A Catalogue of Lectures

I like giving lectures, and I like to engage with a serious-minded audience. Generally my approach is to present material and evidence and ask "what's wrong with this?" There are two documents to look at.


This is simply a list, in reverse chronological order, of public lectures in the last twenty years. It does not include lectures for formal university courses. It is right here, below, but there is also...


This is not exactly an advert, but is classified into categories so that anyone looking for a lecture or lecturer on specific topics can decide whether I might be a suitable choice. Usually I am, but occasionally it misfires, particularly when I am expected to persuade rather than inform, or to entertain rather than persuade. Geeky audiences are best.


Although the Lecture Summary probably gives you a better idea of the main themes, occasionally I am asked to lecture on oddities and one-offs, so for what it’s worth, here is a fuller list of public lectures I have given in the last 20 years, with minimum annotations. The list also tells you the kinds of audiences for particular topics, spanning a wide range. It’s in reverse chronological order.

 An * asterisk indicates that the lecture exists in some tangible form such as a Power Point presentation, or a referenced set of notes. These notes can be useful guides to the literature,  and some of them might be reproduced elsewhere in the web site, indicated by a hyperlink.

"Autonomy". A retrospective view of an extended essay written in 1976. Conference on Radical Technology Revisited, Bristol, September 2016.

"Citizens Innovation to Improve the Quality of Life". Cafe Scientifique, British Council, Madrid, November 2015.

"Zero-Carbon Britains". Making Lewes Festival, Lewes, E. Sussex, September 2015.*

“Energy: Fairness, Physics and Sustainability”. Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, Bath, September 2014.*

“Low-Carbon Food”. Abergavenny Food Festival, Abergavenny, Gwent, Wales, December 2013.*

“What Carbon Where and When?: Calculating the UK's Carbon Debts”,  Poster Presentation with Prof. Godfrey Boyle, conference on Radical Emissions Reduction, Royal Society, London, December 2013.

“Experimental Sustainable Gardening”. University of the Third Age, Machynlleth, October 2013.*

“Hard-Headed Sustainable Gardening” Cardiff Gardening Society, Cardiff,  June 2013.*

“Evaluation of Environmental Demonstration Centres as Vehicles for the Promotion of Sustainability”, Takushoku University, Tokyo, April 2013.* 

“Model of a Low-Carbon Modern Economy”, University of Hokkaido, Sapporo, Japan, March 2013.

“Decarbonising the Energy System in Britain and Japan”, Lecture organised by the Journal Biocity, Tokyo, March 2013.*

“What the Americans Don’t Get About Climate Change”, Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio, November 2012.*

“The Next Fifty Years”. University of Bath Millennium Lectures, October 2012.*

“Physics versus Politics: General principles for decarbonisation programmes?”, Conference on Post-Carbon Worlds and Transitions, Centre for Alternative Technology, July 2012.*

“The impact of agriculture on the ‘Planetary Boundaries’. Swedish Agricultural University, Uppsala, Sweden, April 2012. *

Numerous presentations on the ZeroCarbonBritain2030 scenario throughout 2010/11, including keynote speech at Schumacher Lectures, Bristol, and Bioneers Conference, Findhorn Foundation, Forres, Scotland. Public lectures in Derby, Leicester, Leeds, Totnes, Oxford, Bangor, Aberystwyth, Bridgend, Sheffield, Harrogate, Builth Wells, Stroud, Bath, London, Sydney, Melbourne, Axminster, Perugia (Italy), Hong Kong, Tokyo, Barcelona.

“Building On Experience: Evolution of Technology at CAT”, Ecobuild Exhibition, London 2012.

“Wind, Plants and Sustainability”, Forestry Commission seminar on renewables, Resolven, Wales, March 2012

“The Sustainable Festival Industry”. Conference on Sustainable Festivals, Julie’s Bicycle, London April 2012.

“Taking Climate Change Seriously: What Would It Be Like? Opening speech, “Reading Means Business on Climate Change”, Reading Climate Change Partnership, January 2012.

“On Being More Than Clever”, Keynote speech at AT@40 anniversary conference, Architectural Association, London March 2012.

“Carbon and Festivals in Context”. Greener Festivals Event, Bristol, June 2011.

“ ‘Research’? Thinking sideways at CAT”, Sustainable Science Symposium, CAT, October 2011.

