Is increasing consumption the key obstacle to achieving sustainability?

23 February @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
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Join us at the Saïd Business School for a topical debate with experts followed by drinks & networking to keep the conversation going

Oxfordshire Greentech and Cambridge Cleantech invite you to join us at our debate event at the Said Business School in Oxford, sponsored by Michael Page, as we aim to dive into the key obstacles to achieving sustainability. Whether you consider yourself a sustainability expert or are completely new to it, this debate will be an opportunity to learn from the subject’s experts and meet other likeminded people.

The debate subject

If everyone lived like the average European, we would need nearly 3 planets to sustain us. Rising consumerism has been linked to environmental degradation and runaway resource use by those with greater buying power, and others have challenged the very economic systems we operate within and the metrics of wellbeing that we use e.g. GDP.

But could economic growth be successfully decoupled from environmental impact? And is increasing consumption THE key obstacle to achieving sustainability in all its multiple forms? Or are there other areas/obstacles that we should be prioritising first?


The debate will loosely follow debates held in British Parliament, where a motion is moved to “divide the House” in order to vote. Three speakers on each side will present speeches in the proposition of and opposition to the motion. Our debate event will give expert speakers the chance to grapple with this question and offer their insights.



– Professor Kevin Anderson (Professor of Energy and Climate Change in the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering at the University of Manchester and former Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research)

– Dr Luke Kemp (Research Associate at the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, University of Cambridge)

– Dr Rabhya Dewshi (Co-ordinator with Extinction Rebellion, senior clinical psychologist)


– Professor Myles Allen (Professor of Geosystem Science at the University of Oxford, Director of the Oxford Net Zero initiative, and Coordinating Lead Author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s Special Report on 1.5 degrees)

– Professor Alison Greig (Director of Education for Sustainability (EfS) at Anglia Ruskin University and leader of the EfS research theme at the Global Sustainability Institute (GSI))

– Professor AbuBakr Bahaj (Leads the Energy & Climate Change Division and the Sustainable Energy Research Group (ECCD) at the University of Southampton, Co-Chair of the Research Adivsory Group for the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office, Co-Chair of the Southampton Climate Comission and also leads the University of Southampton Sustainable Strategy Implementation Group)

Agenda for the evening

4:00 pm: Reception and registration

4:30 pm: Welcome by Hannah Scott, Oxfordshire Greentech

4:40pm: Introduction to speakers; debate begins

6:00 pm: End of debate. Speakers and attendees are then welcomed to join us for a drinks reception and networking.


23 February
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Category:
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