Disruption. Collaboration. Action.

The World Forum took place on 22 September 2022. In this critical year, the Smith School brought together world leaders in policy, business and academia to embrace bold ideas, identify priority solutions to get their firms, industries and countries to net zero and investigate how real progress can be made.

World Forum 2022 highlights

Video transcript

Professor Cameron Hepburn
The theme of today is disruption. So we do need to disrupt some established orders. We need to collaborate because we have to collaborate on these international and global environmental challenges, and we have to act because we're running out of time. This is not a day for grand speeches. It's a day focussed on what do we need to do and how do we do it, and who has to do it and when do they have to do it and what help do they need and how can we navigate and move the pieces around?

Professor Dame Louise Richardson
It need hardly be said that this forum is taking place at a time of unprecedented global fragility, geopolitically, economically, societally and environmentally. And underpinning all of this, of course, is the climate emergency and the really narrowing window that we have to avert catastrophic climate change.

Alok Sharma
We know the opportunities presented by a clean and sustainable transition built on collaboration, on action and on disruption are vast environmentally and economically. And we know that the risks of falling short are potentially catastrophic for countries and communities around the world. We really should need no further motivation and we will be judged by other populations and by current and future generations on whether or not we rise to this challenge.

Ranjita Ranjan
So we need to engage with businesses in order to find those solutions and to accelerate our transition to net zero. The World Forum on Enterprise and the Environment is a vital annual metronome that presses with urgency and with global cooperation, bringing research and practise together with an attitude of positive disruption, but also seeking solutions of a solutions oriented mindset.

Md. Abul Kalam Azad
So Bangladesh having its energy transition in the last decade from 47% coverage to 100% coverage on electricity. Where are we are suffering with the energy crisis. Last year, our government scrapped ten coal based power plants. So we are living in the same world. We are on the same boat. If you emit one unit of carbon here that reflects all over for you and for me also. We need to keep that in mind.

Professor Amory Lovins
For many decades, I've worked largely with the private sector because I want to get stuff done at scale and the private sector is particularly good at that. So anything that blends enterprise with making sure that we can have a clean, safe, prosperous, fairer future for all definitely gets my attention. And I'm very pleased with the quality of the colleagues I get to learn from here.

Dr Radhika Khosla
Electrification of transport, of heating and tackling cooling are really, really essential. We know that the largest number of deaths from climate disasters come from extreme heat, more than floods, droughts, anything else, you know, extreme heat is what kills the most. By the end of the century, the demand for cooling is going to be more than the demand from heating.

Dr Mallika Ishwaran
I mean, this is the moment where, you know, businesses should sieze the opportunity, the economic opportunities that this sort of space of low carbon provides and step in and positively and proactively to provide those solutions and to really drive progress in the energy transition. So having a group of deep thinkers, but coming from such a range and diversity of perspectives and all focussed on the single sort of task of how do we accelerate the energy transition? I mean, I think it's is inspiring and hopefully generates new ideas and new sort of collaborations. So that's why I'm here.

Professor Eric Beinhocker
The surest way to get to net zero is to drive the costs of clean energy down below the costs of dirty energy as quickly as possible. The good news is this will save us huge amounts of money and be very good for the economy. And because of this learning, by doing effect again, the more we make, the faster we go with clean technologies, the cheaper they get. By going fast we save $12 trillion in global energy costs. Going faster is cheaper.

Professor Dame Louise Richardson
Collaboration, disruption and action. Collectively, these themes are meant to convey the opportunity to concentrate climate action on the areas that make the greatest real difference catalysing positive impact loops with multiplier effects and collaborating across systems to avoid unintended consequences and bring about the scale of change that's necessary.

Getting the world to net zero emissions in time to avert catastrophic climate change will take unparalleled ambition, daring thinking and collaborative leadership. The World Forum on Enterprise and the Environment will address what needs to be done by governments and enterprise, explore radical ideas that could lead to a leap forward, and catalyse action.

As economies, societies and markets rebuilding from the pandemic face a new shock – this time from geopolitical conflict – the ‘decisive decade’ for climate action risks turning into a ‘disruptive decade’. In this context, and with the alarming speed of ecosystem degradation, existing international agreements may be insufficient. Governments and enterprise must prioritise areas that make the greatest real difference, catalysing positive feedback loops with multiplier effects and collaborating across systems to avoid unintended consequences and bring about the scale of change necessary. Selected (invitation-only) academics, policymakers and leaders from business and civil society will be brought together to share bold and ambitious approaches and investigate how they can be most effectively translated into climate policy, implemented, and rendered politically acceptable.

Strategic collaboration is critical for progress.

The World Forum is a hugely valuable meeting in Oxford with excellent content, opportunities to discuss the challenges with leaders from the public and private sectors, and ultimately to truly push forward progress on climate issues.
The Rt Hon Claire Perry O’Neill, co-chair, Global Imperatives Advisory Board, WBCSD 

Agenda & Speakers


Lord Deben, Chair, Climate Change Committee 

As a participant in the World Forum on Enterprise and the Environment, I can attest to the value of this conference in bringing together leaders from policy, business, civil society, and academia to drive action towards net zero. The discussions were thought-provoking and insightful, and I had the opportunity to meet with many talented and passionate individuals working on environmental issues.

One of the things that sets this conference apart is its focus on tangible progress and action as well as bold ideas. You will leave the conference with a fresh perspective, connections, and a renewed sense of purpose.


H.E. Abul Kalam Azad, Special Envoy, Climate Vulnerable Forum 

It was a great opportunity to meet distinguished academia, experts and professionals from the private sector and international organizations. I am sure the discussions and remarkable ideas nurtured at Oxford will now be embedded in our actions. It has been an inspiring event for me – as we take forward the global agenda of net zero, enterprise, water and climate together, just two months ahead of COP27.


Justin Keeble, Managing Director of Global Sustainability, Google Cloud

I was impressed by the quality of both speakers and attendees at the Forum and was delighted to participate. This is the decade of action so I welcomed the chance to hear about success stories and lessons learnt from organisations taking action to tackle climate change. Very much look forward to the 2023 Forum.


Pilita Clark, Associate Editor, Financial Times

It really was a pleasure to take part in such a well organised and interesting event. 


Leo Johnson, Head of Disruption & Innovation, PwC 

It’s the standout. It’s got the people you want, the people who are doing it. But they’re not up there performing, giving you the spin.  They’re engaging -  with the unacknowledged dilemmas, the unknowns, the as yet untested intuitions. Go, if you want to take yourself off cruise control.



Associate Sponsors:

Bank of America logo


Bank of America is guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better through the power of every connection. The company is delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across Bank of America’s eight lines of business and reflects how the company helps fuel the global economy, builds trust and credibility, and represents a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace they created for their employees, the responsible products and services they offered to their clients, and the impact they make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together their collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact.

Lombard Odier logo




Lombard Odier is an innovative bank of choice for private and institutional clients seeking a tailored, sustainable approach to wealth and asset management. The Firm creates sustainable value for their clients via innovative investment solutions that seize the opportunities of the transition to a CLIC® (Circular, Lean, Inclusive and Clean) economy. It aspires to become the leading independent firm for sustainable investing. Lombard Odier works in collaboration with the world-renowned University of Oxford to foster sustainable investment research, with a particular focus on climate change, circular economy and nature.


Academic Partner: Oxford Martin School
Thematic Partner: Hakluyt


If you are interested in discussing involvement in The World Forum on Enterprise and the Environment 2023, please contact Amy Wevill

Event Details

Date Thursday 22 September 2022
Time 09:00 - 22:00
University of Oxford

Oxford, United Kingdom

How to register