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Department of

Geography & Environment
London School of Economics & Political Science
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE


Events enquiries
Catherine Mitchell
+44 (0)20 7107 5406


Department Manager

Sam Colegate


The Department hosts numerous lectures by visiting statespeople and academics throughout the year, discussing themes of interest to the LSE community and the general public. We also run a number of seminar series.

Our events are free and open to all, and we make video and audio recordings, as well as any materials used, available on this page whenever possible.

Upcoming events

Christian Gollier

Do we do enough for the future?

Thursday 2 February 2017
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building

Speaker: Christian Gollier (internationally renowned researcher in Decision Theory under Uncertainty and co-creator of the Toulouse School of Economics).

Christian Gollier will discuss the way one should value and compare projects whose benefits materialize only in the decades or centuries to come.

A free event open to all. Admission on a first come, first served basis.


Rethinking Punishment

Thursday 16 February 2017
Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House

Speaker: Didier Fassin (French anthropologist and sociologist, currently the James D. Wolfensohn Professor of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton).

What is punishment? Why do we punish? Who gets punished? Based on a series of ethnographies conducted on policing, the justice system and the prison institution, this lecture will critically revisit theoretical discussions related to the definition, justification and distribution of punishment.


The Fight for Beauty: Our Path to a Better Future

Tuesday 21 February 2017
6:30 to 8:00pm
Hosted by the Department of Geography and Environment and the Literary Festival
Wolfson Theatre, NAB

Speakers: Dame Fiona Reynolds, Nicholas Crane, Prof Giles Atkinson

We live in a world where the drive for economic growth is crowding out everything that can't be given a monetary value and it's getting harder to find space for the things that really matter but money can't buy, including our future. Fiona Reynolds proposes a solution that is at once radical and simple - to inspire us through the beauty of the world around us. Delving into our past, examining landscapes, nature, farming and urbanisation, she shows how ideas about beauty have arisen and evolved, been shaped by public policy, been knocked back and inched forward until they arrived lost in the economically-driven spirit of today.


'Before the Flood' Film Screening and Panel Discussion

Friday 24 February 2017
Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House

Hosted by the Department of Geography and Environment and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment

Prof Simon Dietz,  Department of Geography and Environment, LSE
Dr Rebecca Elliott
, Department of Sociology, LSE
Dr Michael Mason, Department of Geography and Environment, LSE
Bob Ward, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment

Eyres poster

Seeing Our Planet Whole: A Cultural and Ethical View of Earth Observation

Thursday 2 March 2017
Thai Theatre, New Academic Building

Speaker: Harry Eyres

Harry Eyres will talk about his new book, Seeing Our Planet Whole: A Cultural and Ethical View of Earth Observation (Springer, 2017), which came out of a collaboration with the European Space Policy Institute in Vienna where he was a part-time senior fellow from 2013-2016. 

The book shows how our new-found ability to observe the Earth from “the necessary distance” has wide and profound cultural and ethical implications. It is the outcome of speculations and investigations of human beings in relation to their home planet carried out over millennia. In particular, it reveals a split between the ancient idea of the Earth as nurturing mother and the more recent conception of the Earth as a neutral resource able to be infinitely exploited by humankind. The 1968 Earthrise photograph, showing the beauty and fragility of the Earth, helped spark a worldwide environmental movement; now the comprehensive coverage of global change provided by satellites has the potential to convince us beyond reasonable doubt of the huge alterations being wrought upon the Earth and its climate system as a result of human actions, and of the need to act more responsibly.

Harry Eyres is one of the most eloquent advocates of the worldwide Slow Movement. He holds an MA in English from Trinity College, Cambridge, the Diploma de Estudios Hispanicos from Barcelona University and an MSc in Environmental Assessment and Evaluation from LSE, where he graduated with a Distinction. Having worked for leading newspapers and magazines as a theatre critic, wine writer and poetry editor, in 2004 he created the weekly Slow Lane column in FT Weekend, which ran for eleven years until April 2015. Slow Lane covered cultural and environmental themes and consistently advocated a less consumption-focussed lifestyle. Eyres is also the author of The Beginner’s Guide to Plato’s The Republic (Hodder & Stoughton), the memoir Horace and Me: Life Lessons from an Ancient Poet (Bloomsbury: short-listed for the PEN/Ackerley Prize in 2014), and several books on wine.

