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Falling Walls Circle – Round Table: Planetary Boundary Science: Advancing Science to Save the Planet

Frontiers Research Foundation, Falling Walls Foundation | Paul Behrens, Wendy Broadgate, Maria Nilsson, Johan Rockström, Jean-Claude Burgelman

Recent research has shown that the interdependence of Earth system stability and resilience, along with human well-being, is paramount for establishing safe and just Earth system boundaries. In this roundtable discussion, leading experts in planetary boundary science will explore innovative and interdisciplinary approaches needed to better understand and address the challenges facing our planet. The focus will be on the importance of a multi-stakeholder approach, combined with our scientific abilities, in protecting the Earth for future generations.

Supported by Frontiers Research Foundation.


Paul Behrens

Leiden University

Paul Behrens (UK) is an author and Associate Professor at Leiden University. His research and writing on climate, energy, and food, has appeared in scientific journals and media outlets such as the BBC, Thomson Reuters, Politico, Nature Sustainability, Nature Energy, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Nature Food, and Nature Communications. His popular science book, The Best of Times, The Worst of Times: Futures from the Frontiers of Climate Science (Indigo Press, 2021) describes humanity’s current trajectory and possible futures in paired chapters of pessimism and hope. Paul won International Champion in the Frontiers Planet Prize in 2023.

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Wed | Nov 08, 2023 | 09.00 AM - 06.00 PM Berlin Time

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Wendy Broadgate

Future Earth

Wendy Broadgate is Global Hub Director (Sweden) for Future Earth, a global network of sustainability scientists. She is Executive Director of the Earth Commission, an expert analysis to define safe and just boundaries for people and planet, underpinning the setting of Science Based Targets for the Global Commons. She has a PhD in marine science and has worked in Earth system science and the science-policy interface for 20 years, leading products such as the 10 New Insights in Climate Science, an annual global endeavor of science synthesis delivered as a policy report for international decision-makers.

Maria Nilsson

Umeå University

Maria Nilsson, professor of Public Health, orientation climate change and health, at Umeå University, Sweden. Her research focus is climate change and health with interest in adaptation and vulnerable populations. She co-authored and was the integrating editor for health in the 2015 “Lancet Commission – Health and climate change”. Since the start in 2016 of the global “Lancet Countdown 2030 on Health and Climate Change” she has co-led the working group on adaptation, planning, and resilience for health and chairs the Lancet Countdown in Europe. She is a member of the health committee of the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences and Editor in Chief for the science journal Global Health Action.

Johan Rockström

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

Johan Rockström is the Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Professor at the Institute of Earth and Environmental Science at Potsdam University. Rockström is an internationally recognized scientist on global sustainability issues, who led the development of the new Planetary Boundaries framework for human development in the current era of rapid global change at the Stockholm Resilience Centre. He is a leading scientist on global water resources, with about 25 years of experience from applied water research in tropical regions, and more than 150 research publications in fields ranging from applied land and water management to global sustainability.

In addition to his research endeavors, which have been widely used to guide policy, Rockström provides strategic scientific guidance as a member of the European Commission’s Expert Group ‘Mission Board for Adaptation to Climate Change, including Societal Transformation’ and the ‘Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences’ and consults several governments and business networks. He acts as an advisor for sustainable development issues at noteworthy international meetings, such as the World Economic Forum, the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conferences (UNFCCC). Furthermore, he chairs or co-chairs the advisory board for the EAT Foundation, the Earth Commission, and the Earth League, is Chief Scientist of Conservation International, member of the European Investment Bank Advisory Group, and elected member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.

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Wed | Nov 08, 2023 | 10.00 AM - 11.00 AM Berlin Time

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Jean-Claude Burgelman

Vrije Universiteit Brussels / Frontiers Planet Prize

Jean-Claude Burgelman is emeritus professor of Open Science at the Free University of Brussels. He retired in 2020 from the European Commission where he was in charge of Open Science policies. Till 2000 he was full professor of communication technology policy at the Free University of Brussels.
He recently joined the advisory board of Open Knowledge Maps, Scimagine and became the editor in chief of Frontiers Policy Lab.
In 2022 he became the director of the Frontiers Planet Prize, a global competition to stimulate science that can save the planet.

About the Venue
Radialsystem – Glassfront Tent
Holzmarktstraße 33
Berlin, 10243 Germany

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