Business Times

Sir Richard Branson, US actor Edward Norton at Maldivian environmental summit

British iconic entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson and US actor / environmental campaigner, Edward Norton are among global environmental leaders who are set to speak at the 3rd annual Six Senses SLOW LIFE Symposium to be held at Soneva Fushi resort in the Maldives on October 3-6.
They will be joined by Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed, the event’s keynote speaker, Sonu Shivdasani, Chairman and CEO, Six Senses Resorts and Spas, Jonathon Porritt (Forum For The Future) and Tim Smit (The Eden Project), the Six Senses Group of Resorts said in a statement.

The conference will bring together the leading minds in the fields of business, sustainability and environmental issues with globally-influential policy-makers and heads of state. The statement said Sir Richard has been invited to talk about the challenge of a changing environment to his business portfolio. He will discuss the need for the Virgin empire (his business group)to evolve rapidly to meet these changes and the steps he is already taking in his businesses and through organisations like the ‘Carbon War Room’.

“Sir Richard will be discussing alternative fuel sources and new technologies to power Virgin’s fleet of trains and aircrafts and how we need to adapt our buildings to meet the challenges of rising fossil fuel prices and to stem carbon emissions. Edward Norton will discuss the benefits that the tourism industry can bring to local eco-systems, wildlife and communities. He will take examples from large wildlife reserves that might otherwise be developed as mines or farms and the mutual benefit of supporting communities to protect their local environment.” The focus will be on the role that tourism can play in implementing ‘best practice’ on both a local and global scale, and how visionary policy makers and business leaders can form an alliance, particularly in support of small island states. Mr Norton will draw on his role as President of the board of trustees of the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust.

The focus of the S.L.O.W (Sustainable-Local-Organic-Wholesome- Learning-Inspiring-Fun-Experiences)LIFE Symposium is on practical solutions to the principal challenges facing the tourism industry, including low-carbon infrastructure, transportation, resort management and threatened biodiversity. “In its third year, the Symposium continues to bring together the finest minds in the world to develop practical and inspiring solutions to how we can reduce our impact on our fragile ecosystems,” the organisers said.

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