A free event open to LSE staff and students.

Christian Hilber

Britain’s Housing Crisis: causes and cures

Tuesday 21 March 2017
Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House

Speaker: Prof Christian Hilber (Professor of Economic Geography at LSE).

In his inaugural lecture, Prof Hilber will explain how Britain’s planning system and tax policy cause the country’s housing crisis and contribute to rising inequality. He will explore how we can do better. 


Previous events: videos, podcasts and information


The Political Geography of Brexit: an informal panel discussion

Weds 9 November 2016


Thai Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

Speakers: Professor Ian Gordon (LSE), Professor Ron Johnston (University of Bristol), and Professor Kevin Cox (Ohio State University).


Post-Quito Conversations on the New Urban Agenda

Speakers: Dr Ryan Centner, Assistant Professor of Urban Geography and Prof Sandra Jovchelovitch, Professor of Social Psychology

(in coordination with the LSE Planning Society)

Tuesday 8 November 2016
11am - 12pm
Tower 2, Room 204, LSE

A discussion with two LSE academics who recently participated in UN HABITAT III in Quito, Ecuador -- a convention to set a "new urban agenda" promoting just, sustainable, smart, compact, inclusive cities. The HABITAT meetings, which happen only every 20 years, aim to define lines of debate and ways forward for a generation.

Copyright Juan Orrantia

Security, Risk, and the Urban Imagination

To mark the publication of Austin Zeiderman's new book, Endangered City, this event brings together an interdisciplinary panel of scholars to discuss the intersection of security, risk, and the urban imagination.

> Video & podcast 


Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation

How can ecosystem management in developing countries contribute to poverty alleviation, as well as to inclusive and sustainable growth? Giles Atkinson (LSE) is joined by Paul van Gardingen, UNESCO Chair of International Development at the University of Edinburgh and Director, Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation Programme.

> Video & podcast

David Harvey at LSE

The Power of Ideas: a discussion with David Harvey

David Harvey's work on geography, social theory, urban political economy and capitalism has shaped academic debate for decades. He is one of the most cited social scientists in the world, and his works have been translated into multiple languages. Here, shortly before receiving an Honorary Degree from LSE, Harvey joins a panel of experts including Michael Storper (LSE) and Jane Wills (QMUL) to explore his ideas - and alternative views.

> Video & podcast


Can the ‘weight of evidence’ on impacts shape the future of international migration?

Jacques Poot

Migration has generally yielded economic benefits in terms of labour market outcomes, the fiscal position, innovation, trade and growth. However, concerns about a limited ‘absorptive capacity’ of host societies are growing. This lecture examines how the weight of the scientific evidence can assist policymakers to respond to these challenges.

> Video & podcast

Dieter Helm

Natural Capital: valuing the planet

Dieter Helm

In the face of the global, local, and national destruction of biodiversity and ecosystems, economist Dieter Helm offers a crucial set of strategies for establishing natural capital policy that is balanced, economically sustainable, and politically viable. 

> Video & podcast


Why Cities Succeed and Fail Today 

Michael Storper
with Thomas Kemeny and Naji Makarem

How well a city will cope with new opportunities and challenges relies on economic specialisation, human capital formation, and institutional factors. World-leading economic geographer Michael Storper challenges many conventional notions about economic development and sheds new light on its workings.

> Video & podcast

Matthew Kahn

Quality of Life in Urban China: economic growth and the environment

Professor Matthew Kahn (UCLA), a world-leading expert on environmental and urban issues, examines China’s economic growth to present key findings from his latest research.

Chair: Professor Steve Gibbons, LSE

> Video & podcast

Thomas Piketty

Inequality in the 21st Century

A day-long conference with Thomas Piketty, whose Capital in the Twenty-First Century has been of great significance in shaping debates about inequality across the globe.

This fascinating workshop features talks from experts including Gareth A. Jones of the Department of Geography & Environment (session 3).

> Videos & podcasts

Inequality and the 1%

Inequality and the 1%: what goes wrong when the rich become too rich

Danny Dorling (Oxford) looks at economic inequality. Today, the richest 1% take more and more, even while the other 99% are becoming more equal. What exactly is it about inequality that causes most harm?

> Video & podcast


Housing: Where Will We All Live?

