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David Suzuki      

Environmentalist & Scientist; Co-Founder of the David Suzuki Foundation

Dr. David Suzuki has made it his life's work to help humanity understand, appreciate, respect and protect nature. He is familiar to television audiences as host of the CBC science and natural history television series The Nature of Things. In 2020, Suzuki received The Canadian Academy of Cinema and Television's Lifetime Achievement Award. He has been recognized by BC Achievement in partnership with the Lieutenant Governor of BC for his extraordinary work as a recipient of the 2021 BC Reconciliation Award. Dr. Suzuki is a Companion to the Order of Canada and a recipient of UNESCO's Kalinga Prize for science, the 2009 Right Livelihood Award, and UNEP’s Global 500. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and holds 31 honorary degrees from universities in Canada, United States and Australia. His written work includes more than 56 books, 19 of them for children. Dr. Suzuki lives with his wife and family in Vancouver, B.C.

Suzuki no longer travels by airplane for speaking engagements; in-person keynotes are only considered if local to Vancouver or within ground travel distance.

Speech Topics

‘We Claim We Are Intelligent: Then why are we in such a mess?’ What Can We Learn from COVID-19 and Where Do We Go Now?

The COVID-19 crisis has had two enormous and related consequences — it brought much of human activity to a halt and it’s given nature a respite. Both provide an opportunity to reset society's priorities and head in a different direction.   Confrontation with the reality of a new epidemic should have subdued political and economic imperatives to scientific reality and the US and Brazil have shown what happens when science is ignored or brushed aside. In a time of accusations of fake media, deep conspiracies, and relentless trolls, scientists ?should have regained authoritative prominence, and people have had to confront important questions about purpose, values, opportunities, and constraints in the way we choose to live. During the pandemic, the murder of George Floyd in the US and Indigenous people and the outbreak of racist attacks against Asians in Canada have revealed deep-seated racism and inequities that must be dealt with in a post-Covid world.   In this exploratory presentation, Dr. David Suzuki touches on some of the stark questions and answers we’ve encountered during this global pandemic, from our impact on the environment and our ability to change it, to our dependence on the human creation called the economy and the unfair treatment of our elders, indigenous people, homeless people, etc.   Suzuki puts out a call to action for all of us to rethink our priorities and learn the ultimate lesson in front of us — that nature can be far more forgiving than we deserve. Post-COVID, he says, let us continue to allow her to recover and learn how to put our efforts into living green and building a society that not only restores Earth’s sustainable productivity, yet encourages collaboration and humanity.     His virtual or in person presentation can run from 60 to 90 minutes, including a 30-60-minute keynote and Q&A.


in the past century, humanity has undergone an explosive change in numbers, science, technology, consumption and economics, that have endowed us with the power to alter the biological, physical and chemical properties of the planet. It is undeniable that the atmosphere and climate are altered; air, water and soil are fouled with toxic pollutants; oceans are depleted; forests are being cleared; and species are disappearing. Now that most people live in large cities, our relationship with nature is less obvious. Computers and telecommunications fragment information so that we can no longer recognize the interconnectivity of everything in the world.

Globalization of the economy renders the entire planet a source of resources and all people a market for products, while local communities and local ecosystems are negatively impacted (for example, large scale pig farms are raised in Canada for an Asian market while the water, air and soil surrounding the hogfarms are negatively impacted). Traditional people refer to the Earth as their “Mother” and tell us we are made of the four sacred elements: Earth, Air, Fire and Water. Today science is verifying this ancient wisdom and defines a different set of priorities that should become our bottomline for the 21st century: We are biological beings with an absolute dependence on clean air, water, soil and sunlight for our well being and survival. The web of all life on Earth (biodiversity) is responsible for cleansing, replenishing and creating air, water, soil and captured sunlight. Diversity at the genetic, species, ecosystem and cultural level is critical for longterm resilience and adaptability. We are social animals with an absolute need for love to realize our full human potential; maximal opportunity for love is ensured with strong families, communities, full employment, justice, equity, freedom from terror and war. We are spiritual beings who need to know that there are forces that impinge on our lives that lie outside our understanding or control; that nature that gave us birth, will persist after we die; that there are sacred places where humans come with respect and reverence.

Human beings are one species among perhaps 10 to 15 million other species on whom we are ultimately dependent for our well being. Humanity needs to rediscover humility and our place in the world so that we and the rest of life can continue to flourish.The way we see the world shapes the way we treat it. Perspective is shaped by our values, believes and experiences.

The Covid-19 Crisis

The Covid-19 crisis has had two enormous and related consequences: 1) brought much of human activity to a halt and 2) given nature a respite from human activity. Both provide an opportunity to reset society's priorities and to head in a different direction.

Confrontation with the reality of a new epidemic has subdued political and economic imperatives to scientific reality. In a time of accusations of fake media, deep conspiracies and relentless trolls, scientists have regained authoritative prominence. Confined and restricted from normal lifestyles, people have had to confront important questions about purpose, values, opportunities and constraints in the way we as individuals and societies live.

Nature - air, water, soil, energy, biodiversity - is the very source of our lives and well-being, but in the 20th century, humanity changed from rural agricultural living to inhabitants of big cities where our highest priority became our jobs. And so, the economy assumed greatest prominence in our values and we failed to ask the most important questions about this human creation called the economy, namely:

  • what is an economy for?
  • where does nature fit in an economy?
  • what is the value of nature and the spiritual?
  • what are the limits?
  • how much is enough?
  • are we happier with the sheer quantity of consumer items?


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David Suzuki a man of property | Canada | News | Toronto Sun
Green sage David Suzuki has some expensive tastes for someone who wants to shut down the carbon economy within a generation.

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