Close-up photo of an orange-red rose against a black background

Climate Change is the crucial topic of our age and the impacts of climate change are already well-documented, but how do we continue to make climate change a top priority with everything else that seems to be going on at the moment? Also, given all the challenges posed by an extended global pandemic, other important issues like identity and sexual orientation can fall by the wayside, so it’s important to keep these topics on the agenda too. In this double-ticket lunch time event, we’ll not only look at how to keep climate change front and centre, but we’ll also discuss a highly-relevant topic that is of particular relevance to Imperial 600 members during LGBT History Month.

What can you expect? In about an hour, we’ll host a panel of Imperial College experts on climate change, as well as have a fireside chat with Lord Jonny Oates about his recently published book: “I Never Promised You A Rose Garden“. The book charts Oates’s darkest moments as an idealistic but troubled schoolboy alone in Ethiopia struggling with his sexual orientation and mental health, but it also relates his single-handed attempts at tackling widespread famine – a secondary effect of climate change that could very well be one of the most important consequences of global warming.

The Panel of Experts will include an introduction and moderation by Imperial College’s Director of Communication Vickie Sheriff, and the participation of Sir Brian Hoskins, Chair of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment, Charles Donovan, Executive Director of the Centre for Climate Finance and Investment at Imperial College Business School, and Lord Jonny Oates as well who is Speaker for the House of Lords on the topic of Energy and Climate Change.

After the panel, Lord Oates will then have a Fireside Chat with Kani Kamara, Head of Imperial College’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Centre (EDIC), where he’ll talk about his book, the ambitions he had as a young man, and the personal journey he had to go through to accept his own sexual orientation. We’ll even have a couple signed editions of his book to give away to audience members, so this is an event not to be missed!

The even will be wrapped-up by Imperial 600 Co-Chair Joël McConnell, who is also an Executive Director at Imperial College Business School.

Summary of the Event Agenda:

  1. Welcome 12:00-12:05
  2. Climate Change Panel 12:05-13:35
  3. Fireside Chat with Lord Oates 12:35-12:55
  4. Closing 12:55-13:00

Why Climate Change for LGBT History Month? Simply put, we’ve pulled together an intersectional group of LGBT staff and allies, as well as experts on the topic of climate change, to both highlight a particular area of expertise at Imperial College and share one senior public official’s journey of self-acceptance – something many of our event participants may have struggled with themselves. This event is also part of the broader LGBT History Month programming being offered by Imperial 600, the College’s LGBTQ+Allies Staff and Postgraduate Student network.

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