Melbourne Forum gives you access to the highest level of expertise and real-world lessons that our conversation leaders – all with a reputation for excellence – bring to the table under the Chatham House rule.

2021 will see Melbourne Forum offer a stimulating range of face-to-face and virtual events featuring eminent experts from differing specialties, both national and international. Our thought-provoking member-only interest groups enhance how we learn and exchange ideas.

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May 4
5:30 pm - 6:45 pm


A Zoom event under Chatham House rule

Could This Be The End Of Our Planet?!

A Melbourne Forum Online Interest Group: The Non-Fiction Book

Hosted by:
Peter Lamell
Dianne Jacobs

May 4 @ 5:30 pm - 6:45 pm


Given the global sustainability, environmental and governance challenges we now face, what on earth can any of us do?

The following two books gives us an opportunity to find practical and even inspiring ideas for what we can actually do to help humanity thrive on this – our only – planet.


How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need (Knopf, February 2021)

In this urgent, authoritative book, Bill Gates sets out a wide-ranging, practical–and accessible–plan for how the world can avoid a climate catastrophe. With the help of experts in the fields of physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, political science, and finance, he has focused on what must be done to stop the planet’s slide to certain environmental disaster. Drawing on his understanding of innovation and what it takes to get new ideas into the market, he describes where technology is already helping to reduce emissions, who is working on them, where it can function more effectively, where breakthroughs are needed. Finally, he lays out a concrete, practical plan–suggesting not only policies governments should adopt, but what we as individuals can do to keep our government, employers, and ourselves accountable.


There Is No Planet B: A Handbook for the Make or Break Years (Cambridge University Press, New Edition, January 2021)

Feeding the world, climate change, biodiversity, antibiotics, plastics – the list of concerns seems endless. But what is most pressing, what are the knock-on effects of our actions, and what should we do first? Do we all need to become vegetarian? How can we fly in a low-carbon world? Should we frack? How can we take control of technology? Does it all come down to population? Fortunately, Mike Berners-Lee has crunched the numbers and plotted a course of action that is practical and even enjoyable. For the first time you’ll find big-picture perspective on the environmental and economic challenges of the day laid out in one place, and traced through to the underlying roots – questions of how we live and think. This book will shock you and then surprise you.


Whether you read both or read one, definitely come prepared to share your view, have a virtual drink and decide whether we can save the planet.