Playing myself (along with George Monbiot and Paul Allen) in a radio play by Sarah Woods called Getting to Zero. February 2010, repeated July 2011.

“Social Aspects of Green Enterprise”, Liverpool, April 2010.

“How will we get to zero?” Schumacher Lectures, Bristol, 2011.

“What has really happened since 1972?”, conference to mark 40th anniversary of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, Stockholm, Sweden, April 2012.

“Zero Carbon Britain 2030: A scenario that keeps the lights on”, Conference on “Keeping the Lights on”, Council for the Preservation of Rural England, Dover, Kent, April 2010.

“Zero Carbon Britain 2030”, presentation of the new report, usually with special reference to the Land-Use sector. UK launch, Portcullis House, House of Commons, London, June 2010; Scything Festival, Langport, Somerset, June 2010;  Wales Launch, Senedd Dy, Wales Assembly Government, July 2010;  Conference on “Zero-Carbon Bristol”, Bristol June 2010;  Study tour for EU politicians and energy managers, West Wales Energy Centre, July 2010; Campaign Against Climate Change, London, July 2010.*

“How would we like our grandchildren to remember us?” Historic Gardens Trust, National Botanic Garden of Wales, June 2010.

“What Can Households Contribute to National Decarbonisation Programmes?”, EuroScience Open Forum, Turin, Italy, July 2010.

“Designing (in) a Low-Carbon World”, London College of Garden Design, Regent’s Park, April 2010.

“Design principles for the new WISE Building at CAT”, presentation via SKYPE to conference on Sustainable Building Construction, Nihon University, Tokyo, Japan, February 2010 (with David Lea).

“Sustainable Households: How much decarbonisation can we do at home?” Keynote speech, Conference on “Transition to Low Carbon”, Winchester November 2009.

“Community Energy – and why it’s not going along as fast as we might like”. “Some Lifestyle Implications”, both at Power and Place Conference, CAT, October 2009.

“Zero-ing Land Use in the UK”, ZeroCarbonBritain2 Project, CAT, September 2009.

“Analysing carbon emissions for events”, Shambala Festival, Market Harborough, August 2009.

“Trajectories”: joint explorations of the history of environmental thought, Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, June 2009. I was the chair.

“What is a Sustainable Museum?” Welsh Libraries, Archives and Museums Conference, Llandrindod Wells, May 2009.

“The Apparent Case for Net-Negative Processes in the Mitigation of Climate Change”, conference on The Context of Climate Change, ZeroCarbonBritain2 Project, CAT, March 2009.

“Building on Experience” (on the history of the buildings at CAT).  Conference of the Royal Institute of British Architects, Penrhyndeudraeth, Wales, February 2009.

“Food Security and Sustainable Food”, conference on ‘Ethical Shopping: The Producers Perspective’, Cooperative Retail Society, British Library, December 2008.

“Mitigation Versus Adaptation”,  Conference on Effects of Climate Change on Plants, Association of Applied Biologists, Rothamsted Experimental Station, Herts, November 2008.

“Climate Change: Prevention or Adaptation?”.  Sustainable Development Programme, University of Wales, Lampeter, September 2008.*

“Decarbonising the World”, Institute of Tropical Architecture, San Jose, Costa Rica, May 2008.

“Zero-Carbon Architecture?”, Hong Kong Institute of Architecture, May 2008.

“Low-Carbon Lifestyles”, Melbourne City Council, April 2008. * Recorded on U-Tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hOSUr9_15k

“Zero-Carbon Britain”, Design Seminar,  Victoria Eco-Innovation Lab, University of Melbourne, April 2008. Repeated for Chamber of Trade, Bendigo, Victoria; and students of architecture and design, University of Technology Sydney.*

“Implications for Land-use in Wales of a Zero-Carbon Strategy”, Conference on Zero-Carbon Land Use in Wales, CAT, March 2008.*

“Domestic Carbon Accounting” All-Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group, Conference on Carbon Counting, Institution of Civil Engineers, London, January 2008.*

“Biofuels for Transport: Thinking out of the box”. UNITAR Cifal workshop, Findhorn Foundation, Forres, Scotland, November 2007.*

“Biofuels”, for Chemistry Week, Royal Society of Chemistry, Aberystwyth, Wales, November 2007.*

“Sun, wind, water and plants”*; “Household waste in towns and cities”*: EU TAIEX Workshop on Mitigation of Climate Change, Vilnius, Lithuania, November 2007.

