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We acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation - the custodians of the country in which we meet - and acknowledge their Elders, past and present.

Breaking Together

Jem Bendell [INDO/UK]
Chaired by Natasha Mitchell
Sun 25 August 3:45pm
Sun 25 August 3:45pm
A primer for crisis.

Sociologist Jem Bendell believes that the process of civilisational collapse has begun – in our case driven by damage we have caused to Earth’s natural systems. He argues that governments and corporations are not going to save us and that the best we can hope for is to soften and adapt to unfolding crises. Are we going to cling to the old ways, fighting each other for the final scraps amidst the ruins of our world? Or are we going to rethink our place in a failing world and ‘break together’– gracefully supporting each other through collapse and transition? 

Jem Bendell appears exclusively in Sydney at FODI. 
[Bendell] is shining a light on the ugly consequences of our industrial consumer lifestyles, when most people would rather stay in the dark.
GQ Magazine

Jem Bendell [INDO/UK]

After 17 years working around the world with large companies, charities, politicians and UN agencies on issues of environment and development, in 2012 Jem Bendell settled back in the UK as a full professor in a business school. But after 10 years in that role, he quit to launch an organic farm school, Bekandze Farm, in Indonesia. Such a shift was seeded for Jem in 2017 when he took a year off to look more closely at the latest climate science and data. The resulting “Deep Adaptation” paper was downloaded over a million times and is widely credited with helping inspire the growth of the Extinction Rebellion movement. His book Breaking Together goes further by outlining a political ethos for an era of societal disruption and collapse. In his new way of life, Jem also plays devotional music and releases songs with the band Barefoot Stars. Jem blogs at


Natasha Mitchell

Natasha Mitchell is a multi-award-winning journalist, radio presenter, and podcaster. She is host of the ABC Radio National’s flagship Big Ideas program and podcast, was founding host and producer of the blockbuster radio show and one of the ABC’s first podcasts, All in the Mind, which won the Grand Prize and four Gold World Medals at the New York Radio Festivals, amongst other awards. Natasha hosted the ABC’s daily social affairs program Life Matters, and was founding host and producer of Science Friction, awarded Best Science and Medicine podcast at the Australian Podcast Awards. Natasha served as a board member and vice president of the World Federation of Science Journalists and was recipient of the prestigious MIT Knight Fellowship. She has facilitated countless live public events and forums around Australia, including four major dialogues with the Dalai Lama and scientists. She has an engineering degree with first class honours, and a postgraduate diploma in science communication.

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25 August
General Admission
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