13 December 2023 10:30-12:00 CET

Global Tipping Points Report 2023: Discussion with Section Leads

Global Tipping Points is led by Professor Tim Lenton from the University of Exeter’s Global Systems Institute with the support of more than 200 people from over 90 organisations in 26 countries. The Global Tipping Points Report due to be launched 6th December 2023 aims to provide an authoritative assessment of the risks and opportunities of both negative and positive tipping points in the Earth system and society. In this webinar several Section Leads will present key insights from this report.


  • Intro by moderator: Laurie Laybourn Langton (University of Exeter)
  • Earth System Tipping Points David Armstrong McKay (University of Exeter/Stockholm Resilience Centre)
  • Tipping Points Impacts Steven Lade (Australian National University/Stockholm Resilience Centre) and Jonathan Donges (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research)
  • Governance of Earth System Tipping Points Manjana Milkoreit (University of Oslo)
  • Positive Tipping Points in Technology, Economy and Society: Steve Smith (University of Exeter) and Caroline Zimm (IIASA/Earth Commission)
  • Q&A moderated by Laurie Laybourn Langton (University of Exeter)

    The recording is available below.

    Back to series overview.


    David Armstrong McKay

    I’m a Climate-Biosphere Scientist, Communicator, & Advocate, working to understand and enhance Earth system & socio-ecological resilience for an age of Climate and Ecological crisis.I’m based in Brighton, England, and am working as a Research Impact Fellow at the University of Exeter’s Global Systems Institute helping to lead the Global Tipping Points Report and working with the Earth Commission to set safe and just Earth system boundaries. I’m also an associated researcher at Stockholm Resilience Centre, and do a bit of freelance research consulting and science communication via Georesilience Analytics.I’m fascinated by the co-evolution of the Earth, life, and human societies as complex and dynamic systems, and what this means for our future. Particular topics of focus include climate tipping points and feedbacks, drivers and indicators of ecological resilience, and the sustainability of local to global food systems.

    Read more

    Steven Lade

    Dr Steve Lade is an ARC Future Fellow at the Fenner School of Environment & Society, Research Cluster Co-lead for Risk, Vulnerability and Resilience at the Institute for Climate, Energy and Disaster Solutions (ICEDS) and Researcher at the Institute for Water Futures. Outside ANU, he is Theme Leader for cross-theme collaboration at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Science Lead at the Earth Commission secretariat (Future Earth), member of the Editorial Board at Ecology & Society, and a Resilience Alliance Young Scholar.

    After a PhD in Theoretical Physics at the Australian National University (2007-2010) and a postdoctoral position at the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems (2010-2012) he worked as a researcher at the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University (2012-).He was an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Fenner School from 2017-2021, with travel to Australia supported by a mobility grant from the Swedish Research Council Formas. In 2021, he was granted a Future Fellowship from the Australian Research Council.He has published over 40 scientific articles, of which over 20 were as first author, in journals including Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), Nature Sustainability and Science Advances.

    He has presented at over 50 scientific conferences, co-organised two conference sessions (at Resilience 2014 and MODSIM 2021) and co-organised one workshop (at Kioloa, with Prof Xuemei Bai) and multiple workshops for the Earth Commission. Dr Lade has taught in over 16 undergraduate and postgraduate courses. He has co-convened a course on Sustainability Science, convened course modules on Resilience for Sustainable Development and on Adaptive Governance, convened an evening adult education course on Sustainable Futures and delivered an executive education course on Resilience: Theory and Practice.

    Read more

    Jonathan Donges

    Jonathan Donges is Co-Leader of the FutureLab on Earth Resilience in the Anthropocene and Working Group Leader on Whole Earth System Analysis in Research Department on Earth System Analysis of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. He interacts closely with PIK's Complexity Science Department (RD4) in the scope of the COPAN collaboration.

    His research work focusses on dynamics of planetary-scale socio-ecological systems, climatic and social tipping elements, their dynamics and interactions, decarbonization dynamics and sustainability transformation, conceptual models of society-environment coevolutionary dynamics, structure and dynamics of complex networks, nonlinear dynamics and time series analysis, and application of these methods to climate physics and Earth system analysis.

    Read more

    Manjana Milkoreit

    My research integrates scholarship on global environmental governance and cognitive theory to study actor motivations, beliefs and agency, institutional and policy design and effectiveness related to climate change. I am interested in challenges at the science-policy-society interface, including the use of scientific knowledge in environmental decision-making, and the role of ideologies in advancing or preventing effective societal responses to climate change. My current research focusses on the role of future thinking (imagination) in sustainability transformations and the study of social tipping points. I am coordinating governance-related work for the Global Tipping Points Report 2023.