“Zero Carbon Britain”, Presentation of first report. Shambala Festival, Northamptonshire, August 2007; Network for Social Change, Cheshire, September 2007; Organic Centre Wales Conference on “Climate Change and Sustainability”, Builth Wells, Wales, October 2007; Llanidloes Green Fair, Llanidloes, Wales, October 2007; Findhorn Foundation, Forres, Scotland, November 2007 (available as a complete DVD); Gaia Foundation, London, February 2008, Shrewsbury Friends of the Earth, November 2009,

“A Unique Initiative”, EU TAIEX Workshop on New Approaches in Environmental Resource Management, Kecskemet, Hungary, July 2007.

“Eco-Homes of the Future”. Guardian Hay Festival, Hay-on-Wye, June 2007.

Lecture series for the Pathways Organisation, Guernsey, April 2007. Included energy*, windfarms*, sustainable lifestyles* and The Metaphorical Garden*.

“Boots or Sandals?  Low Footprint Gardening”, Chelsea Flower Show, London, May 2007.*

“Ecocentres in Europe”, Conference on Ecocentres and Eco-Houses, Umanotera, British Embassy, Ljubljana, Slovenia, April 2007.*

“Biofuels in the Dyfi Valley??” Seedy Sunday event, Machynlleth, Powys, February 2007.

“Sustainable Lifestyles of the Future”, Mayor’s Fund Lectures, Presteigne, Powys, February 2007.*

“Slow Energy from Local Farms?”, Soil Association Annual Conference, Cardiff, January 2007*

“From Tiny Acorns”, Annual Conference of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, Glastonbury, UK December 2006

“Building Sustainable Communities”, Leeds Schumacher Lectures, Leeds, UK, December 2006.*

“Sustainable Garden Design: A wide-angle view”, Society of Garden Designers symposium of sustainable garden design, London, November 2006.*

“Getting through to ‘Sweden’: Optimistic and Pessimistic Narratives in the Sustainability Debate”, “Möjligheter” (Possibilities) conference, Stockholm, Sweden October 2006.*

“Spreading Eco-Technologies”, Eco-Network, Sapporo, Japan, September 2006.*

“Green Gardens” BBC Grand Designs Live Show, London, July 2006.*

“Is a Zero-Carbon Society Possible?”  Warwick University, Coventry, UK, April 2006.*

“Why I hate windfarms and think there should be more of them”, Landscape Institute Annual Conference “Sustainable Foundations for the Future”, Cardiff, March 2006.*

“Reports from the Fringes (with a view to mainstreaming)”, GEN+10 Ecovillages conference, Findhorn Foundation, Forres, Scotland, October 2005.*

“Creating an Eco-Region”,  International Conference on Watersheds and Regional Planning, Nihon University, Tokyo, Japan, September 2005.*

“Hands-on Methodologies for Interdisciplinary Sciences”, First Conference on Sustainable Science, Machynlleth, Wales, June 2005.*

“Eco-Conversions: Reconciling the Bourgeois and the Bohemian” Conference on Regeneration, Kent Institute of Architecture and Design, Canterbury, February 2005.*

“The Making of an Eco-Region”, Faculty of Environmental Studies, Nagasaki University, Japan; Fukuoka Research Group for Environmental Management, Fukuoka, Japan. November 2004*.

“The Social Economy and Community Development”, International Symposium of Prospective Directions for Sustainable Society: Roles and Possibilities of Industry, Technology and Community, Kobe, Japan, 2004.*

“Urban Intermediate Technology”, International Symposium and Workshop on Technology to Overcome the Pressures of a Changing Earth: In Search of a New Intermediate Technology for the Local Community, Kobe, Japan, November 2004.*

“Towards the Sustainable City”, public lecture at Hokkaido Environmental Centre, Sapporo, Japan, October 2004.*

“Maintaining Human Values in the Transition to a Sustainable Culture”, United Nations University Global Seminar, Kobe, Japan, September 2004.*

“Are there universal principles of Design?” Association of Environmentally-Conscious Builders, Annual Conference, Chichester, July 2004.*

“The role of renewable energies in a sustainable energy strategy”, conference on Gaia and Global Change, Dartington Hall, Totnes, UK, June 2004 (with Paul Allen).*

“Small Environmental Enterprises”, Keynote Speech, Conference on Green Business, Osaka, Japan, March 2004.*

“A Successful Social Enterprise”, Centre for Sustainability Studies, University of Surrey, May 2004.*

“Renewable Energy Systems”, Energy Network seminar, Seoul, Korea, November 2003.

