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A City of London & Birkbeck Roundtable Event on Climate, Sustainability and Resources

Venue: 373 Euston Road

We are delighted to announce that we will be hosting a joint event with the City of London to discuss Climate, Sustainability and Resources. This is the third Roundtable discussion in the series and the evening discussion will be taking place in person at Birkbeck, University of London. 

Join the Livery Climate Action Group, Worshipful Company of World Traders, Z/Yen’s FS Club, and Birkbeck, University of London for a round table discussion on Sustainability and Resources. 


  • Alderman Alastair King (Chairman), Naisbitt King Asset Management Limited, City of London 
  • Dr Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij, Chair of Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London 
  • Professor Ian Crawford, Professor of Planetary Science & Astrobiology, Birkbeck, University of London 
  • Dr Pedro Gomes, Reader in Economics, Birkbeck, University of London 


5.00pm   Welcome and Introduction – Professor David Latchman, Vice-Chancellor, Birkbeck, University of London 

5.10pm   Can Sovereign Wealth deliver sustainability? - Alderman Alastair King (Chair)

5.30pm   What the U.K. public would want if they knew more about climate change  - Dr Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij  

Imagine there were a pill that made you highly informed on the topic of climate change, but otherwise left you exactly the way you are. How might your opinions and policy preferences change? And what does this tell us about the role of information in forming such preferences, and what ‘the public’ truly want done in relation to climate change? In lieu of any actual climate change genius pills, I will in this talk use counterfactual modelling, a recent statistical technique, to try to answer these questions.

5.45pm  Why lunar resources probably don't provide a near-term 'Plan B' for Earth - Professor Ian Crawford

There is growing interest in the possibility that the resource base of the Solar System might in future be used to supplement the economic resources of our own planet. As the Earth’s closest celestial neighbour, the Moon is sure to feature prominently in these developments. In this talk I review what is currently known about economically exploitable resources on the Moon and their possible uses in space and on Earth.

6.00pm   The 4-day week as a cornerstone of our economic and environmental policy - Dr Pedro Gomes

Our civilization faces two grave risks. The short-term risk is Putin’s War pushing us into a spiral of militarization, raising the ghosts of nuclear apocalypse. The long-term risk is of catastrophes brought by climate change. To abate these risks, we must sharply reduce our energy use, both to cut carbon emissions from fossil fuels and to free European countries, addicted to Russian gas, from Putin’s shackles. The best way to reduce energy consumption while protecting the economy is a coordinated, emergency shift to a four-day week.

6.15pm   Alderman Alastair King (Chair) and Panel discussion with the audience

6:30pm  Drinks Reception held at Birkbeck, University of London 



Professor David Latchman, Vice-Chancellor

Professor David Latchman is Vice Chancellor of Birkbeck and he took up this appointment in 2003. He has also been Professor of Genetics at University College London since 1999. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2010 for his services to higher education. Since his appointment, Professor Latchman has been an advocate of lifelong learning, in a system that focuses on funding school leavers’ degrees over others.

Alderman Alastair King (Chairman)

Alderman Alastair King is the Founder and Chairman of Naisbitt King Asset Management Limited, an independent, FCA-regulated fund management firm, headquartered in the City of London.  He started his career as a lawyer and practice­­­d as a solicitor at a leading international law firm. He was first elected as a Common Councilman of the Ward of Queenhithe (where he resides) in 1999 and Alderman in 2016.

He serves on a wide range of City of London Corporation Committees, including the Finance and Culture, Heritage and Libraries committees. Alastair sits on the Governing Bodies of the Bridewell Royal Hospital, the Samuel Wilson Loans Trust, Morden College and Emanuel Hospital. A Liveryman of five City Livery Companies, Alastair also serves as Vice-Chairman of Breast Cancer Haven Trust and Chairman of Onside Youth Zone, Haringey Project. He will become Sheriff of London In November 2022.

Dr Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij

Kristoffer is Reader and Chair in Philosophy at Birkbeck College, Research Fellow at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), and Research Associate at LSE’s Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science (CPNSS). He works in social epistemology with a particular interest in the relationship between knowledge and political attitudes, as well as in methodological questions about predicting, measuring, and modelling preferences and preference change, especially in politics.

Professor Ian Crawford

Ian Crawford FRAS is a British professor of planetary science and astrobiology at Birkbeck, University of London. Ian’s research activities mostly lie in the fields of space exploration (especially lunar science and exploration), and the new science of astrobiology (the search for life in the Universe). His lunar exploration work includes both the remote sensing of the lunar surface and the laboratory analysis of lunar samples. In the remote sensing area, he was a co-investigator on the D-CIXS instrument (Demonstration of a Compact Imaging X-Ray Spectrometer), which orbited the Moon on ESA's SMART1 spacecraft between 2004 and 2006, and he chairs the Science Team for the Chandrayaan-1 X-Ray spectrometer (C1XS) that flew on India's Chandrayaan-1 lunar mission in 2008-9. These instruments were designed to provide compositional information about the lunar surface, and in particular the abundances of magnesium, aluminium and silicon, which will be used to constrain models of lunar evolution.

Dr Pedro Gomes

Pedro Gomes is Reader in economics at Birkbeck, University of London. Previously, he spent seven years as Assistant Professor at the University Carlos III de Madrid, was a Visiting Professor at the University of Essex and held positions at the European Central Bank and the Bank of England. Pedro values partnerships with policy institutions and has presented his work at the national banks of Portugal, Spain, France and England, as well as at the World Bank, European Central Bank and the OECD.


Events Disclaimer 

This is subject to any restrictions in place with regard to the Covid pandemic. If it is not possible to hold the event in person, then it will be moved online.


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