The governor of the Bank of England recently warned that the overheated housing market represents the "biggest risk" to the country’s long-term recovery. BBC Home Affairs editor Mark Easton asks an expert panel - including LSE's Professor Paul Cheshire - why this country has failed to build enough affordable homes and looks at what can be done to solve our housing crisis.

> Audio podcast

Sylvia Chant, Arroyo, March 2014

Feminisation of Poverty, Sexual Violence and the State - the LSE Gender Institute 20th anniversary lecture

Professor Sylvia Chant (LSE) presents her views on Feminisation of Poverty: Win-Win, Lose-Lose… or Gains at the Margin?, and Professor Inderpal Grewal (Yale) discusses Neoliberal Security and the hyper-visibility of Sexual Violence and the State in this fascinating insight into the major current issues in gender and development studies.

> Audio podcast

David Harvey

The 17 Contradictions of Capitalism

Thought capitalism was permanent? Think again. Leading Marxist geographer David Harvey (City University of New York) unravels the contradictions at the heart of capitalism and the drive to accumulate capital beyond the means of investing it. Introduced by Dr Murray Low of the Department of Geography and Environment at LSE.

> Video & podcast

photo: Stephen Codrington

Access to Justice and Extractive Industries

A panel of international legal and industry experts discuss the fraught world of environmental justice, human rights, minerals and mining, and explain why it should be of concern to us all.

With Aidan Davy (International Council for Mining and Minerals), Juan Pablo Saenz (Amazon Defense Coalition), Richard Meeran (Leigh Day & Co) and Jake White (Friends of the Earth).

> Video and podcast

Alison Nimmo

Transforming a City: from London's East End to the West End

Valued at £8 billion, the Crown Estate is a giant player in the property industry with an unusually diverse portfolio. The group's Chief Executive Alison Nimmo joins LSE's Paul Cheshire to discuss her experience leading the company, her past projects in city redevelopment and the Olympic Delivery Authority, and her plans for the future.

> Video & podcast

Vernon Henderson

China's Urban Policies: dilemmas facing the world's largest urban population

With the majority of its population now urban dwellers, China faces a unique set of challenges. Vernon Henderson examines the policy options as Chinese cities continue to grow. Professor Henderson is a leading expert in urbanisation of developing countries and School Professor of Economic Geography at LSE.

> Video & podcast

Michael Storper

Keys to the City: How Economics, Institutions, Social Interaction and Politics Shape Development

The global economy is driven by its major cities: the keys to the city are the keys to global development. This talk sets out the rules of economic development for policymakers, and demonstrates why economists, sociologists and political scientists must take geography seriously.

Michael Storper (LSE) is one of the world’s leading economic geographers. His latest book, Keys to the City , is out now.

> Video & podcast

Susanna Hecht

From Eco-Catastrophe to Zero Clearing: why is deforestation in the Neotropics declining?

An expert on tropical development, Professor Susanna Hecht addresses the recent dramatic decline in deforestation in Amazonia, why it has occurred, and how likely it is to endure.

Susanna Hecht (UCLA) recently received the Carl O. Sauer Award for Latin American geography. Her latest book, The Scramble for the Amazon, is out now.

> Video & podcast 

Henry Overman

The Economic Future of British Cities: what should urban policy do?

Examining how urban policy can address the profound challenges now faced by Britain’s cities, both in the short term as a result of the recession and in the long term as a result of underlying structural change.

Henry Overman is Professor of Economic Geography at the LSE and Director of the Spatial Economics Research Centre.

> Video & podcast

John Elkington

The Power Of Zero In Driving "Breakthrough Capitalism

Discussing a new breed of innovator, determined to drive problems such as carbon, waste, toxics, and poverty to zero.

John Elkington is co-founder and executive chairman of Volans.  He is also the co-founder of SustainAbility, where he remains today as a a non-executive member of the board.

> Audio podcast

Fred Pearce

The Landgrabbers: The New Fight Over Who Owns The Earth

Debating the controversial practice of ‘Land grabbing’ by foreign entities in Africa, South-east Asia, South America and Eastern Europe, described as 'the most profound ethical, environmental, economic and social issue in the world today'.

Fred Pearce is an environment, science, and development writer for New Scientist and the Guardian, and is author of When The Rivers Run Dry and The Landgrabbers.

