Steven Cork is an ecologist and futurist. He researched plant-animal interactions in the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation played a lead role in developing scenarios for the World’s futures in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, and has advised governments on environmental policy. He is now principal of EcoInsights and an adjunct professor in the Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University.

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The term “national conversation” seems to be gaining traction as a desirable activity where people talk with one another at a national scale about matters of national concern—the United States talking about the security state, for instance, or Australia calling for discussions on population, the structure of future economies, and attitudes …

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