“Sustainable Materialism as politics” Keynote and “Protest and the City” Panel: Green Institute Conference 2023

By Elissa Jenkins October 24, 2023

This recording is from The City Transformed: Urban life at the end of the world as we know it – Green Institute Conference 2023, specifically the keynote speech for the opening of day two by Professor David Schlosberg discussing “Sustainable Materialism as politics” and a panel on “Protest and the city” with Violet Coco, David Mejia-Canales and Shane Rattenbury MLA. Facilitated by Green Institute Executive Director Tim Hollo.

Professor David Schlosberg

David Schlosberg is Director of the Sydney Environment Institute and Professor of Environmental Politics at the University of Sydney. He is known internationally for his work in environmental politics, environmental movements, and political theory – in particular the intersection of the three with his work on environmental justice. His other theoretical interests are in climate justice, climate adaptation and resilience, and environmental movements and the practices of everyday life.

Professor Schlosberg’s more applied work includes justice in adaptation and resilience planning, the social impacts of climate change, and community-based food movements and policy. He is the author or co-author of Defining Environmental Justice (Oxford, 2007), Sustainable Materialism: Environmental Movements and the Politics of Everyday Life (Oxford 2019), and Climate-Challenged Society (Oxford, 2013); and co-editor of both The Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society (Oxford 2011), and The Oxford Handbook of Environmental Political Theory (Oxford 2016).

His articles are on the top-ten cited list of the journals Contemporary Political Theory, Environmental Politics, Ethics and International Affairs, Global Environmental Politics, and WIREs Climate Change. Professor Schlosberg has been a visiting scholar at the London School of Economics, Australian National University, Princeton University, University of Washington, and UC Santa Cruz, among others.

Violet Coco

Violet was recently sentenced to 18 months in prison for blocking the harbour bridge under the banner Fireproof Australia, a campaign supporting firefighters. Her sentence was dropped on appeal. She feels this repression should not waver our commitment to defend our liveable planet.

Violet has been arrested 32 times, and imprisoned four times. Most notably, for burning a pram outside parliament house, the same day the IPCC released a code red for humanity due to climate breakdown. Violet Coco describes herself as a conscientious objector to the murder of our planet.

She has been apart of organising major disruptive festivals with Extinction Rebellion, supported First Nations and the decolonization of so called ‘Australia’, while also advocating for justice for women, refugees, and queer communities.

David Mejia-Canales

David Mejia-Canales is a senior lawyer at the Human Rights Law Centre. He focuses on protecting democratic freedoms, in particular the right to protest as well as the regulation of online misinformation and disinformation.

Before this David was a policy adviser in the Commonwealth Parliament working on legal system reform and on justice issues impacting First Nations people, including, ending deaths in custody, raising the age of criminal responsibility, protecting Country and Country defenders, and the implementation of the Optional Protocol on the Convention Against Torture.

In addition to his experience with legal policy and law reform, David has worked in community development and health promotion, including HIV prevention and sexual and reproductive health rights with LGBTIQ+ and First Nations communities, as well as research to better meet the needs of LGBTIQ+ refugees and people seeking asylum.

Shane Rattenbury MLA

Shane Rattenbury MLA is an elected member for Kurrajong and the leader of the ACT Greens. Shane was first elected to the ACT Legislative Assembly in 2008, and has served as Speaker and crossbench MLA, as well as holding various Ministries.

Shane is currently Attorney-General, Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction, Minister for Gaming and Minister for Consumer Affairs.

Shane became an environmental advocate at a young age, inspired by campaigns to prevent ozone depletion, protect Antarctica and stop logging of native forests. He joined the Greens while studying at the ANU, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Economics and Law.

Shane started working for Greenpeace Australia in 1998. In 2005, as head of their global oceans campaign, he led an expedition of ships to Antarctica to confront the Japanese whaling fleet.

When elected in 2008 Shane became the first Greens Speaker of the ACT Legislative Assembly, and the first Green party speaker in any Parliament in the world.


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