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View our #esiStateOfTheArt talks by the Featured ESI Academic of the Month

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Net zero: fact, theory and wishful thinking

Thursday 31 March 2022

An end-of-term event for the students on the ESI led Masters programmes.

Net zero has rapidly become a central element in the discourse around human-caused climate change mitigation. National and regional governments along with communities and corporations have declared climate emergencies in which net zero by a specific date features prominently.

In this talk Dr James Dyke gave a brief overview of the emergence of net zero and its current role in climate change mitigation. He argued that while motivated by concerns of climate justice and equity, net zero has become co-opted to facilitate a burn now - pay later approach which threatens to overwhelm younger people and future generations with vast economic and technological debts.

Arts, Culture and the Environment in Cornwall

Wednesday 21 July 2021

An ESI event in collaboration with Penryn Humanities and Exeter Arts & Culture.

This event offered a cross-campus format for sharing research and emergent ideas, to give an audience (of non-specialists) a broad impression of active work, including its significance, methods and insights. It showcased our interdisciplinary work in Cornwall, in a way that hopefully provokes playful, dynamic and ongoing interactions.

Banking on a Just Transition: Why small is beautiful and money is mutual

Thursday 4 February 2021

An ESI event with Tony Greenham, CEO of South West Mutual

An ill-fated advertising campaign by Barclays Bank in 2000 proclaimed the virtues of being big, at the same time that rural branches were being slashed, and the CEO was enjoying a massive pay rise. Eight years later, Barclays was days from collapse during the global financial crisis and implicated in various mis-selling scandals. Over the past few years, 4 of the top 5 UK banks have continued pouring over £50bn a year into fossil fuels. If the challenge of our time is a socially just transition to a net zero society - what kind of bank is best suited to that purpose? South West Mutual is seeking to establish the region’s first purpose-led mutual bank. Join us to discuss why money is a social relationship, not a commodity, and why smaller banks can serve the parts of the economy that big banks cannot reach.

PechaKucha sessions

Wednesday 20 and 27 January 2021

The two online research PechaKucha sessions, by The Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) and Institute of Cornish Studies (Fondyans Studhyansow Kernewek), both based in Cornwall, are hosted by Steffen Boehm.

PechaKucha is a storytelling format where a presenter shows 20 slides for 20 seconds of commentary each (6 minutes and 40 seconds total)”

The idea is to provide a quick but interesting overview of a research project so that the audience (of non-specialists) get a broad impression of the research, its importance, significance, research methods and knowledge insights. These sessions are designed to aid the communication of research at the Cornwall campuses of the University of Exeter. There is so much going on in terms of excellent, interdisciplinary research in Cornwall, it’s difficult to keep up, yet essential if we want to build interdisciplinary research teams and teach our students about interdisciplinary research agendas.

(Video above) PechaKucha Session I on 20 January

Click here to watch PechaKucha Session II on 27 January.

Peripheral Vision: Reimagining Regional Policy for a Greener Union

Wednesday 16 December 2020

Organised by Britain's Leading Edge and the Environment and Sustainability Institute.
Chaired by Jonathan Werran from Localis, Stuart Dawley and Gail Mulvey talked about regional development for the periphery, Ian Bateman and Jennifer Geroni outlined the concept of natural capital and how it can be used to reframe the potential for regional development, Arianna Giovannini and Mark Sandford considered the link to the ongoing debate about devolution, and Jessie Hamshar and Jason Torrance applied the conference themes to developments in local government and policy/ practice.

(Video above) Session I: Peripheral Development
Dr Stuart Dawley, Newcastle University
Dr Gail Mulvey, University of Cumbria

Click here to see Session II: Natural Capital
Professor Ian Bateman, University of Exeter
Dr Jennifer Geroni, Environment Platform Wales

Click here to see Session III: Governance and policy responses
Dr Arianna Giovannini, De Montfort University
Dr Mark Sandford, Senior Researcher, House of Commons

Click here to see Session IV: Britain’s Leading Edge
Jessie Hamshar, Director of Strategy and Engagement, Cornwall Council
Jason Torrance, Policy Director, UK100 / Countryside Climate Network

Information Exchange: How can we create a wilder Cornwall?

An ESI event with Cornwall Wildlife Trust.

Thursday 3 December 2020

Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Chief Executive and key Managers would like to share information about the work they are doing to reverse the decline of nature, to tackle climate change and to inspire people to take action for nature in Cornwall. They’d like to hear your ideas on how your research and studies could help too. Join this interactive session to explore how academia and the voluntary sector can collaborate with others to create a wilder Cornwall.

Natural Capitals on the Duchy of Cornwall farms

An opportunity to discuss how we can collaborate to co-design a science-based research and monitoring programme

Thursday 22 October 2020

The Duchy of Cornwall’s Natural Capital Project has at its core the ambition to cherish, protect and enhance the environment for future generations.

Across its 130,000 acres of upland and lowland farmland and forests the Duchy is establishing a database that will provide a unique baseline assessment of seven key natural capital elements, namely soils, water and air quality, biodiversity, historic interest, recreation and access and landscape.

Based on these assessments, integrated farm plans will be drawn up to not only safeguard existing features but also to provide ambitious enhancements on each farm and at scale across the estate as a whole.

The Duchy of Cornwall is establishing several demonstration farms (called Focus Farms) where it can develop its more detailed understanding, not only of the costs and benefits (monetary and non-monetary) of the ecosystem services of this work but also where research can be pioneered and developed to help inform its future assessments.

To this end, the Duchy wishes to collaborate with Exeter University to explore a science-led programme for the monitoring of its natural capital assets. It is hoped that this work will provide opportunities for research students to collaborate to develop a multi-disciplinary programme which establishes high quality and cutting-edge methods of natural capital assessment and monitoring.

Lagas: An Environmental Intelligence Platform for Cornwall

4th June 2020

Lagas is the environmental intelligence platform developed though Tevi to explore Cornwall’s natural environment. The aim of this event is to explore the potential applications for Lagas from the academic community, focused on the ESI, and to demonstrate the functionality of the platform as a key tool for the effective communication of environmental data.