University of Minnesota

What will Earth look like 50 years from now?

Futurist and co-founder Jamais Cascio to kick off new Ensia Live event series March 14

February 25, 2013

Media note: For photographs, contact Todd Reubold,, (612) 624-6140
For press passes, contact Mary Hoff,, (612) 626-2670

What will our world be like after we succeed in cutting carbon emissions? A lot of that is up to us – and the choices we make right now. Join internationally acclaimed futurist Jamais Cascio for Ensia Live Thursday, March 14, 7:30 p.m., at the Ted Mann Concert Hall in Minneapolis as he explores various future scenarios and what we can do today to boost our odds of achieving a sustainable, resilient tomorrow.

"We’ll face a choice between trying to accelerate the return to the equilibrium the world has known for millennia, trying to adapt ourselves and our environment to the new normal, or simply adapting ourselves and letting the new environmental conditions evolve on their own," Cascio wrote recently in an article for Ensia magazine. "Getting control of global carbon emissions isn’t the end of the story—it’s just the beginning of the next chapter."

In his Ensia Live talk, "Bots, Bacteria and Carbon," Cascio will explore the potential course of Earth over the next 50 years – and the unexpected ways in which the choices we make today will shape the decades to come. Along with Cascio’s talk, the first of three in the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment’s new event series, the evening will offer an aerial arts performance by Ribnic Circus.

Selected by Foreign Policy magazine as one of its Top 100 Global Thinkers, Cascio has been featured in publications such as Atlantic Monthly, the Wall Street Journal and Foreign Policy as well as in a variety of television programs, including "Six Degrees," National Geographic Television’s 2008 documentary on the effects of global warming. In 2003 he co-founded, an award-winning website showcasing models, tools and ideas for building a "bright green" future. In 2006 he started Open the Future as his online home.

The March 14 event, made possible by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, media sponsor Minnesota Public Radio and others, is the first of three environment-themed evenings presented by Ensia. The second, a talk by Shanghai-based international sustainability expert Peggy Liu with a performance by the Twin Cities Women’s Choir, will take place March 27. Wrapping up the season April 11 will be London/New York–based global architect Peter Williams, who will draw on experience on five continents to discuss the links between housing design and health. Visual artist Gregory Euclide and musician S. Carey of Bon Iver will add an artistic dimension to the event. For more information and tickets, see or contact the Northrop Box Office, 612-624-2345.

The University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment seeks lasting solutions to Earth's biggest challenges through research, partnerships and leadership development. For more information, visit

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