Richard Branson, Edward Norton to speak at Soneva Fushi symposium

Billionaire Sir Richard Branson and American actor Edward Norton are among global environment leaders set to speak at the Six Senses Slow Life symposium at Soneva Fushi resort.

Apart from keynote speaker President Mohamed Nasheed, other speakers at the event include Jonathan Porrit from Forum for the Future and Tim Smit of the Eden Project.

The third annual environment conference is due to place from October 6 to 9 and will “bring together the leading minds in the fields of business, sustainability and environmental issues with globally-influential policy-makers and heads of state,” according to a press release from Six Senses.

“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 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,” it reads. “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.”

Sonu Shivdasani, chairman and CEO of Six Senses Resorts and Spas, meanwhile noted that the the tourism industry did not have a “road map to decarbonise.”

“It is our ambition to provide that roadmap for the industry and the SLOW LIFE Symposium is a key part of our mission to achieve that goal,” he said.

“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.”