“The Development of the Centre for Alternative Technology”, Green University, Hamyang, Korea; National University of Education, Chungjeong, Korea, November 2003.

“Environmental Trends in the 21st Century”, Southern Cross University, Lismore, Australia, October 2003.*

2-day course on Composting, Nutrient Cycling and Organic Horticulture, Crystal Waters Ecovillage, Maleny, Australia, October 2003.

“Technology and Lifestyles”, Scientific and Medical Network Annual Conference, University of Wales Aberystwyth, May 2003.*

“Eco-Auditing in Skules”, Environmental Education Course, Schumacher College, Dartington, UK, April 2003.

“The Metaphorical Garden” Scientific and Medical Network, Totnes, UK, April 2003.

“How Can EcoSites Promote the Conservation of Nature?”, Second ECOLINK Workshop, CAT, April 2003.*

“Ecocentres and Research: The View from Within”, First ECOLINK Workshop, De Kleine Aarde, Boxtel, The Netherlands, March 2003.*

“Environmental Responsibilities and Planetary Consciousness: A view from the third sector”, British Council Seminar series, Budapest, Hungary April 2003.*

“Nutrient reclamation from household wastewater”,  Eco-Network seminar, Sapporo, Japan, November 2002. *

"Ethical Aspects of Different Energy Systems", public meeting on Wind Farms, Llanidloes Environmental Society, Llanidloes, Powys, June 2002.

"CAT as a model ecocentre",  European Conference on Ecocentres and Ecosites, Brussels June 2002.*

"Home Composting as Part of a Waste Minimisation Strategy", conference on 'Home Composting: Can it Make a Difference?' Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Imperial College, London, May 2002.*

"Greening a School", Sidcot School environment evening, Somerset, May 2002, chaired by David Dimbleby.

"Cool Composting: A Completely New Approach", talk for Compost Awareness Week, HDRA, Ryton Gardens, Coventry, May 2002. *

"Two Green Gardens", Society of Garden Designers Spring Conference, Olympia, London, May 2002.*

"Visions of a Sustainable Future", Stroud Green Festival, May 2002.*

“Starting Ecocentres”, Conference on Renewable Energy Demonstration Centres, Folkecenter, Thy, Denmark, September 2001.*

“Food: The Big Picture”,  Alternative Technology Association annual conference, CAT, September 2001.

“Technology and Lifestyles”, Conference on ‘Soil, Soul and Society’, Hereford, August 2001.

“Composting Woody Waste on a Household Scale”, Conference on ‘Wood Recycling, Composting and Endangered Trees’, Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire, August 2001.

“Sustainability and Environmental Demonstration Centres”, Riveredge Nature Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, April 2001.

“The Lifestyle Lab”, Schumacher Lectures, Bristol 2000.*

"Eco-Realism", Alternative Technology Association annual conference, CAT, September 2000. *

"Sustainability: Coping with a Fuzzy Concept", Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, Brecon, September 2000. *

"Green Dilemmas for Public Gardens", National Botanic Garden of Wales, Middleton Hall, June 2000. *

"Encouraging Participation", conference on Home Composting, HDRA, Ryton-on-Dunsmore, May 2000. *

"Environmental Trends in the 21st Century", Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan, April 2000. *

"CAT: Successes, failures and changes", seminar at Environmental Information Centre, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan, April 2000. *

"The Many Lives of the Centre for Alternative Technology", public lectures in Sapporo, Hakodate, Chita and Nagoya, Japan, April 2000.

" Ecological Landscape Design at CAT and Parallels with Traditional Japanese Garden Design", Community Landscape Institute, Osaka, Japan, April 2000.

"New Research in Home Composting", The WasteLess Society, Bishop's Castle, Shropshire February 2000.

"A Classification of Social Enterprises" CECOP conference 'Recycling People', Brussels, December 1999.

