Bunbury businesses, Sustainability experts and community members spent Tuesday August 31 in a visionary discussion that asked key questions about a net zero future – what does net zero look like? What kinds of infrastructure will be required? What do we need to do to get started?
A series of inspiring speakers led the discussion at Maker + Co, which was themed around the Courage Economy.
Wardandi Elder Gloria Dan opened the event with a heartfelt Welcome to Country. MC Katie Clarke, also IPS Facilitator, urged everyone to listen, learn and do their best to find ways to heal Country.
Planet Zero Creative Director Colette McEntee, also IPS Innovation & Advisory Lead, spoke about the nature of courage in the face of climate change, and climate grief.
“Fear-based campaigns drive short bursts of action,” she said.
“But beyond fear, beyond the cycle of grief, acceptance, and hope, lies courage.”
Colette said that sustainable practices were the key to the future for all businesses – not just for their balance sheets, but for their families as well.
Peter Newman, Professor of Sustainability at Curtin University, gave an inspiring talk about transitioning to a Net Zero economy.
“Transitions emerge from economic collapse,” he said.
He said that sustainable technology, such as renewables, batteries and electric vehicles, are now freely available; while other innovations, such as the use of hydrogen, are being trialled. He added that solar is now the cheapest source of power – and Perth and the South West are now 35% solar powered, and on track to no longer need fossil fuels by 2025.
With microgrid models and standalone power replacing poles and wires in many regional and remote areas, Peter discussed the need to manage local systems, and the nature of the new economy to emerge from those sites.
“We know we can get there,” he said. “It’s necessary now to show how to make it operate. This requires courage. We have an opportunity to demonstrate something special, and I think we can take it into the future if we are brave enough to do it.”
IPS Executive Director Jahna Cedar spoke about the role of First Nations people in innovation and change.
“We need to inspire the next generation. They can’t be what they can’t see,” she said. “First Nations people are at the front line of climate change. How can we find a way to work together?”
Jahna spoke about the importance of inclusive leadership, and growth and education structures that empowered women and First Nations practices. She identified the need for establishing community-owned renewable energy infrastructure in remote areas, led by Aboriginal businesses who could create economic independence in those communities.
“Aboriginal people are key in the development of climate change action,” Jahna said.
“Will you choose complacency, or will you choose courage?”
Participants at the Summit Day also viewed a vision of a future Eco City by Noongar Yamatji man Corey Khan, Director of Tjuart Architecture, and heard from IPS Business Trainee Imogen Thorn-Bell about her vision for helping to grow Indigenous youth through education and culture. The morning session concluded with Bunbury youth climate activist Bella Bergmeister handing Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan a vision for the future of the Bunbury.
In the afternoon, participants joined in a workshop aimed at visioning and creating a thriving city for the future.
IPS is proud to partner with Maker + Co and support the Planet Zero 2021 initiative that sparks community discussions around the changing global environment and our impact.
IPS delivers innovative and focused consulting services that inspire people and provide purpose for our clients. We passionately embrace opportunities to create meaningful pathways for Indigenous communities and businesses.