Themed “Surviving Climate Change”, the 2010 SLOW LIFE Symposium pointed to a new model for effective travel industry leadership in the fight against climate change. Bringing together a diverse range of world-leading environmental experts with travel industry leaders, attendees discussed practical, effective and profitable ways to combat global warming.
Among the speakers at the event were President Nasheed of the Maldives, Jonathon Porritt, the Founder Director of the Forum for the Future, Stefan Schurig of the World Future Council, Mike Mason of Climate Care, Chris Gorell Barnes, of the BLUE Marine Foundation, Johnathon Counsell, Head of Environment at British Airways, and a host of others.
The host of the Symposium, Sonu Shivdasani, Chairman and CEO of Soneva Resorts, said: “Over the course of the last three days we have heard about some amazing schemes ranging from the commercial success of solar power to cost effective ways of protecting our oceans and the need to re-engage with consumers at a more spiritual level.”
Among the highlights of the Symposium was a commitment by British Airways to only use fish from sustainable sources in its in-flight meals and the opening of talks between the government of the Maldives and BLUE Marine Foundation, which could see the creation of the largest marine conservation area in the world.
The tone of the Symposium was set in the very first speech of the event by Jonathon Porritt. He stressed that the environmental movement has largely failed in its mission of advocacy – partly because of an inappropriate use of language.
He said: “We need to bring the power of science and the power of intuition together. Einstein described intuition as a sacred gift. It is a crucial part of what we want to achieve.”
President Nasheed of the Maldives, the guest of honour at the Symposium, called upon young people around the world to take direct action to force governments to step up their efforts to combat climate change. He said: “To move the US we must have direct action. The battle must be fought on the street. Politicians do not do anything unless told to do so by the people.”