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George Monbiot How Can We Feed the World Without Devouring the Planet?

Festival of Ideas
George Monbiot copyright Guy Reece

Waterstones  |  SOLD OUT

George Monbiot explains how we can transform not only our food system but our entire relationship to the living world.

Farming is the world’s greatest cause of environmental destruction – and the one we are least prepared to talk about. We criticise urban sprawl, but farming sprawls across thirty times as much land. We have ploughed, fenced and grazed great tracts of the planet, felling forests, killing wildlife and poisoning rivers and oceans to feed ourselves. Yet millions still go hungry.

The food system itself is beginning to falter. But, as Monbiot now argues, we can resolve the biggest of our dilemmas and feed the world without devouring the planet. Drawing on astonishing advances in soil ecology, he shows how our changing understanding of the world beneath our feet could allow us to grow more food with less farming.

Monbiot talks about the people who are unlocking these methods, from the fruit and vegetable grower revolutionising our understanding of fertility; through breeders of perennial grains, liberating the land from ploughs and poisons; to the scientists pioneering new ways to grow protein and fat. Together, these examples show how the tiniest life forms could help us make peace with the planet, restore its living systems and replace the age of extinction with an age of regenesis.

In conversation with Olivia Sweeney.

This event is part of Festival of Nature 2022 which runs 10-18 June. Find out more here.

In partnership with

Regenesis jacket

George Monbiot’s Regenesis is published by Penguin Books. Buy a copy online or at the event from Waterstones.

George Monbiot copyright Guy Reece

George Monbiot is an author, Guardian columnist and environmental campaigner. His best-selling books include Feral: Rewilding the Land, Sea and Human Life; Heat: How We Can Stop the Planet Burning; and Out of the Wreckage: A New Politics for an Age of Crisis. He co-wrote the concept album Breaking the Spell of Loneliness with musician Ewan McLennan.

Image credit: Guy Reece

Olivia Sweeney is a lifetime environmentalist and a former Black and Green Ambassador. As part of this, she and two other ambassadors were invited to share the outcomes of their work in the Blue Zone at COP 26. She hosts a Tuesday morning breakfast radio show on Ujima Radio as well as working for a sustainable waste consultancy trying to make it easier for people to reduce their waste, recycle and build the circular economy. She was named one of the Top 100 most Influential Women in Engineering by FT in 2019 and one of Rife Magazine’s 30 under 30 in 2022. She is an advocate for equity and justice in all forms.

Image credit: eyes up film

Listen: George Monbiot 2017

Booking Information

Keeping Everyone Safe

Waterstones and Bristol Ideas want to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit for all. The event capacity has returned to normal and seating will not be socially distanced. In the interest of audience and staff safety we are grateful if you would continue to wear a mask if possible and make space when moving around the venue. Please stay home if you’re experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 (these are listed on the NHS website) or if you’ve recently been in contact with someone who has the virus. 

Ticket Information

This event is now sold out. You can join the waiting list for any returned tickets.

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CONCESSIONS apply to Full Time Students, Job Seekers Allowance, Incapacity Benefit claimants, over 60s and disabled people. PARTNER RATE is for staff, students or members at the following organisations: Arts Council England, Bristol City Council, Business West, University of Bristol and UWE. Please note that you will be asked of proof for your eligibility of a concession or partner rate ticket. No refunds/exchanges are possible for tickets already purchased at the higher price.

One free carer ticket can booked for each paying disabled visitor. If you need to book more than one, please contact us before booking to arrange.

We only refund tickets if the event is cancelled. Events start punctually and, out of consideration to other audience members and speakers, our policy is not to admit or issue refunds to latecomers. Full Terms and Conditions here.

Accessibility: Waterstones

One free carer ticket can be provided for each paying disabled visitor, please contact us before booking to arrange. More information about Waterstones Bristol – Galleries can be found on the Waterstones website and on AccessAble.

• There are Blue Badge parking spaces on Union Street.
• There is level access to the event space.
• Events are amplified but there is no loop system.
• There are toilets for public use.
• Guide and assistance dogs are welcome.

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