"The Centre for Alternative Technology: A Dynamic Social Enterprise", conference on rural enterprises, Szeged, Hungary, November 1999 (with Kestrel Maranta). *

“A Great Green Experiment”, Jersey Organic Society annual lecture, St. Helier, Jersey, November 1999.

"A New Approach to Household Waste Management", Conference on Managing the Waste Water Resource, International Institute of Ecological Engineering, Aas, Norway 1999 (with Louise Halestrap).

“Home Composting:  Do It, But Do It Right”, Recycle North, Scunthorpe, March 1999.

"A Landscape Pattern Language", and "The Eco-House and -Garden", Seminar on Integration of the Built and Natural Environment, University of Wales Study Centre, Gregynog, February 1999. Welsh School of Architecture/Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research. *

“The 21st Century: A Hinge-Point of History?”, Museum of Modern Art, Stockholm, June 1999.

“Waste Minimisation in an Experimental Household”, consultative workshop of the Building Research Establishment and the Institute of Wastes Management, BRE, Watford, October 1998. *

“My Life Among the Engineers”, Institution of Mechanical Engineers and Institution of Electrical Engineers, Shrewsbury, March 1998.

“Rainwater Collection from Roofs”, Conference on 'The Changing Roofs of Europe', Amsterdam, February 1998 (presented by Paul Trimby). *

“Green Machines or Simple Living?” Marco Pallis Memorial Conference, Regent’s College, London, October 1997 (chaired by the late Teddy Goldsmith, who deplored my contribution). *

“Sewage Disposal and Usage: An Overview of History and Current Trends”. Water Association Seminar on The Nature of Human Manure and the Implications of its Reintegration in Agriculture, Hawkwood College, Stroud, September 1997.

“The Future isn’t what it used to be”. All-day seminar at Flint House Conference Centre, Lewes, Sussex, February 1997.

“The End in Sight?”, Open University Technology Policy Group, Milton Keynes, December 1996.*

“Biology: A Likely Story”, Biology and Ecology Society, University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, September 1996. Repeated October 1997.

“Communities of the Future”, Keynote address at Nailsworth Festival, Gloucestershire 1996.

“Energy and Lifestyles”, annual conference of the Scientific and Medical Network, 1996.

“The Case for Renewable Energy”; “The Case Against Renewable Energy”, Energy Month at Groundwork Blackburn, Lancashire, March 1996 (on this occasion the opposition failed to show up, so I was obliged to stand in for them and present the case for conventional energy policies, with a bit of help from changes of costume and accent. This format proved successful enough to use again, before the South Wales branch of the Institution of Civil Engineers, September 1996. A similar thing happened with a set-piece debate between the Wales Anti-Nuclear Alliance and the Council for Preservation of Rural Wales: I was forced to speak twice, once in favour of nuclear power to the delight of the CPRW and the disgust of WANA, then in favour of windfarms, when the cheers and boos were reversed).

“Sustainability”,  Address for "Environment Day", United World College of the Atlantic, Atlantic College (sharing the platform with the Chairman of British Nuclear Fuels!)

Series of evening lectures on Energy for University of Wales Extramural Dept., 1996.

“The Centre for Alternative Technology”, Ecovillages and Sustainable Communities Conference, Findhorn Foundation, Scotland, October 1995. *

“New Myths from the Garden”, Friends of the Kalmthout Arboretum (Belgium), Cambridge, September 1995.

“Renewable Energy and the Future”, Institute of Petroleum, Neath, March 1995.

“Does Sustainability Mean a Lower Standard of Living?” Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex, February 1995.

"Household Waste Reduction of 60% through Home Composting", Cylch Annual Conference, Llanelli 1999 (with Mark Brown).

"New Myths from the Garden", Shropshire Organic Group, November 1996.

“The Centre for Alternative Technology: What Have We Learned in 20 Years?” Address to 20th Anniversary Meeting of De Twaalf Ambachten, Driebergen, the Netherlands, November 1997. *

“No. 24: A Bourgeois Retrofit”, National Permaculture Convergence, Hereford, 1996.

“Ecological Design”, Goldsmiths University of London, October 1996 Inaugural lecture to students of design.

“Artificial Life”, Machynlleth Philosoforum, March 1995.

 “The L-Word: AT and Lifestyles”, AT 2000 Conference, Open University 1994. *