Watch: Paula Ehrlich Talk “Reimagining How We Care for Our Planet” at MIT’s Power of Design Forum

Paula J. Ehrlich, President & CEO of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, spoke at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Morningside Academy for Design annual Forum, The Power of Design, which was dedicated this year to “Designing Climate Futures.” Dennis Liu, Vice President of Education of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, also presented a Half-Earth Project Map workshop as part of the event. 

“In the same way that a surgeon can’t do surgery without an intimate knowledge of anatomy and physiology, knowing every single species, and their location, is fundamental to being proper stewards of the planet. Having this knowledge will inevitably transform our human understanding and allow us to reimagine how to care for our planet.”

—Paula Ehrlich

Ehrlich’s presentation begins at 5:00 and she also participates in a panel discussion that starts at 56:20.

The Forum aims to show how design addresses the climate emergency by helping to produce new ecological, spatial, and social conditions rather than mere technical fixes. The Forum brings together a group of designers who are proposing diverse and highly transformative approaches to the climate crisis, spanning from the local to the planetary scale, and offers a platform to know their work and learn, through workshops, with them.

“To achieve our targets for conservation, we need a way to measure and nurture success. We need a way of understanding how well we are doing in protecting nature as we conserve places. And a way of ensuring that the lives of people connected to these places – the places they call home – will be empowered through the information we share.”

—Paula Ehrlich

The event took place at the MIT Welcome Center and Innovation Headquarters, located at 292 Main Street Cambridge.

Alphabetically ordered

• Benjamin Bratton is the director of the Antykera Program at the Breakthrough Institute and former director of the Terra-Forming program at Strelka Institute. Bratton’s current work focuses on the potential of planetary computation to tackle planetary scale problems.

• Paula J. Ehrlich is the President & CEO of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation. She is the co-founder of the Half-Earth Project and has led the development of the Half-Earth Project Map.

Janelle Knox-Hayes is Professor of Economic Geography and Planning in the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning. Her research focuses on the ways in which social and environmental systems are governed under changing temporal and spatial scales as a consequence of globalization. 

Ayr Muir is the founder of Clover Food Lab, a vegetarian restaurant chain that works with local providers to reduce the CO2 footprint of the food industry.

Dennis Liu also led a Preserving workshop as part of a Designing Climate Futures session at the event.

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