Creating space for transformative conversations

Climate Solutions with Tim Flannery

2015/16 Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue

The 2015/16 Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue recognized Prof. Tim Flannery for using dialogue and authentic engagement to build global consensus for action around the critical issue of climate change.

Professor Tim Flannery is an internationally renowned scientist and thought leader whose evidence-based approach has helped to inspire dramatic changes in how we understand the natural world and our responsibility to protect it. His dialogue-based achievements include convening world business leaders as chair of the Copenhagen Climate Council, and creating a national conversation in Australia through leading the Australian Climate Commission and founding the Australian Climate Council. He is perhaps most widely known as author of The Weather Makers, a book that has been read by millions and translated into more than 20 languages, and which has helped to influence the climate policies of political leaders such as former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and former British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell.

Award Program Highlights

Prof. Flannery’s two-week award residency left a lasting legacy, including:

  • Staging the Canada-wide launch for Prof. Flannery’s latest book, Atmosphere of Hope.
  • Securing meetings with cabinet ministers from the BC, Alberta and Ontario governments, for Tim Flannery and SFU to discuss climate action.
  • Receiving media coverage by 16 regional and national outlets, such as The Globe and Mail and The Hill Times, drawing attention to the need for action on climate change.
  • Publishing two summary reports highlighting ideas for climate action based on roundtables addressing Climate Action & Business Competitiveness, and Ethical Dilemmas of Climate Change.

About Professor Tim Flannery

Tim Flannery has published over 140 peer-reviewed scientific papers and has named 25 living and 50 fossil mammal species. His 32 books include the award-winning The Future Eaters and The Weather Makers, which has been translated into over 20 languages. He has made numerous documentaries and regularly reviews for the New York Review of Books.

He has received a Centenary of Federation Medal, and in 2002 delivered the Australia Day address. In 2005 he was named Australian Humanist of the Year, and in 2007, Australian of the Year. In 2011 he was made a Chevalier of the Order of St Charles.

In 1998–1999 he was a visiting professor at Harvard, and is a founding member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, a director of the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, and has served on the International Board of WWF.

In 2007 he co-founded and was appointed Chair of the Copenhagen Climate Council. In 2011 he became Australia’s Chief Climate Commissioner, and in 2013 he founded and currently heads the Australian Climate Council. He serves of the Sustainability Advisory Board of Tata Power (India). His most recent book is Atmosphere of Hope: Searching for Solutions to the Climate Crisis, published in October 2016 by Harper Collins.


October 14, 2015
Public Lecture: Reality Check—Climate change, the Resource Economy and the Road to Paris
This public lecture served as the Canadian book launch for Atmosphere of Hope in front of an audience of 600. The program included Prof. Tim Flannery in conversation with City of Vancouver Deputy Mayor Andrea Reimer and businessman Ross Beaty about their perspectives on reconciling climate action with economic growth and the resource economy. Co-presented by the City of Vancouver and Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions.


October 20, 2015
Practitioner Forum: Working on the Front Line of Climate Change: A Dialogue with Tim Flannery
This invitational dialogue provided space for peer interaction and professional development for 50 regional leaders working on the front lines of climate action. In addition to Prof. Flannery, participants heard short messages from climate scientist Mark Jaccard and British Consul-General Rupert Potter.


October 20, 2015
Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue Ceremony and Reception
Prof. Tim Flannery was presented with the Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue in front of 100 regional climate action leaders and friends of Simon Fraser University. The ceremony included the unveiling of a tribute video, as well as Prof. Flannery’s award citation.


October 23, 2015
Climate Action & Business Competitiveness Roundtable
This Invitational breakfast in Toronto for 20 prominent business leaders explored opportunities for climate action & business competitiveness. The event outcomes are recorded in a summary report.


October 23, 2015
Ethical Dilemmas of Climate Change Roundtable
The focus of this invitational roundtable in Toronto was to explore unresolved ethical dilemmas in climate action with 18 leading thinkers in ethics and climate action, and to better understand implications for Canadian policy and behavioural change in the lead-up to the Paris COP21 meeting. The event outcomes are recorded in a summary report and op-ed by Dean Ingrid Stefanovic. Event presented in partnership with SFU’s Faculty of Environment.

news & commentary

SFU honours Australian climate-change expert and author Tim Flannery
The Georgia Straight, August 20, 2015

Tim Flannery: 'The next decade is going to be really tough'
The Tyee, Sept. 28, 2015

Innovation will be key to keeping B.C. at forefront of climate action
Business in Vancouver, Oct. 15, 2015

Tim Flannery speaks out on Canada's election
The Georgia Straight, October 16, 2015

Climate change activist has advice for Justin Trudeau
CBC's Early Edition, Oct. 20, 2015  

From Paris to the sky: Tim Flannery offers a third way
The National Observer, Oct. 20, 2015

Tim Flannery on climate change and what Canada can do
Macleans, Oct. 26, 2015

We need to cut GHGs harder, faster than we ever imagined
The Hill Times, Oct. 26, 2015

Tim Flannery
CBC's Power and Politics, Oct. 27, 2015

Tim Flannery
CTV's Power Play, Oct. 27, 2015 (Podcast #37, at 1h47m)

Finding hope within the doom and gloom of climate change
The Toronto Star, Oct. 28, 2015

Australian climate scientist Tim Flannery: ‘The Great Barrier Reef is doomed’
CBC Radio's Sunday Edition, Nov. 1, 2015

Why Justin Trudeau's leadership at COP21 invites an appeal to 'the better angels of our natures'
The Georgia Straight, Nov. 3, 2015 (by SFU's Prof. Ingrid Stefanovic)

Interview with Tim Flannery
United Church Observer, December 2015

Lessons for Canada from down under
The Globe & Mail, Nov. 27, 2015


We thank the following organizations for their support in making the 2015/16 Jack P. Blaney Award a success:

About the Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue 

The Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue is presented to an individual who exemplifies, internationally, the spirit and programs of SFU's Centre for Dialogue. Recipients of the award have demonstrated excellence and accomplishments in using dialogue to further complex issues of public importance.