Session Information

Visions 2100 Project – Recalibrating Environmental Communications

Date: Thursday, March 3

Time: 1:00pm - 2:00pm

Location: Room 8

Format: SPARK Talk

Psychological research shows that positive psychology helps build permanent changes in brain connections and consequent behaviours. This is the missing element in climate change communications: rather than scaring people into action, we must instead attract people to build a better world for themselves and their grandchildren. The VISIONS 2100 Project has assembled 80 stories of positive futures – visions – from the world’s leading environmental thinkers. This session will introduce the theory behind the project, hear some of these inspirational stories from the authors, and explain how you can get involved.

Topic Speakers

Christian Haeuselmann is an innovation-driven Swiss economist and serial entrepreneur. Christian has 20 years of experience in the Cleantech sector, both with start-ups and global organizations. A key focus of his work is to develop ecosystem-based business models and finance mechanisms enabling the global deployment of proven low carbon technologies, at scale.

Today he lives in San Diego/California developing strategic partnerships between Swiss and US Cleantech entrepreneurs, as the co-founder of swisscleantech. swisscleantech is the leading business association driving innovation and sustainable policy development in Switzerland as well as business opportunities for Cleantech entrepreneurs and investors worldwide.

In 2010 he co-founded the Global Cleantech Cluster Association (GCCA), driving collaboration among 50 Cleantech clusters, representing 10’000 companies. Through its annual GCCA Later Stage Award the meta-cluster GCCA investigates, screens, and advises cleantech companies based on KeyStone Compact assessments. In 2013, GCCA signed a collaboration agreement with the P80 Group Foundation, bringing together the largest 80 pension funds and sovereign wealth funds that are looking to increase their investments in proven Cleantech solutions and deploy them worldwide.

In 1996 he won the young entrepreneur award for his first start-up company BKTech and the development and market introduction of the powerful FLYER electric bike. The FLYER electric bike defined a new vehicle category in Switzerland and Europe. He got his MS in Business Administration at the University of Berne/Switzerland.


John O’Brien is the founder of both Australian CleanTech and Sino CleanTech - research and advisory firms that assist cleantech companies to grow, investors to successfully invest and governments to drive cleantech industry growth. With engineering degrees from Oxford University and Trinity College, Dublin and an MBA from Adelaide University, John has specialised in building connections between people, technology, finance and government to create better ways of living.  

Australian CleanTech manages the 300 member Australian Cleantech Cluster, the Australian Technologies Competition that finds and mentors Australia's best emerging technology companies and the Australian CleanTech Network that has held over 90 events with over 250 company pitches. It also publishes the China CleanTech Index, the Australian CleanTech Index and the annual Australian Cleantech Review.

John has lectured in Leadership and Entrepreneurship on the MBA at the University of Adelaide, is a member of the South Australian Premier’s Climate Change Council and was on a Committee advising on $200m of cleantech grants for the previous Australian Government. 

He is a Board Director with a number of cleantech companies including wind, biosensors, polypropylene recycling in China and low emissions vehicles in the Philippines.

In 2015, John launched the global VISIONS 2100 Project including a book of the same name, that seeks to redefine how environmental communications is undertaken.

Having initially focussed on changing the conversation in Australia, John now works extensively across Asia developing environmental technology and finance transfer opportunities. With a passion for the environment, innovation and the psychology of leadership, his aim is to change the way environmental issues are communicated and to build positive visions of our future world.