Public talk: 'In Action Comes Hope'

Date Thursday 15 April 2021
Time 5:30pm - 7pm
Where Please refer to your email confirmation of registration
Presenter Prof. Debashish Munshi and Prof. Priya Kurian
Contact Amanda Wilson
Contact email
Admission Cost Free

Note: This event has now reached maximum capacity, and registrations are now closed. We apologise for any disappointment.

However, you can still join us for the livestream of this event via Zoom - just click on this link at 6pm on 15 April to watch all the presentations.

Planet Earth is in crisis; as are the people on it.

The University of Waikato invites members of the public to join us for an inspirational evening of discussion, 'In Action Comes Hope', being held on Thursday, 15th April at 5.30pm.

A global economic system focused on unsustainable growth and insatiable greed for wealth has created a world that is being suffocated by rapid climate change, pandemics, sectarian violence, and socio-political strife.

Yet there is still hope for a better future – a hope kept alive by people who actively resist current systems, and build pathways for change to reclaim power, politics, and justice.

It is the voices of resistance that University of Waikato professors Debashish Munshi and Priya Kurian are listening to in their recent books, 'Public Relations and Sustainable Citizenship: Representing the Unrepresented', and Climate Futures: Re-imagining Global Climate Justice '.

Their latest book re-imagines public relations as an "instrument of sustainable citizenship" by outlining how resistance movements seek to change the status quo of a world that is increasingly defined by exploitation, overconsumption, sectarianism, and faux nationalism.

Following the talk, there will be an interactive panel discussion featuring four women who are all passionate about creating better outcomes for people and the planet.

  • Heather Claycomb - Director, HMC Communications, and PRiNZ board member
  • Nevada Huaki-Foote - Environmental planning researcher, University of Waikato
  • Jennifer Nickel - Elected councillor, Waikato Regional Council
  • Kemi Hughes - Climate change law researcher, University of Waikato

Speaker profiles:

Prof. Debashish Munshi
Debashish is a professor of management communication at the University of Waikato's Management School. His research seeks answers to difficult societal questions in fields ranging from management and organisational communication, through to science and technology.  His recent work has been focused on public engagement around complex issues, such as addressing the challenges of climate change.

Prof. Priya Kurian
Priya is a professor of political science and public policy at the University of Waikato's School of Social Sciences. Her research examines critical questions of gender, culture, race and class in the quest for environmental, social and political sustainability. Her current research is in the area of climate politics and policy, ethnic women and politics, and the governance of new and emerging technologies, such as gene editing.

Panel speakers:

Heather Claycomb
Heather is the director of HMC Communications, a public relations agency based in Hamilton.
She has a keen interest in social enterprise and founded the charity All Good Ventures, which helps entrepreneurs develop ideas to reinvest their profits into people.
Heather is on the board of the Public Relations Institute New Zealand (PRiNZ) and Habitat for Humanity Central North Island.

Jennifer Nickel
Jennifer is an elected councillor at Waikato Regional Council, where she chairs the Climate Action Committee.
Trained as a molecular biologist, and with past experience as an environmental manager, she works to bring sustainability and regenerative systems thinking into the economy to get true wellbeing outcomes for people and the environment.

Nevada Huaki-Foote (Waikato, Ngāti Tamaoho, Ngāti Mahuta, Ngāti Porou)
Nevada is completing her Master of Environmental Planning at the University of Waikato.
She combines traditional frameworks, mātauranga Māori and technical expertise in the development of future climate change scenarios.
Nevada joined a group of Māori and Pasifika who represented the views of indigenous youths at the UN Conference of Parties on Climate Change in 2018.

Kemi Hughes
Kemi is completing her PhD in climate change law and sustainable development at the University of Waikato.
She has participated in gender forums at the United Nations Conference of Parties on Climate Change and the International Union for Conservation of Nature Academy for Environmental Law.

Event schedule:

  • 5.30pm: Please join us for drinks and canapes in MSB.1.20
  • 5.55pm: Mihi whakatau
  • 6.00pm: Introductory comments
  • 6.05pm: Presentation by Debashish Munshi and Priya Kurian
  • 6.25pm: Panel discussion
  • 6.45pm: Q&A
  • 7.00pm: Event concludes


MSB.1.20, Level One, Waikato Management School, University of Waikato, Hamilton 3240


Free parking available in either Gate 7, Hillcrest Road, or Gate 10, Silverdale Road, Hamilton.