Plenary speakers

Our plenary speakers are influential scholars, who join the conference to make crucial contributions in plenary sessions.

In our 2021 conference, we are honoured to welcome the following speakers:

Andréa Zhouri

Andréa Zhouri is a Professor of Anthropology at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, where she created the Group of Environmental Studies (GESTA) and the undergraduate course in SocioEnvironmental Sciences. Her research interests have been developed under a Political Ecology perspective with themes like Socio-Environmental Conflicts and the effects of Large Projects such as Mining, Hydroelectric Dams as well as Disasters. She has been an active member of several scientific associations, such as the National Association for Research and Postgraduate Studies in Social Sciences (ANPOCS) and the Brazilian Association of Anthropology (ABA), where she also coordinates the Committee on Traditional Peoples, Environment and Large Projects. She is a CNPq (National Council of Development and Technology) researcher and advisor to the Brazilian Anthropology Association presidency on environmental issues. Zhouri has published articles and books about mining, large dams, environmental conflicts and deregulation in Brazil. Some of her latest works available in English include: Dossier Mining, Violence and Resistance. Vibrant Issue, V. 14,n. 2, 2017 and Laschefski & Zhouri Indigenous peoples, traditional communities and the environment: the ‘territorial question’ under the new developmentalist agenda in Brazil In: Puzone, V. & Miguel, Luis Felipe (eds). The Brazilian Left in the 21st Century. Palgrave MacMillan, 2019.

Andréa Zhouri gives her plenary talk titled "Liberal environmentalism and anti-environmentalism in Brazil: from slow to raw violence" on Monday, Oc­to­ber 25, 2021 at 14:00-15:15 (time zone UTC+3).

Robin Broad and John Cavanagh

Robin Broad is a Professor of International Development at American University’s School of International Service and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow. She heads SIS’s International Development Program’s unique curricular offerings on rethinking globalization and development and on environment and development with a focus on social, environmental, and economic accountability. She has a wide range of professional experiences – from international economist in the US Treasury Department and US Congress to work with civil-society organizations in the Philippines and El Salvador.

John Cavanagh was Director of the Institute for Policy Studies from 1999-2021, and is now a Senior Advisor at IPS. He directed IPS’ Global Economy Program from 1983-1997. Cavanagh is the co-author of 12 books and numerous articles on a wide range of social and economic issues. Cavanagh sits on the boards of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center, the International Forum on Globalization, the New Orleans Workers Center for Racial Justice, the National Guestworkers Alliance, and is board chair of the Fund for Constitutional Government. He is a senior advisor of the Poor People’s Campaign.

Togerther Broad and Cavanagh have authored their most recent book called The Water Defenders: How Ordinary People Saved a Country From Corporate Greed (2021).

Robin Broad and John Cavanagh give their plenary talk on Monday, Oc­to­ber 25, 2021 at 17:15-18:30 (time zone UTC+3).

Lochner Marais

Lochner Marais is a Professor of Development Studies at the Centre for Development Support at the University of the Free State (UFS). He is also an honorary professor at the Sustainable Minerals Institute (University of Queensland, Australia). He serves on the editorial board of Habitat International and is also the Speciality Chief Co-editor for the Cities in the Global South section of the journal, Frontiers in Sustainable Cities

His research interests include housing policy, small cities and towns (mining and renewable towns and cities: mine-community relations, urban health and mine closure) and public health focusing on children. In addition to concentrating on each of these themes separately, he focuses on integrating them. Marais has authored, co-authored and edited more than 250 publications, including 180 refereed articles in peer-reviewed journals or books. He has also co-edited nine books. He has a specific passion for creating and managing interdisciplinary projects and prefers research focusing on real-world problems.

Lochner Marais gives his plenary talk titled "Place attachment, housing policy and mining in SA: critical perspectives" on Tues­day, Oc­to­ber 26, 2021 at 09:00-10:15 (time zone UTC+3).

De­borah Mc­Gregor

As a Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Environmental Justice, cross-appointed with Osgoode Hall Law School and Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change, York University, Professor Deborah McGregor has been at the forefront of Indigenous environmental justice and Indigenous research theory and practice. Over the years, she has achieved international recognition through her creative and innovative approach using digital and social media to reach Indigenous communities and the public. Her work has been shared through the IEJ project website and UKRI International Collaboration on Indigenous research.

The title of McGregor's talk is 'Indigenous climate leadership in Canada: A discussion on Reconciliation, Justice, and nature-based solutions'. Indigenous leadership forms an essential part of achieving climate justice in Canada. Involvement of Indigenous peoples necessitates dialogue on rights, governance, knowledges, justice, legal traditions and coexistence with nature. McGregor's presentation will explore how these themes merge to generate a path forward for nourishing planetary health.

De­borah Mc­Gregor gives her plenary talk on Wed­nes­day, Oc­to­ber 27, 2021 at 15:00-16:15 (time zone UTC+3).