The Utopian—Dystopian Dyad: The Human Trajectory at a Crossroads

On the one hand, the global ecological, socio-political and economic news is indisputably grim: accelerating climate catastrophes, plummeting biodiversity, increasingly authoritarian regimes and movements on the rise planet-wide, the specter of a classic “Thucydides’ trap” in U.S.-China relations, entrenched capital undermining every effort at decarbonization, etc. On the other: the radical awakening and rising up of younger generations, the emergence of some genuinely impactful large-scale “green” initiatives and policies, the exponential growth of clean energy technologies; the recent successful rebuff of several right wing leaders and parties in key countries, etc. Is the human enterprise precariously perched on the knife-edge between catastrophic unraveling or the birth of a new, life-affirming civilization? It is hard to imagine two more appropriate interlocutors to explore the current zeitgeist: Kim Stanley Robinson, our greatest living science-fiction writer, who has fascinatingly and rigorously envisioned scenarios of human adaptation to the climate crisis in many of his novels; and Leah Stokes, a professor of environmental politics who is one of the nation’s most brilliant experts on energy, climate and public policy; and who many consider to have been a key behind-the-scenes prime mover in shepherding the giant IRA climate bill through Congress. Hosted/moderated by J.P. Harpignies, Bioneers Conference senior producer. 

Berkeley Ballroom, Residence Inn

April 7th | 4:45 pm to 6:00 pm


Kim Stanley Robinson
Science Fiction Author
Leah Stokes
Anton Vonk Associate Professor of Environmental Politics
University of California, Santa Barbara
J.P. Harpignies
Senior Producer
Bioneers 2023 Conference
Bioneers 2023 Conference - Revolution from the Heart of Nature
Bioneers 2023 Conference - Revolution from the Heart of Nature