Monday 19 June 2023

Living in a material world

How resources shape our past, present and future

Materials matter. They have been critical in shaping the path of human history, from the innovations we create to the relationships between nations. This has always been true from iron in the 19th Century to lithium that powers our smartphones today. But changing international dynamics – driven by shifting geopolitics, the recent energy crisis and the net zero transition – have the potential to put access to materials at the forefront of economics, politics and international relations.

In his new book – Material World: A Substantial Story of Our Past and Future – Ed Conway examines how six key substances have built our world, have the potential to transform our future, and the risks that reliance on these resources pose.

To mark the launch of the book, the Resolution Foundation is hosting a book launch at its Westminster office, as part of The Economy 2030 Inquiry, funded by the Nuffield Foundation. The panel will discuss how we can balance our need for these resources with tackling climate change and managing geopolitical volatility.

The event will be open for people to physically attend, alongside being broadcast via YouTube and the Resolution Foundation website. Viewers will be able to submit questions to the panel before and during the event via Slido.