a world where 1.2 billion people account for only 1 % of world population while the billion richest consume 72%.  The challenge – where to next and, importantly how. The role of business and industry in an ever changing world where resources are becoming fewer and the population greater is central to connecting the three pillars of sustainable development – social, economic and environment – but what is the role of business and how can change the way we work, consume and produce? 
  • About Ms Cope: Alice Cope is Executive Manager of the Global Compact Network Australia, the Australian network of the UN Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate responsibility initiative through which companies and other organisations commit to universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.  Alice was previously a Policy & Sustainability Advisor at the UN Global Compact in New York where she focused primarily on the social aspects of sustainability including women’s empowerment and Indigenous peoples’ rights.  Prior to moving into corporate responsibility, Alice was a corporate lawyer for a number of years with one of Australia’s leading law firms, Allens, where she advised some of Australia’s largest companies on mergers and acquisitions and broader corporate issues across a range of sectors.