Food security in a globally-connected world will require better governance at all levels – local, national and international.

The world's energy, water and food systems are tightly linked. How will these vital resources cope in the coming decades from a growing and more prosperous global population?

Join the RGS for this unique opportunity to hear from our internationally renowned speakers and a chance to put your own questions to them.

Panel members

  • Peter Voser: Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Shell
  • Tim Brown: Chief Executive Officer and President of IDEO
  • Professor Kevin Noone: Stockholm Resilience Centre

Department for Continuing Education - Professonal Development

Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) are a vital part of the planning process and anyone interested in pursuing work in consultancy or with an NGO will need to have an understanding of them. This session will introduce students to Environmental Impact Assessment in a global, European and national context. Students will be led through the key stages of the process, enabling a discussion of the issues of this system in the context of UK planning policy.

Tutor: Katherine Drayson of Oxford Brookes University

Date: Sat 9 to Sun 10 Nov 2013, 10am-5pm each day

Location: Ewert House, Summertown, Oxford

Course fee: £295.00


Department for Continuing Education - Professonal Development

This one day course will introduce students to the factors driving globalisation and how this changes the way our economic systems work. Students will investigate the growth of global corporations and the impacts of large corporations on the environment, both globally and more locally. We will examine how this is changing understanding of the interactions between business, environment and society and what is needed for sustainability. The course will also review corporate responses and the potential role of business in a sustainable future.

Tutor: Jane Corbett

Date: Sat 18 Jan 2014, 10am-5pm

Location: Ewert House, Summertown, Oxford

Course fee: £125.00


Department for Continuing Education - Professonal Development

It is anticipated that the day will be divided into two sessions covering global food security in the morning, and biofuels in the afternoon. These sessions aim to cover the following themes:

Examining issues around global food security/insecurity:

  • World food demand and need
  • Population growth and income
  • Examining the underlying causes of food insecurity
  • How can food security be improved?
  • The importance of plant health in food security
  • New ways of extension

Insights into Biofuels: pros and cons:

  • Biofuels- sustainable energy or threat to biodiversity and food production?
  • Policy and science around the biofuel debate
  • Biofuels as invasive species

Tutor: Dr Julie Flood of CABI

Date: Fri 7 Mar 2014, 10am-5pm

Location: Ewert House, Summertown, Oxford

Course fee: £125.00


Department for Continuing Education - Professonal Development

Geographic Information System (GIS) is becoming a vital tool in Conservation Management. GIS permits the digital mapping of species locations, transect routes, reserve boundaries, and reserve features (such as ponds) and reserve management (such as coppiced areas). NGOs are using digital programmes to develop and link with GIS, as a vital component of more robust methods of planning management and recording. This session will assume no prior knowledge of GIS and introduce students to the basics, utilising Phase 1 data to enable students to gain first-hand experience, under the watchful eye of the tutor who has 30 years’ experience in GIS mapping.

Tutor: Chris Talbot

Date: Tue 15 Oct 2013, 10am-5pm

Location: Ewert House, Summertown, Oxford

Course fee: £95.00


The BBC World Service has joined forces with Wellcome Collection to explore some of the biggest challenges facing our world today in a new programme of events and radio broadcasts.

This event, which will take place with a live audience at Wellcome Collection, will be recorded and broadcasted on the BBC World Service in March 2017.

Presenters Claudia Hammond and Tim Cockerill will join an archaeologist, an epidemiologist, a sociologist and an expert in livestock sustainability to ask: should we all be vegetarians?


Grand Challenges in Environmental Research

Date: February 26

Time: 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Title: Sustaining our future: with or without GM?

Speakers: Lord Peter Melchett – Policy Director at the Soil Association; Professor John Crawford – SGCS Scientific Director of the Delivering Sustainable Systems programme at Rothamsted Research

Join us for our seminar on the future of food with Peter Melchett, the policy director of the Soil Association – a UK organic foods and farming organisation. He will be joined by John Crawford, leader of the Institute Strategic Programme on Delivering Sustainable Systems at Rothamsted Research. Together we will discuss how we can continue to feed our growing population. Can technical approaches such as GM sustain a projected population of 10 billion, or will we need to return to alternative approaches, such as organic farming?

Short talks and a panel discussion, followed by wine and nibbles

A seminar series organised by DPhil students on the NERC Doctoral Training Programme


Trinity College Scientific Society

Speaker: Ariella Helfgott, Environmental Change Institute, Oxford

Date: Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Time: 5.30 pm

Venue: Danson Room, Trinity College

Refreshments will be provided.


The Systemic Integrated Adaptation (SIA) Research Program draws together diverse forms of knowledge generation and sense-making from across disciplines, sectors and social worlds towards the interrelated goals of climate adaptation, sustainable development, environmental management and food security. The program is fundamentally concerned with small-holder farmers and the integrated social, economic, political and environmental systems in which they are embedded. It aims to co-identify and support appropriate actions at multiple levels within these systems according to the principle of subsidiarity and adopts a critical approach to systems and their boundaries. This talk will introduce the theory of resilience and systems thinking, describe the successes and challenges of the SIA program, and some of the practical issues around designing and implementing interdisciplinary research and practice.

As part of the Environmental Change Institute's Big Ideas Seminar Series Dr Prabhu Pingali, of Cornell University, will speak about economic growth, structural transformation and the evolving food security challenge. 

TEDxHousesofParliament is the first TEDx event that the Houses of Parliament has participated in. It will convene a very special group of speakers and performers who will share their ideas inspired by the theme of Democracy.

Professor Charles Godfray, Director of the Programme on the Future of Food, is one of the speakers at this event.