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“Gaming and geography” to help beat climate change

Lord David Puttnam, the film maker and Labour peer, is calling for the use of serious video games and location-based information in the battle against climate change.

Speaking ahead of his keynote speech at Ordnance Survey’s Terra future conference, Lord Puttnam said: “Serious games based upon real-life geography should be vital tools in our fight against climate change. Educating people about the impact of prolonged changes to our climate in an accessible way is the best catalyst for action I know.”

He also emphasised the need for climate change to remain high on the political agenda despite the economic downturn. “The long-term impact of doing nothing about climate change will be far worse than any economic downturn,” he added.   

Lord Puttnam, who chaired the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Draft Climate Change Bill, is an outspoken advocate of technology to educate people – from schoolchildren to policy makers - on the dangers of climate change. He is also the founding Chair of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts – an independent body that seeks to promote business innovation through investment in early-stage companies.

The Terra future conference, to be held at the Royal Geographical Society on 24 and 25 February, is aimed at business leaders, government policy and decision makers, community groups and academics. It will explore the role of geography and mass collaboration in tackling sustainability, climate change and transportation. The Terra future initiative and its cross-sector participants will help generate and develop ideas and actions aimed at tackling these grand challenges.

Lord Puttnam is also the Chair of Futurelab, a not-for-profit organisation that aims to promote the use of technology resources in teaching. Chris Parker of Ordnance Survey, comments: “Lord Puttnam brings an enormous breadth of knowledge to Terra future. His experience of the use of technology in education and in tackling climate change will provide a unique perspective on the world’s grand challenges.”

Ramon Arratia, the European sustainability director at InterfaceFLOR, is also among the confirmed speakers and will address delegates about the company’s ‘Mission Zero’ promise to negate any negative environmental impact by 2020.  

Previous Terra future events, held in 2005 and 2006, were widely supported and included presentations from Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, and Peter Cochrane OBE, a former chief technologist at BT.

For more information visit: http://www.terrafuture.com/

Note for editors

BT is a registered trademark of British Telecommunications plc. Futurelab is a registered trademark of Futurelab

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