Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder

CSTPR Noontime Seminar

Conference on World Affairs Event
Our Lives in the 21st Century: The Best of Times or the Worst of Times?

This talk will be available via webcast here

Alexander Verbeek, Yale Greenberg World Fellows
Stockholm Environment Institute and Stockholm International Water Institute

In late 2015 the international community set the multilateral agenda for the future by agreeing on the UN Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. In that unique diplomatic season of huge multilateral meetings on diplomatic and development issues, a smaller event was organized in the Peace Palace in The Hague, where 350 representatives from 75 countries met for the first Planetary Security Conference. Experts and diplomats discussed the impact of planetary change on international- and human security. 

But since 2015 the international political landscape has changed considerably, while we are constantly reminded of the urgency for tackling the environmental and security challenges. Technology may bring solutions but also poses new challenges. Is this the best of times? More people than ever before are part of the world middle class. Or is this the worst of times, in a world with so many refugees and IDP’s? We never saw so much welfare but we also never faced so many existential challenges. Will we share our wealth, or will we protect it behind walls? Is this a pivotal moment in the human history? In this complex web of global developments, we have to take the right decisions now. A presentation, and discussion with the audience, on key questions for our lives in the 21st century.

Biography: Alexander Verbeek is a Dutch diplomat, and former strategic policy advisor, at the Netherland Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Over the past 28 years, he has worked on international security, humanitarian and geopolitical risk issues, and the linkage to the earth's accelerating environmental crisis. 

He created the Planetary Security Initiative, held at The Hague's Peace Palace, where representatives from 75 countries meet annually on the climate change-security relationship. Currently, he works as an expert speaker and advisor on planetary change to academia, global NGO's, private firms, and international organizations. 

Alexander is recognized online as an influential leader to follow on climate change. As of early 2018, his Twitter site, @alex_verbeek has 155,000 followers. He also actively engages followers through other social media platforms such as Instagram and LinkedIn, produces his website blogs and writes environmental essays on Medium. 

Alexander is an associate at the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). He recently founded the Netherlands based, Institute for Planetary Security where he directs projects related to the geopolitical impacts of the changing climate, water, food, energy, economic and demographic conditions. 

In 2014 he became a World Fellow at Yale University. Alexander Verbeek is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Visiting Fellow in the Peace and Conflict Department of Uppsala University in Sweden. He is on the board of advisors of several international environmental initiatives. Alexander is a world traveler, photography buff, hiker, and sailor.


Wednesday, April 11, 2018
2018 - 12:00 to 13:00





  • CIRES employees
  • CU Boulder employees
  • General Public
  • NOAA employees
  • Science collaborators


  • Seminar
  • Open to Public



CSTPR Conference Room