29 Oct 2014 5:00pm - 6:30pm Department of Geography, Downing Site


This seminar is free, open to all and part of a series hosted by the Cambridge Conservation Initiative and UCCRI.

Johan Rockström, Humanitas Visiting Professor in Sustainability Studies 2014, will give a series of three public events entitled Earth Resilience and World Development: Pathways towards global sustainability in an era of rapid global changes and participate in a concluding symposium on Friday 31 October.


Major advancements in Earth system science and resilience research, enabled the scientific proposition in 2009 to define science based planetary boundaries, aimed at delineating a biophysical safe operating space for human development on Earth. The key elements of scientific advancement that formed the ingredients of the planetary boundaries framework include (1) the evidence of the advent of the Anthropocene, (2) tipping elements in the Earth system, (3) the unique role of the Holocene equilibrium as the only stable state of the planet we know that can support our modern world, and (4) the deeper understanding of interactions, feedbacks and threshold dynamics among processes and components of the Earth system. Since its original publication the PB framework has triggered major scientific scrutiny, debate and advancements (with 933 scientific citations and 62 scientific publications directly addressing planetary boundaries, Web of Science 20th October 2014). This has resulted in significant progress in assessing the identification of planetary boundary processes and improved definition of boundary levels. It has also triggered scientific efforts of coupling global planetary boundaries with regional definitions and to deepen the analysis of interactions among boundaries. It has also triggered new integrated research on global governance and equity dimensions of planetary stewardship of a safe and just operating space within planetary boundaries.  

Events in the Series

Human Prosperity within Planetary Boundaries (HUMANITAS)
28 Oct 2014 5:00pm - 6:30pm, Lady Mitchell Hall, Sidgwick Site

Public lecture.

Planetary Boundaries 2.0: Defining a safe Operating Space for Humanity on Earth (HUMANITAS)
29 Oct 2014 5:00pm - 6:30pm, Department of Geography, Downing Site

Cambridge Conservation Initiative Seminar.

Competition of Life Game (HUMANITAS)
30 Oct 2014 11:00am - 1:00pm, University Centre (Mead Room)

Interactive event for teenagers along with Professor Johan Rockström. Participants are divided into teams of 4-5 and using simple tools to represent renewable resources, this activity will hopefully inspire understanding and discussion on the different strategies people use to manage resources in the real world.

From Sustainable Development to Global Sustainability (HUMANITAS)
31 Oct 2014 2:00pm - 6:00pm, SG1&2, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road

Concluding symposium with respondents Bill Adams (Cambridge), Gretchen Daily (Stanford Woods) and Bill Sutherland (Cambridge).

About the Professorship

The Humanitas Chair in Sustainability Studies has been made possible by the generous support of Tellus Mater Foundation.

Over its 5 year duration, the Visiting Professorship will touch on a diverse range of topics relating to sustainability studies, ranging from the environment and behaviour, to policy and economics.

The Humanitas Chair in Sustainability Studies is organised in collaboration with the Cambridge Conservation Initiative (CCI), a unique collaboration between the University of Cambridge and leading internationally-focussed biodiversity conservation organisations clustered in and around Cambridge, UK. CCI seeks to transform the global understanding and conservation of biodiversity and the natural capital it represents and, through this, secure a sustainable future for all life on Earth. The CCI partners together combine and integrate research, education, policy and practice to create innovative solutions for society and to foster conservation learning and leadership. 

Previous Humanitas Visiting Professors in Sustainability Studies

2013-14: Gretchen Daily

Standing Committee

Mike Rands (Excecutive Director, Cambridge Conservation Initiative)
William Sutherland (Zoology)
Bhaskar Vira (Geography)

Hosting College

Trinity Hall


Upcoming Events


Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk