Business journalist Rod Oram contributes weekly to Newsroom, Nine to Noon, and Newstalk ZB. He is a public speaker on deep sustainability, business, economics, and innovation. Rod is a member of the Edmund Hillary Fellowship, which brings together people from here and abroad who seek to contribute to global change from Aotearoa.
In Citigroup’s annual global journalism awards, Rod was the winner in 2019 in the General Business category in the Australia and NZ region for his columns in Newsroom on Fonterra; and he was the NZ Journalist of the year. In the 2018 New Zealand Shareholder Association Business Journalism Awards, Rod won the Business Commentary category for his Newsroom columns.
Rod was a founding trustee and the second chairman of Ākina Foundation, which helps social enterprises develop their business models in areas of sustainability. He remains actively involved with the foundation and the ventures it supports.
In 2016, Bridget Williams Books published Rod’s most recent book, Three Cities: Seeking Hope in the Anthropocene, details at bwb.co.nz/books/three-cities
Reinventing paradise: Aotearoa 2050
Hopefully, some 10bn people will be living on this planet in 2050. To survive, we will need a healthy planet. Yet, we humans are rapidly destroying its ecosystems. To survive we have to establish a symbiotic relationship with nature, our life support system. A zero carbon economy by 2050 is just the start. We have to improve everything we do; and we have to achieve a speed, scale and complexity of change humankind hasn’t come within cooee of before.
We have 30 years at most to meet these planetary-scale demands. Here in Aotearoa New Zealand we have a particular responsibility. Ours was the last large land mass to be settled by humans. Yet in due course we did more damage, more deeply and more quickly to its rich ecosystems than any other country did to theirs. So now we must quickly pioneer ways to let nature regenerate.
We also have some advantages. Our climate is temperate, our ecosystems have some resilience, and our small nation is made up of many, often connected, communities.
To explore how we might meet these towering challenges, I will take three aspects of each of the conference themes: Vision - adventure, invention, community; Voices – nature’s, other people’s, our own; Vision – seeing, imagining, planning.