While it is understood that demand for food is rising and that by 2050 food production will need to increase by 60%, it is less well understood that a range of new technologies, from gene editing to nanotechnology and technologies from disciplines traditionally outside of agriculture, will be required in order to increase production of more food in challenging environments. This forum will explore the implication of how consumers will accept the application of such new technologies in food production.

Global Leadership Series subscription packages now available.


 Associate Professor Tamara Davis
Professor Robert Henry
Robert Henry conducts research on the development of new and improved products from plants. He is Professor of Innovation in Agriculture and Director of the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, at the University of Queensland. His research targets improved understanding of the molecular basis of the quality of products produced from plants and genome analysis to capture novel genetic resources for diversification of food and energy crops. This research involves analysis of domesticated crops, wild relatives of crop species and potential new crop species. His research aims to define the basis of human selection for quality in food and non-food crops. Current research focuses on the major global food crops, rice, wheat and coffee and the leading current and potential energy crops, sugarcane and Eucalypts. He has extensive experience in research management was previously Director of the Centre for Plant Conservation Genetics at Southern Cross University and Research Program Leader in the Queensland Agricultural Biotechnology Centre. He has been involved in establishing several Cooperative Research Centres in Australia and has contributed to the management of research funding by Rural Research and Development Corporations. He is a graduate of the University of Queensland (B Sc (Hons)), Macquarie University (M Sc (Hons)) and La Trobe University (Ph D). He was awarded a higher doctorate (D Sc) by the University of Queensland for his work on variation in plants, is a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, recipient of the Guthrie Medal for his contributions to cereal chemistry and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

About Global Leadership Series

The Global Leadership Series (GLS) is a lively program of events for alumni and community members. Join us for lectures and discussions with the best of the best UQ-related speakers on matters that impact your community and shape your ideas of the world.

The series is an opportunity for you to engage with great minds on global matters, participate in thought-provoking discussions and network with UQ alumni and community members. All alumni, parents, community members and friends are welcome to attend the Global Leadership Series events.

Subscribe and save

UQ Alumni can save up to 30% on tickets by purchasing one of our three subscription packages*.

Mini subscription:  Attend two events for $48 (Save 20%)
Standard subscription:  Attend four events for $90 (save approx 25%)
Premium subscription:  Attend all eight events for $170 (save approx 30%)

*Subscription packages do not apply for multiple tickets to the same event.

Registration for 2020 GLS events will open in late February 2020. To listen to podcasts of previous GLS events click here.

2020 Global Leadership Series Program 

Image of handcuffs

Real policing of true crime

Tuesday 31 March 2020  6:00pm - 8:00pm

Pop culture is obsessed with true crime stories that bring the most sordid details of criminal acts to the eyes and ears of the public. But what happens to our justice system when anyone with access to the internet can sell a good story? 



Image of cropsGood enough to eat? Climate, technology and food

Tuesday 21 April 2020  6:00pm - 8:00pm

With the global population expected to reach eight billion by 2040, food production will need to increase by 70%. This seminar explores how the transformational technologies of gene-edited food, synthetic biology and nanotechnology can reduce carbon emissions, prevent food loss, and help feed a growing population. 


Image of AustraliaWhat's it all about? Constitution, treaty, voice

Tuesday 12 May 2020  6:00pm - 8:00pm

Australia is facing big questions with regard to its First Nations People. What does it mean to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the Australian Constitution? What is the Uluru Statement from the Heart? What is an Indigenous voice to Parliament? What is the relationship between Australian constitutional reform and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples?


Image of cropsWho can you trust in a post-truth world

Thursday 18 June 2020  6:00pm - 8:00pm

Australia has seen national enquiries into institutional failures and trust breaches by the banking and financial services sector, aged care, and sporting organisations. Findings from these enquiries uncovered systematic failures of ethical culture, integrity and governance systems. In this session, UQ experts will draw on their research on how trust in our organisations and institutions can be built, restored and preserved.


Image of cropsCreating smart, sustainable cities for the future

Wednesday 29 July 2020  6:00pm - 8:00pm

Urban sprawl, rapid population growth, rising sea levels:  the need has never been greater to find solutions and reimagine urban landscapes to create sustainable, prosperous and resilient cities.  



Image of pillsIs it addiction?

Tuesday 25 August 2020  6:00pm - 8:00pm

What are we addicted to, the how, and the why. Our expert panellists will touch on the processes that underlie addiction and why our decision-making becomes problematic. 



Image of trumpUS election: Trump vs ___

Thursday 10 September 2020  6:00pm - 8:00pm

The election of Donald Trump to arguably the most powerful presidency in the world sent shockwaves through the global community. While many rejoiced his challenging of the global order from NATO to China, others feared he lacked the temperament and judgment to the US on the world stage. Our experts will lay out the issues and possibilities, and what the great powers of the past can tell us about the future. 


Image of a robotic eyeWill robots outsmart us?

Tuesday 17 November 2020  6:00pm - 8:00pm

For decades human-like robots have graced our screens. Performing everyday tasks, acting as servants and even sometimes forming complex plans to eradicate humanity. But is this an accurate representation of what Artificial Intelligence (AI) could do? What are some of the ethical challenges created by merging machines with our brains?

$25.00 per person


Customs House, 399 Queen St, Brisbane