    Read more

    Steve Smith

    Steve Smith is the Tipping Points Research Impact Fellow at the Global Systems Institute (GSI), University of Exeter. He is also a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP), University of Surrey. Steve co-leads the work on positive tipping points at GSI, and is part of the core editorial team producing the Global Tipping Points Report 2023.

    Read more

    Caroline Zimm

    Caroline Zimm is a research scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. She works on the international research initiatives of the Earth Commission of the Global Commons Alliance, and leads the IIASA Strategic Initiative, Just Transitions to Net-zero Carbon Emissions for All (JustTrans4ALL). Her research is concerned with the diffusion of technologies and policies for sustainable development, inequalities across countries, and transformative development pathways for humanity within a stable Earth system.

    Read more

    All you need to know

    This event is part of a series of online discussions aims to advance the knowledge about tipping elements, irreversibility, and abrupt changes in the Earth system. It supports efforts to increase consistency in treatment of tipping elements in the scientific community, develop a research agenda, and design joint experiments and ideas for a Tipping Element Model Intercomparison Project (TipMip).

    This discussion series is a joint activity of the Analysis, Integration, and Modeling of the Earth System (AIMES) global research project of Future Earth, the Earth Commission Working Group 1 Earth and Human Systems Intercomparison Modelling Project (EHSMIP) under the Global Commons Alliance and the Safe Landing Climates Lighthouse Activity of World Climate Research Program (WCRP).


    Organized by

    Analysis, Integration, and Modeling of the Earth System (AIMES)

    The Analysis, Integration, and Modeling of the Earth System (AIMES) project is an international network of Earth system scientists and scholars that seek to develop innovative, interdisciplinary ways to understand the complexity of the natural world and its interactions with human activities. AIMES is a global research project of Future Earth.

    Earth Commission

    The Earth Commission is a major scientific assessment, hosted by Future Earth, to define a safe and just corridor for people and planet. The Commission will inform the creation of science-based targets, the “1.5-degree equivalents”, to help maintain and protect critical global commons – our shared climate, land, biodiversity, freshwater, atmosphere and oceans. The Earth Commission is an international team of leading natural and social scientists and five working groups of additional experts. It forms the scientific cornerstone of the Global Commons Alliance.

    Future Earth

    Future Earth is a global network of scientists, researchers, and innovators collaborating for a more sustainable planet. Future Earth initiates and supports international collaboration between researchers and stakeholders to identify and generate the integrated knowledge needed for successful transformations towards societies that provide good and fair lives for all within a stable and resilient Earth system. Future Earth is the host of the Earth Commission.

    International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

    International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)is an international research institute that advances systems analysis and applies its research methods to identify policy solutions to reduce human footprints, enhance the resilience of natural and socioeconomic systems, and help achieve the sustainable development goals.

    Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)

    The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) is advancing the frontier of integrated research for global sustainability, and for a safe and just climate future. A member of the Leibniz Association, the institute is based in Potsdam, Brandenburg and connected with the global scientific community. Drawing on excellent research, PIK provides relevant scientific advice for policy decision-making. The institute’s international staff of about 400 is led by a committed interdisciplinary team of Directors.

    University of Exeter, Global Systems Institute

    The Global Systems Institute (GSI) is thought-leading in understanding global changes, solving global challenges and helping create a flourishing future world together, through transformative research, education and impact. GSI's aim is to work with others to secure a flourishing future for humanity as an integral part of a life-sustaining Earth system. GSI's aim to be a ‘go to’ place for global change researchers from around the world, bringing them together with industry, policymakers, students and other stakeholders to tackle shared problems, and acting as a catalyst that enables translation of this research into applications that deliver tangible and sustainable social and ecological benefit.

    WCRP Safe Landing Climates Lighthouse Activity.

    The Safe Landing Climates Lighthouse Activity is an exploration of the routes to “safe landing” spaces for human and natural systems. It will explore future pathways that avoid dangerous climate change while at the same time contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including those of climate action, zero hunger, clean water and sanitation, good health and well-being, affordable and clean energy, and healthy ecosystems above and below water. The relevant time scale is multi-decadal to millennial.

    World Climate Research Programme

    The World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) leads the way in addressing frontier scientific questions related to the coupled climate system — questions that are too large and too complex to be tackled by a single nation, agency or scientific discipline. Through international science coordination and partnerships, WCRP contributes to advancing our understanding of the multi-scale dynamic interactions between natural and social systems that affect climate.