Signs of Change National Conference
Date: 15-16 November 2010
Location: The Whole Country!
Documentary on Signs of Change
The first decade of the 21st Century has confirmed the warnings of the previous fifty years – the historical development path is not sustainable. Air, water, energy, soils, forests, fish… over exploitation enabled by new technology and emboldened by new economies has brought the world’s resources, ecosystems, and even the climate to the tipping point. There is no debate that the work of engineers and scientists has been instrumental in the exponential growth of human wealth and anthropogenic footprint. The individual and corporate benefits of profligate energy use, new technology and economic growth are obvious. But these benefits are undermined by costs in degradation of social fabric and environmental viability. There have been people from many disciplines struggling to alert society to the need for change. This conference has not invited any of them to come and speak. This conference is inviting people who have found a new way (or maybe an old way) to make things work sustainably.
The AEMSLab are hoping to work with a major hotel company and IT specialists to provide the design and know-how we gained in carrying out the Signs of Change Conference. We are sure the time has come for the conference industry to offer a no-travel option. Call us!
The Signs of Change National Networked e-Conference was indeed the first low-travel conference of this kind in the world. The good will of local organisers, and the hard work of the IT specialists at the seven venues across the country resulted in two days, forty presentations, hours of discussions and a statement of vision for what the attendees agreed wholeheartedly was heresy. All of the presented signs of change were video-recorded and are available to watch.
Signs of Change
We definitely reduced the negative aspects of attending conferences. If all of the people had attended at the Christchurch venue for two days, they would have spent more than $120,000, cumulatively wasted 497 hours sitting on air planes, and had a carbon footprint in excess of 85 tonnes of CO2. By attending the conference in their own location, the Signs of Change provided the full conference experience with 1000 times lower energy and carbon use than a conventional conference.
Another benefit of the novel conference design was the higher participation achievable. Of course, if the conference had been only in Christchurch, fewer than a third of the 250 participants would have been able to attend. The people in the more remote areas would have been the least likely to be able to participate in a national conference.