UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources


Rescheduled: Harnessing the Fourth Industrial Revolution for the Earth

12 June 2018, 5:30 pm–8:00 pm

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ISR are happy to host Antonia Gawel from the World Economic forum. The new date for this lecture is Tuesday 12th June.

Event Information

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UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources


Room 225, Second Floor, Central House, 14 Upper Woburn Place

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The World Economic Forum has termed the current period of accelerating innovation in science and technology – the transformative change in data and technology capabilities combined with a merging of digital, physical and biological realms – and its impact on society as the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It is not only transforming social networks and scientific research, it is also radically reshaping the agenda for industries, governments and the international community.

In the same way that the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is reshaping healthcare, mobility and education systems worldwide, it can also be leveraged to help rethink approaches to environmental governance and offer innovative approaches to managing the way materials flow within, rather than through our economy. This can support a move away from the current “take-make-dispose” model towards a more circular one. Innovation in these domains is desperately needed in a context where earth systems are under mounting pressure and resource demands are predicted to almost triple by 2050 to 180 billion tonnes annually (IRP, 2016).

This talk will explore these opportunities as well as associated risks that must be mitigated as innovations rapidly advance.

About the Speaker

Antonia Gawel is currently Head of the World Economic Forum’s Circular Economic Initiative, which offers a public-private collaboration platform and project accelerator to support a circular economy transition. Prior to working at the Forum, she was in Bhutan as an advisor on environment and clean energy programmes; has worked as a Senior Energy Analyst at the International Energy Agency (IEA) to monitor and evaluate clean energy policy and deployment progress as input to the Clean Energy Ministerial and G-20 processes. There, she was also a lead author of IEA’s flagship clean energy technology publication, Energy Technology Perspectives. She has also held roles as Deputy Director, Energy and Climate, at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development in Geneva, and has worked in energy and sustainability policy in the private and NGO sectors, including with Sustainability and the International Institute for Sustainable Development. She holds and Hon. BA in Economics from the University of Toronto, Canada and an M.Sc in Environmental Policy, Planning and Regulation from the London School of Economics, UK.