Renewing disruption: Energy for change across the Asia-Pacific

Water droplet_image by Michael Wilson (Flickr)

Event details


Date & time

Tuesday 13 November 2018


Seminar Room 1.04, Coombs Extension Building #8, ANU
ANU Canberra


Anna Chang, Emma Aisbett, Sango Mahanty, Deborah Cleland


School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet)

Additional links

Drastically altering how we power our lives is a given if we want to avoid catastrophic climate change. Renewable energy entrepreneurs aim to disrupt business as usual, even as activists place more pressure on the fossil fuel industry. Many countries across the Asia-Pacific have invested in mammoth hydro-power projects, contributing to decarbonisation, albeit with serious social consequences. How will these dramatic changes play out across our region, and who will pay the price and pull the strings?

Come for the free lunch, stay for the discussion, as this dynamic panel talk all things energy, climate and how to manage (and cause) great disruption.

For those who attended today’s seminar, please see link below for the event which Emma recommended for review.

About the speakers

Anna Chang is the director of communications at the Australia Institute, an independent think tank based in Canberra. She has worked in political communication and campaigns to create change for over a decade, including for then-Leader of the Australian Greens Christine Milne, at The Wilderness Society, and as a commercial consultant.

Emma Aisbett is a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Social Research and Methods and Transdisciplinary Research Leader for ANU Grand Challenge Project - Zero Carbon Energy for the Asia Pacific. The project aims to drive a timely, fair and sustainable transformation of Australia’s energy relationship with the region. Beyond the Grand Challenge Emma’s research is characterized by a set of recurring themes, which include economic globalization, environmental policy, developing countries, and political economy. She routinely coauthors across disciplines in order to minimise the possibility of disciplinary tunnel-vision leading to poor-quality research and policy conclusions.

Sango Mahanty is a human geographer working on the social and environmental dimensions of commodity networks, forests and agrarian change. Her new Discovery project, Rupture: nature-society transformation in mainland Southeast Asia, examines dams as case studies of dramatic structural reconfiguration. She is asking: what changes when a dam is constructed, how do people respond, and then what does this mean for governments? For Sango, when dams ‘disrupt’ a region, “opportunities and risks multiply”. Through this research, Sango’s team aims to spark broader dialogue on the transformative role of large-scale developments. You can read about their progress at

Deborah Cleland brings her research into social justice, inclusion, sustainability to life through writing and performance. She is a researcher by day and an acrobat whenever her supervisors are not looking/ anyone else is. Inspired by combining her background in sustainable development and interest in creative research approaches, Deb has spent much of the last 10 years designing and developing interactive games and shows. In her academic life Deb works on how regulation can improve quality of life and citizen engagement in our democracy. In her other life she works out how play can do the same thing. You can find more info about Deb’s work on her website

Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet