The Earth Convention - The Four Elements: Fire

5x15 square Motive Fire
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5x15 and Rathbones present the Four Elements, the second series of panels in the Earth Convention series. This panel looks at Fire.

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Juliet Davenport
Renewable energy

Juliet Davenport OBE founded Good Energy, one of the UK's first 100% renewable electricity suppliers, in 1999 at the age of 31. The first female CEO of a UK energy supplier, at a time when only 2% of the power on the UK’s electricity grid came from renewables and the entire industry could fit into a room above a pub, Juliet was going against the grain. In Good Energy, she aimed to make it possible for everyone to play a part in the solutions to climate change. Customers remained at the heart of the innovations Good Energy and Juliet drove through, leading to an explosion in home generated solar power, the acquisition of the UK’s first wind farm and a creation of a previously non-existent market for distributed small-scale clean power. Stepping away as CEO in May 2021, Juliet remains a director of Good Energy and sits on the boards of a string of companies that are helping tackle the climate crisis. She is chair of solar innovator Atrato Onsite Energy, whose flotation in November 2022 made it the first company with an all-female board to list on the London Stock Exchange. Her book, The Green Start-Up: Make Your Business Better for the Planet, is an essential toolkit for the modern-day entrepreneur. The very first book of its kind that blends environmentalism with entrepreneurship, The Green Start-Up leads us through the most pressing questions facing any company: from how to fuel the business to how to hire ethically; from how to market sustainably to delivering your product in an environmentally friendly way.

Bill McGuire
Volcanic hazards

Bill McGuire is an academic, activist, broadcaster, and best-selling popular science and speculative fiction writer. He is currently Professor Emeritus of Geophysical and Climate Hazards at University College London, a co-director of the New Weather Institute, and a patron of Scientists for Global Responsibility. His books include: A Guide to the End of the World: Everything you Never Wanted to Know; Surviving Armageddon: Solutions for a Threatened Planet; and Seven Years to Save the Planet. Bill is a volcanologist by inclination and training. His later work has focused on climate change and its impacts, particularly upon the solid Earth, and he was a contributor to the 2012 IPCC SREX report on climate change and extreme events. Bill now works full-time as a writer and activist. He writes for many newspapers and magazines including The Guardian, The Times, The Observer, The Independent, New Scientist, Science Focus and Prospect. Bill presented two BBC Radio 4 series, Disasters in Waiting and Scientists Under Pressure, along with the End of the World Reports on Channel 5 and Sky News. He has also contributed to many other television and radio programme. His latest book is Hothouse Earth: An Inhabitant's Guide.

Melissa Sterry

Design scientist and systems theorist Melissa Sterry, PhD is recognised as a world-leading authority on the science, technology and thinking that could help humanity to build a brighter future. Her career has been spent working with leading-edge ideas, individuals, and institutions worldwide. She is known for creating projects that chart unprecedented conceptual, creative, and commercial potentialities. Her current activities include Founder/Director of biofuturism consultancy Bioratorium®, and of biodesign research and publishing projects Bionic City® and Panarchic Codex®. A recipient of several national and international innovation, creativity and enterprise awards, including the Mensa Education and Research Foundation International Award for enhancing intelligence that benefits society, she is listed in the 'Libertine 100’ women with complex, beautiful and potentially world-changing ideas.

Gaia Vince
Fire and migration

Gaia Vince is an honorary senior research fellow at UCL and a science writer and broadcaster interested in the interplay between humans and the planetary environment. She has held senior editorial posts at Nature and New Scientist, and her writing has featured in newspapers and magazines including the Guardian, The Times and Scientific American. She also writes and presents science programmes for radio and television. Her research takes her across the world: she has visited more than 60 countries, lived in three and is currently based in London. In 2015, she became the first woman to win the Royal Society Science Book of the Year Prize solo for her debut, Adventures in the Anthropocene: A Journey to the Heart of the Planet We Made, and she is also the author of Transcendence: How Humans Evolved Through Fire, Language, Beauty and Time. Her latest book, Nomad Century, is an urgent investigation of the most underreported, seismic consequence of climate change: how it will force us to change where – and how – we live. It is a book of solutions and also a rousing call to arms, describing how we can plan for and manage the now unavoidable climate migration while we restore the planet to a fully habitable state.