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change the change heroes and heroines

Leading heroes and heroines of science, art, design and cuisine will inspire against climate change at Change the Change conference

The Change the Change International Conference has signed up as speakers the chefs, Ángel León and Andoni Luis Aduriz, the sculptor, Cristina Iglesias along with Lourdes Fernández, the Australian designer, Leyla Acaroglu and the scientists, Ana Payo and Uxua López Flamarique.

These heroes and heroines of the planet will offer a personal vision, explain their innovative projects and initiatives to act against and raise awareness of climate change from diverse fields and in different parts of the planet.

Change the Change International Conference, which will be held in San Sebastian from 6th to 8th March, will also offer presentations by 50 distinguished experts in climate change, as well as a space for talks by people from different fields who will offer their own point of view. They are called the heroes and heroines of the planet, so that each day of the conference will have its own heroic space.

The opening, on 6th March at the Kursaal in San Sebastian, will kick off with the British economist, Nicholas Stern, as a special guest, and will also include two scientists with experience in Antarctica: Uxua López Flamarique and Ana Payo. 

Scientists in Antarctica

They have both participated in Homeward Bound, a programme that combines training in leadership, strategy and visibility with research lines by working groups throughout a year, and which aims to foster female access to positions of leadership in the scientific world. The objective is to create a worldwide network of 1,000 leading scientists in the fight against climate change over a period of ten years.

Uxua López Flamarique, scientist from Navarra and expert in renewable energies, was selected from over 300 candidates worldwide in 2017 to participate in the programme. She has participated in Antarctica in a team researching climate change and its impact on women, given that the negative impacts of global warming on women are greater than those on men, because they have less economic resources, reduced access to education and justice as well as less mobility and decision-making capacity, among other reasons.

Alongside her, Ana Payo was selected for Homeward Bound in 2018. She is an oceanographer and environmentalist from Zamora, who studies the ecology of sea birds for the Mediterranean Institute of Advanced Studies. She also belongs to the Big Van Science group, which raises awareness of science through performing arts.

Two avant-garde chefs

The next day, Thursday, 7th March, the Change the Change conference will add two of the most prestigious names in international cuisine to its list of speakers: Ángel León, known as ‘Chef of the Sea’, and Andoni Luis Aduriz, who runs the Mugaritz restaurant.

Ángel León, owner of the Aponiente restaurant in Puerto de Santa María, holder of three Michelin stars, bases his cuisine on kilometre zero products and specialities from the sea. He now boasts another Michelin star for his restaurant, Alevante, in Sancti Petri (Cadiz). Alongside him, he will be hosted by one of the best known and innovative Basque chefs, Andoni Luis Aduriz. From his restaurant in Errenteria, he has become one of the most influential chefs for his commitment to R&D and his multi-disciplinary concept of cuisine. They have both won the National Gastronomy Award.

The sustainable designer

The Australian designer, Leyla Acaroglu, will also show the path of individuals, who have opted to act with originality and conviction against climate change in their respective professional activities. This Australian designer, who won the United Nations Champion of the Earth Prize in 2016, will speak on Friday, 8th March. Based in New York, she has created several design agencies, as well as being an educator and cultural provocateur.

Acaroglu is also a sociologist and fosters social and environmental change through design, and she has developed the Disruptive Design Method. She is an expert in challenging people to think differently about how the world works. Her participation in TED talks on sustainability has been viewed over a million times.

Cristina Iglesias, in San Sebastian

The names that have been added to the list of speakers at Change the Change also include Cristina Iglesias, the most international Basque artist. The sculptor from San Sebastian will give a special session on her vision of art in deep connection with the environment. She is currently working on a project to transform the lighthouse on Santa Clara Island in San Sebastian into a public sculpture, which is expected to become an emblematic landmark for the city. She will explain the latest advances and the connection between her artistic career and the environment and elements, such as water.

Her speech will be presented by Lourdes Fernández, former director of ARCO and of the Azkuna Zentroa in Bilbao, one of the most distinguished people in the world of contemporary art and the driving force behind different projects.