Prepping for Planet Under Pressure

Three days to go before the start of Planet Under Pressure 2012 and I feel like a school kid swotting for exams. It is such a big conference in every sense of the world –  with a huge number of attendees,  two thousand seven hundred at the last count, a vast intellectual reach, and seriously impressive speakers including a number of government ministers. My usual conference prepping is a walk in the park compared with the sheer range of articles I’ll be desperately trying to digest over the next few days. So imagine my relief when I discovered that the Planet Under Pressure organisers have prepared a series of policy briefings for last-minute merchants like myself – . Nine briefings in all on a range of topics from Biodiversity to Transforming governance and institutions – at no more than eight pages, they’re short, snappily written and a godsend.

So on the one hand I’m feeling like an under-prepared student, on the other like a groupie at a rock concert: over two and a half thousand people gathered together at London’s Excel centre and who knows how many thousands joining us round the world via live web-streaming. That’s jaw-dropping.  How to make the event truly interactive when the audience will be so massive and far-flung? My role as conference moderator is to help audience members, wherever they may be, to question, perhaps even grill, our eminent panelists. Technology we hope will ride to the rescue by way of social media and a much battered iPad. The idea is that I’ll be gathering questions on the iPad via Twitter, sms/text messages and webstreaming,  instead of running around the auditorium with a mic in my hand to elicit audience participation. Will the technology work? Will the audience take up the challenge and tweet/text/webstream their questions? I must admit to feeling a few butterflies. Let’s hope Steve Jobs, the godfather of the iPad is looking down on us all next week with a benign smile.




5 responses to “Prepping for Planet Under Pressure”

  1. SUJITH PN says:

    You are always a valuable, worthwhile human being and you’re the best conference moderator. My best wishes Nisha

  2. Nisha you will no doubt you’ll thrive under the pressure.

    The technology is highly effective these days. We recently used twitter as a means of getting questions to our speaker and worked very well. I would focus on one channel rather than three. As having Text message alerts pop up while reading twitter may be distracting.

    Good luck!


  3. Dear Nisha Pillai,

    Please ask someone at the PUP conference to comment on the ‘global predicament’ posed humanity on our watch by the unbridled growth worldwide of distinctly human overproduction, overconsumption and overpopulation activities we can see overspreading the surface of Earth. What Andy Revkin describes as “humanity’s growth spurt” appears to minimize, even trivialize, a grave situation that is becoming harder and harder to acknowledge, address and overcome because human global overgrowth activities are overwhelming the finite physical resources and frangible ecology of the celestial orb we call our planetary home. The colossal presence of humankind on Earth in our time is much more formidable and fearsome than some sort of adolescent growth spurt. To describe the explosion of absolute global population numbers in such terms is jejeune and represents a subtle form of denial of what primarily threatens future human well being and environmental health.

    Thank you,

    Steve Salmony

    Steven Earl Salmony

    Chapel Hill, NC

  4. Aroonni says:

    I’m sure you will be able to handle this very well.
    The moderator will contribute a great deal to this massive conference.
    I hope the participants, along with your moderation will help reduce the pressure to our planet.
    I wish you a huge success.

  5. andrew wilks says:

    By utilising twitter, what a fantastic way for the audience to interact and engage with a discussion. From your perspective, you have access to the knowledge of many more minds to really get to the core of the issues.

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