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insight4me Geography – Global Commons With Professor Neil Ward From University of East Anglia & Professor Chris Philo From University of Glasgow

9th October 2023 @ 16:15 - 17:15

Register here






  • University of Glasgow: Prof Chris Philo, Professor in the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, will present Tragedies of the CommonsThis talk introduces ‘the commons’ as meaning a complex bundle of resources, like air, water, land, etc. that people can supposedly access freely ‘in common’ with each other. We will ask about the historical roots of the commons, and of threats to it, in both the British countryside and British colonies. We will consider what is sometimes called ‘the tragedy of the commons’ – an idea with a curious double meaning – particularly emphasising what happens when different peoples in different places start to be denied access to common resources.


  • University of East Anglia: Prof Neil Ward, Professor in the School of Environmental Sciences, will present The Food System and the Global Commons. This talk examines how emissions contribute globally to global climate change (the commons) and the ways in which our systems of food production and consumption bring pressures on land use, climate and public health.  We will consider the ways that the countries of the world are working to address greenhouse gas emissions through the Paris Agreement (protecting the commons). We will reflect on how climate action might influence the ways that food is produced and consumed in future and look at the implications for the system of food production and land use in the UK in particular.


In this insight4me Geography online event for schools and colleges, University of Glasgow and University of East Anglia will each have roughly 30 minutes to deliver a punchy, interactive topic based ‘micro’ talk. Within an overall session theme of Global Commons, the universities have the freedom to choose their own focus and use the time to convey the key points of the case studies for the students.

insight4me is a series of subject specific webinars for Year 12 & 13 students, and equivalent. The sessions directly support students’ current studies by giving an insight into particular curriculum areas whilst affording an understanding of how these subjects continue beyond A-levels, T-levels, IB, BTEC and equivalent qualifications, and how they vary between universities.



Our events are designed so that a group of students can take part from a classroom or students and teachers can take part as individuals, either from school or from home. This means that sessions will continue irrespective of possible school closures.

As a live, participative event, this session will not be recorded but slides and other resources will be shared after the event, where available.


Suitable for: Year 12 & 13 students (and equivalent) studying, or with a possible interest in studying, Geography and related disciplines. Student groups, and individual students and teachers are very welcome to join us.

Preparation/Pre-Reading: Students may wish to consider the 2 topics and discuss some of the key elements in advance. Students can also think about questions they have about studying Geography at university level.

The IT Setup: The event will be run on Bluejeans (similar to Zoom) and participants will be able to join using laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. If you are joining as a school group, we recommend connecting with one device and projecting on to a whiteboard. You will be able to interact with the university via a microphone and/or typed comments and questions. Full details will be sent to those who have registered (see below) prior to the event.

Booking a Place: This is free for schools and colleges. If you would like to take part in this event, please register your interest using the link to the registration form below:


Register here



9th October 2023
16:15 - 17:15
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