The programme is not yet available. However, the following video and questions and answers provide you with a “feel” of what the Colloquium will look like.
We live in a world where technology is all around us. We also live in a world where innovation is encouraged and fostered. Technology and innovation are often seen as a source of solutions to global environmental problems. There is no doubt that technology and innovation create opportunities, but they also pose challenges and carry risks. This conference will explore the role of law and governance in addressing these challenges and risks, in order to build resilience.
Against this background, the title of the colloquium is “The Transformation of Environmental Law and Governance: Innovation, Risk and Resilience”. The legal and governance dimension of the opportunities and risks stemming from technology and innovation and its impact on resilience will be assessed in a number of specific areas, such as climate change, oceans, health, outer space, just to name a few. One example of a possible discussion can help clarify the focus of the colloquium. Geoengineering is seen by some as a technology that can provide some opportunities in dealing with climate change. At the same time geoengineering has also inherent risks, which are not only related to the doubts about its effectiveness, but also its social-economic acceptability. The extent to which an innovation such as geoengineering may lead to resilience is also an open question mark. Within such a scenario discussions about the role of law and governance within climate change and geoengineering are an example of the focus of the colloquium. Other examples can stem from the use of nanotechnology or synthetic biology or innovations in the field of sustainable energy, waste management or the extractive sector.
With this in mind, the colloquium will be an ideal opportunity to reassess what we mean by resilience in the first place in a world in which environmental law and governance is constantly transforming itself. The colloquium will also be an opportunity to discuss issues of innovation, technology, risk and resilience at different levels and scales of environmental law and governance: sub-national, national, regional, international and transnational.One key feature of the colloquium is that it will include sessions in which the transformation of environmental law will be discussed not only by researchers and academics, but these will be joined by legal practitioners and users. Bringing together thought provoking experts from industry, civil society and international organizations will help fine tune legal and governance matters related to innovation, technology and risks and how they lead to a more resilient society in which the environment is better protected.
The University of Strathclyde is an international technological university with a clear focus on high quality research, which is, however, grounded in the real world and leading to impact. The venue of the Colloquium, the University’s Technology and Innovation Centre, is a living example of the spirit of the University, where academia, society and industry organically get together to solve the problems of today.
Another reason why the University of Strathclyde is well placed to host the conference is that in 2018 we will touch upon all the University’s strategic priorities: energy, health, manufacture and cities. Furthermore, the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance within the Law School covers up to 12 areas of expertise, all of which in one way or another will be presented and discussed at the Colloquium. Even more importantly than the capacity to cover professionally a wide range of subject matter, the Centre that is behind the organisation of the Colloquium works on a daily basis with global partners both within its projects like BENELEX and in its consultancies with organisations such as UNESCO or the CBD. By taking this approach we are well suited to lead a colloquium which, while academic in nature, will also be open to practitioners and users in an engaging, interesting and exciting way.
There is a final reason why Strathclyde is well placed. And it’s because where it sits in the world. Scotland has been for centuries a land of innovation and of creation. At the same time Glasgow is a prime example of how a city has become resilient in the need of transforming itself from a hub of manufacture and industry to a modern vibrant city. Scotland prides itself as being a hub innovation in areas such as water, energy, food and beverages, marine science, amongst many others. The colloquium will, hence, be able to build on the historical legacy and on the day to day business of innovation and technology that permeates Scotland.
Apart from getting insights from leading experts and from insightful discussions on the role of law and governance in dealing with opportunities and challenges for resilience stemming from innovation and technology, the Colloquium will give the possibility to participants to share their work and research in a number of ways. Firstly, Edward Elgar will publish a book that will include papers presented at the Colloquium. Participants are hence encouraged to contribute to what will become a reference text in the field of resilience, technology, innovation and risk from a legal and governance point of view. Those who wish to be considered for publication will need to submit a draft before the colloquium and will then, if selected for the book, have the opportunity to fine tune their work based on comments and feedback of colleagues at the Colloquium and reviewers.The colloquium will feature a large number of presentations and it will not be possible to include all of them in the Edward Elgar book. We are hence talking to a number of journals to consider special issues based on papers stemming from the colloquium. I am happy to say that we have an agreement with the journal Carbon and Climate Law Review for a special issue of this type. Innovation, technology and opportunities and risks arising therefrom to secure resilience is a hot topic for climate change and the Colloquium will bring together exciting and interesting discussions that will be captured by the journal’s special issue.