Join us for a global tour of energy: the builder of human civilization and also its greatest threat. Energy is humanity’s most important resource. It has allowed us to secure life-sustaining resources, build reliable infrastructure, connect continents, and democratize wealth. But our insatiable hunger for more and cheaper energy has also pushed us to the edge of a global crisis, beset by innumerable environmental disasters, trenchant geopolitical struggles, and an alarmingly warming planet. For better and worse, no other physical resource has had such a wide-ranging impact on our ecosystems, economy, public health, and personal liberties.
Michael E. Webber presents his new book and shares the story of how societies develop can be told largely in terms of how they manage energy sources through time. The evening will also include a panel discussion with energy thought leaders, and live music.
AUTHOR, PRESENTER AND PANEL MODERATOR
Dr. Michael E. Webber is based in Paris, France where he serves as the Chief Science and Technology Officer at ENGIE, a global energy & infrastructure services company. Webber is also the Josey Centennial Professor in Energy Resources, Author, and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin where he trains the next generation of energy leaders through research and education at the convergence of engineering, policy, and commercialization. His first book, Thirst for Power: Energy, Water and Human Survival, which addresses the connection between earth’s most valuable resources and offers a hopeful approach toward a sustainable future, is receiving wide praise. His upcoming book Power Trip: the Story of Energy will be published on May 7, 2019 with a 6-part companion series on PBS shortly afterwards. He was selected as a Fellow of ASME and as a member of the 4th class of the Presidential Leadership Scholars, which is a leadership training program organized by Presidents George W. Bush and William J. Clinton. Webber has authored more than 400 publications, holds 6 patents, and serves on the advisory board for Scientific American. A successful entrepreneur, Webber was one of three founders in 2015 for an educational technology startup, DISCO Learning Media, which was acquired in 2018 by Probility Media. Webber holds a B.S. and B.A. from UT Austin, and M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Stanford. He was honored as an American Fellow of the German Marshall Fund and an AT&T Industrial Ecology Fellow on four separate occasions by the University of Texas for exceptional teaching.
WELCOME AND INTRO
Marilu Hastings, Vice President of sustainability programs for the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation in Austin
Bryan Burrough, acclaimed author of The Big Rich, about the connections of wealth and energy in Texas
Dr. Vijaya Nagarana, professor of religious studies, who witnessed her village in India electrify and saw how that changed personal relationships with nature
Lt. Col. (ret) Jospher Kopser, 20-year army veteran who saw firsthand how energy compromised our national security and launched a successful startup to tackle that very problem
Leon Majcen is a folk-rock singer/songwriter currently based in New York City with diverse influences that span folk, blues, and country as well as alternative rock. His distinctive vocal tone, dynamic guitar playing, and a lyrical depth beyond his years deliver fresh appeal with an energetic twist to the Folk/Americana scene.