Discussants include LSE's Prof. Anthony Hall and Dr. Charles Palmer.

> Video & podcast

Christian Parenti

Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence

Exploring how climate change is causing violence as it interacts with the social legacies of economic neoliberalism and cold-war militarism across the Global South.

Christian Parenti is a professor at the School for International Training Graduate institute; his latest book is Tropic of Chaos.

> Video & podcast

Dambisa Moyo

Winner Take All: The Race for the World's Resources

Discussing the increasingly heated competition for the world's water and land, and the likely geopolitical fallout of China's biggest commodity rush in history.

Dambisa Moyo is author of Dead Aid and How the West Was Lost; she was an economist at the World Bank and has been selected by Time Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.

> Video & podcast

Diane Coyle

"Enough": policies for a sustainable economy

The world's leading economies must explore key policy changes if they are to emerge from current crises with an economy for tomorrow as well as today.

Diane Coyle runs Enlightenment Economics consultancy, is vice chair of the BBC Trust, and a visiting professor at the University of Manchester.

> Video & podcast

David Harvey

Rebel Cities: The Urbanization of Class Struggle

Exploring the city as a key arena within which class forces clash.

David Harvey is Distinguished Professor and Director of the Center for Place, Culture and Politics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His books include A Companion to Marx's Capital and Rebel Cities.

Watch Video     /    Download Podcast (mp3)

Scott Barrett

Climate Treaties and Approaching Catastrophes

Does the prospect of climate catastrophes make international cooperation on climate change any easier?

Scott Barrett is the Lenfest-Earth Institute Professor of Natural Resource Economics at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.

Audio Podcast     /    Download Slides (.pdf)

Professor Philip McCann

Redesigning the World's Largest Development Programme:
EU Cohesion Policy

Philip McCann is Special Adviser to Johannes Hahn (European Commissioner for Regional Policy), and the University of Groningen Endowed Chair of Economic Geography.

Watch Video     /     Download Podcast       /       Download Slides

Francis Salway

Why the role of the developer matters

Francis Salway is  CE of Land Securites, Britain's largest commercial property company.

Watch Video       /       Download Podcast       /       Event Information

Joe Oliver

Canada: a reliable, responsible contributor to global energy security and economic stability

Joe Oliver is the  Canadian Minister of Natural Resources.

Read Transcript      /      Download Podcast      /      Event Information

Professor Ian Goldin

Exceptional People: how migration shaped our world and will define our future 

Ian Goldin -  Director of the Oxford Martin School and former VP of the World Bank

Watch Video       /       Download Podcast       /       Event Information

Ananya Roy

Cities at the Speed of Light: Asian experiments of the urban century 

Ananya Roy - Professor in department of City & Regional planning, director of Global Metropolitan Studies Centre at Berkeley

Watch Video       /       Download Podcast       /       Event Information

Pavan Sukhdev

The Economics of Ecosystems & Biodiversity

Pavan Sukhdev - UN Environment Programme

Watch Video       /       Download Podcast       /       Event Information

Edawrd Glaeser

Triumph of the City: How our greatest invention makes us richer, smarter, greener, healthier and happier

Edward Glaeser -  Professor of Economics at Harvard University, author of 'Triumph of the City'

Watch Video       /       Download Podcast       /       Event Information

Sylvia Chant

Gender and Poverty in the 21st Century

Panel discussion -  The International Handbook of Gender and Poverty, edited by Professor Sylvia Chant

Watch Video       /       Download Podcast       /       Event Information

Brian Chikwava

LSE Literary Festival 2011: Placing Mobilities

Panel discussion -  Brian Chikwava, Abdulrazak Gurnah and Olumide Popoola consider a number of complementary and competing themes around the topic of diaspora and place in literature

Download Podcast       /       Event Information

Bjorn Lomborg

An Evening with Bjørn Lomborg: Putting Global Warming into Perspective

Bjørn Lomborg -  adjunct Professor at Copenhagen Business School, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist

Watch Video       /       Download Podcast       /       Event Information

Henry Overman

How did London get away with it?: The Recession and the North-South Divide

Henry Overman -  Professor of Economic Geography at LSE, director of the Spatial Economics Research Centre

Watch Video       /       Download Podcast       /       Event Information