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Earth League Symposium 2017

Earth League Symposium "Transformation now!"

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Monday-Tuesday, January 23-24, 2017, Albert Einstein Science Park, Potsdam, Germany

The Earth League Symposium is hosted by John Schellnhuber (Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research) and Johan Rockström (Chair of the Earth League and Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre).

Main events
PIK Trefoil, Credit: Luftbildaufnahmen Jokeair

Science-Meets-Art event

On the evening of Monday 23rd (starting 7:00 pm with a public reception), we invite to a Science-Meets-Art Event, titled “How can a Minority tip the Majority? Inducing Transformations on the Ground” with reflections from prominent artists & scientists at the Potsdam Museum.

More details on Science-Meets-Art event

Programme and registration

  • You can find the final program here (as of January 23 2017).
  • Pre-registration for the Earth League Symposium is now closed. Please for enquiring about the possibility of late registration.


Rapid transformation is urgently on the agenda: humankind is on the brink of melting the Greenland and Antarctic ice caps, disrupting the resilience and diversity of the biosphere, affecting atmospheric and oceanic circulation and endangering the very planetary foundations upon which human progress has rested. Transitioning away from the combustion-based, increasingly outdated modes of operation of the 19th and 20th century to more advanced, sustainable practices in the 21st century now relies on vigorous self-amplification of transformative processes currently beginning in light of growing scientific understanding.

The success of the Paris climate agreement is by no means ensured; fulfilling its objectives requires ratcheting-up of ambitions through social, political and economic progress. It also requires debunking myths of allowable overshooting, climate engineering and no-regrets adaptation. On the contrary, renewable energies are a programme of potential empowerment of the poor, making decarbonization one of the great programmes for development in this century. The core dynamics of this programme lie in civilisatory progress in all of its forms: social, cultural, political and economic.

The challenge for science is twofold: to consider the biophysical Earth with its human worlds as one whole system, and to consider the opportunities and constraints in the dynamics of the social and technological systems that can save Earth from leaving the stable Holocene. This symposium will consider the post-Paris need to widening the view toward a handful of critical co-transformations that would allow pathways towards sustainable global development, and processes of their amplification toward tipping into the mainstream. Maintaining planetary boundaries is critical as much for reasons of environmental stability as it is for justice, but time is short. “Transformation now!” is clearly on the table for humankind as a centennial task.

Organised for the Earth League by

The Earth League is an international network of 20 leading scientists working on pressing issues facing humankind today:

Johan Rockström (Chair), Tanja Abrahamse, Guy P. Brasseur, Ottmar Edenhofer, Hironori Hamanaka, Sir Brian Hoskins, Pavel Kabat, Mario J. Molina, Jennifer Morgan, Nebojsa Nakicenovic, Carlos Nobre, Veerabhadran Ramanathan, John Schellnhuber, Peter Schlosser, Youba Sokona, Leena Srivastava, Lord Nicholas Stern, Laurence Tubiana, Carolina Vera, Guanhua Xu.

LOOPS is a workshop series on co-evolution of social and environmental systems organized by the consortium, PIK’s COPAN project, SRC’s Planetary Boundaries group, the University of Southampton and IRI THESys.

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