This Environment Conference was co-hosted and sponsored by The John Ray Initiative and ForMission College, and was held on Saturday 17th March 2018 at the Westmead Hotel, Hopwood, Birmingham.
The Conference set out to answer the questions:
- What are the current trends in transport and what will we be using in the future?
- We all use transport almost every day of our lives, but do we ever think about what we are doing?
- Many people worry about carbon emissions from transport, and indeed it is a major issue for the United Kingdom as it seeks to meet its commitments to the Paris Agreement, but are there other things we should consider?
- If we move towards having driverless vehicles what will happen to all those who earn their livings from driving? And what will happen in the developing world? What are the ethical and theological issues?
- How do we make sensible personal decisions about the transport we use?
This was a unique and ground-breaking conference dealing with an everyday issue with a big impact on the present environmental crisis but with a clear Christian theological and ethical focus to the approach from each keynote speaker and seminar leader.
Resource materials are available from the links in the session information below. All links will open in a new tab. The audio files are available for download in .ogg and .mp3 files for personal use. Higher quality audio is also available, please contact us for further details.
1. Keynote Speaker: David Banister – Professor Emeritus of Transport Studies at Oxford University
Talk Title: “Global and Local Challenges for Sustainable Transport to 2050”
2. Keynote Speaker: Michael Talbot – Head of Industrial Strategy, Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles
Talk Title: “The UK’s Pathway to Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Technologies”
Prior to the conference Mike wrote a JRI blog post: “The Challenge and Potential of Self-driving Vehicles” (20 February 2018) can be accessed from this link.
3. Keynote Speaker: John Weaver – Chair of the John Ray Initiative
Talk Title: “‘Travelling Light’ – A Theological Reflection on Modern Transport”
John Weaver has also written a recent JRI blog post on a related issue: “Would Jesus drive a diesel?” (15 November 2017) can be accessed here.
4. Seminar Speaker: Caroline Pomeroy – Director of Climate Stewards
Seminar Title: ‘Carbon Offsetting – A Licence to Pollute?’
5. Seminar Speakers: Thomas Calvert & Edward Wigley – Researchers, University of the West of England, Bristol
Seminar Title: ‘Jesus Walked the Same Speed as the Rest of us – Active Mobilities as the Escape from Hypermodernity
Thomas and Edward wrote a JRI blog post titled ‘Hypermodernity, mobility and Jesus’ on 5th March 2018, it can be accessed from this link.
6. Seminar Speaker: Neil Ward – Civil Servant, DEFRA
Seminar Title: ‘Some Trust in Chariots and Some in Horses – Can our use of Transport Show our Trust in God?’
Resources available: Seminar handout available from this link
7. Seminar Speaker: John Austin – Transport Consultant
Seminar Title: ‘Revitalising Urban Public Transport in Megacities in the Developing World’
Resources available: Seminar powerpoint presentation as .pdf
8. Seminar Speaker: Mike Perry – Anglican Priest and former Research Biologist
Seminar Title: ‘All You Need to Know about Electric Car Ownership – EVs, PHEVs, OLEVs and more’
Mike Perry has written a JRI blog post on this subject: “Of Electric Cars and Disruptive Technologies” (13 February 2018) can be accessed from this link.