Wacky, Wise and Deep

Momentum 2011 Event Series continues with international health speaker Hans Rosling April 26 and ocean explorer Sylvia Earle May 12.

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Mary Hoff, Institute on the Environment, maryhoff@umn.edu, 612-626-2670

Media Note:
For photographs, contact Sarah Karnas, schmitz@umn.edu, 612-624-6566
For press passes, contact Mary Hoff, maryhoff@umn.edu, 612-626-2670

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (4/12/2011) – No fooling: April’s Momentum 2011 speaker is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser, despite the challenging topic he takes on: daunting problems and inspiring solutions at the interface of international health and the environment.

Hans Rosling, professor of global health at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and co-founder of the Gapminder Foundation, will headline the second of three events held this spring by the Institute on the Environment to highlight global challenges and the people who are helping to solve them.  Known for using enlightening graphics as well as unusual props to make his points, Rosling will speak April 26 on “A Fact-Based World View.” Though we aren’t sure exactly what he has up his sleeve, we do know that past presentations have included demonstrating population growth with Legos, illustrating economic development with a magic washing machine, and swallowing a sword on stage. The evening, hosted by Minnesota Public Radio’s Kerri Miller, will open with a performance by comedian and University of Minnesota alum Cy Amundson.

Wrapping up this season’s inaugural series, award-winning oceanographer Sylvia Earle will dive deep into the topic of protecting the world’s oceans May 12 with her talk on “Sustainable Seas: The Vision, the Reality.” National Geographic explorer in residence, Earle has pioneered research on marine ecosystems and has led more than 100 expeditions totaling more than 7,000 hours underwater. Singer/songwriter Mason Jennings will warm up the crowd in advance of Earle’s presentation with his unique style blending the insights of a poet, the political flavor of a protest singer, the eclecticism of a jazz musician and the passion of a rock-and-roller.

The events are the second and third of three environment-themed evenings sponsored by the Institute on the Environment as part of its new Momentum 2011 series, with Minnesota Public Radio as media partner. The inaugural presentation by eco-entrepreneur Majora Carter, “You Don’t Have to Move Out of Your Neighborhood to Live in a Better One,” is available for online viewing at z.umn.edu/majora2011.

For tickets, contact the Northrop Box Office, 612-624-2345 or environment.umn.edu/momentum/eventseries.