Garden writer and TV presenter Arit Anderson has been announced as co-chair of the SGD Symposium to be held at the new Hilltop Building at RHS Garden, Wisley on 9th & 10th June.
Bringing together some of the world's most influential garden and landscape designers, the Symposium will tackle some of the most urgent issues around climate change and biodiversity, with the aim of giving everyone working in the industry the guidance, training and tools they need to create gardens that have a low environmental impact; as well as the opportunity to meet each other, share ideas and be inspired by some of the greatest garden and landscape design in the world.
Arit will join vice-chair of the SGD Andrew Duff MSGD in guiding speakers and delegates through two days of talks, panel debates and round-table discussions, to help develop an industry leading approach to sustainable garden design.
Talking about the topic and her role at the Symposium, Arit said: "As each year passes, creating gardens in the 21st century demands more than designing something that just looks good. The environment, sustainability, biodiversity, ecosystem services, and human wellbeing have to be the DNA we seamlessly weave into every landscape we work on.
"This is nothing more than an idealistic dream, if our clients won’t pay for sustainable options or our suppliers don’t have or charge more for green solutions….and how do we know it's ‘green’ anyway? How do we really know if we are doing more good than harm? And can our sector truly make a difference to a global crisis?
"At the SGD Symposium these uncomfortable questions plus many more have to be on the table if we are ever to work out unified solutions that could just possibly make a difference in our changing world. It's an honour to be asked, but a responsibility to help ensure that every voice counts in this audience of landscape & design professionals as their knowledge, opinions and thoughts will be contributing to a new SGD Manifesto."
Two further speakers have also been announced: award-winning landscape and garden designer Rachel Bailey MSGD and Dr Phil Askew, director of landscape and placemaking at Peabody.
They will join Dan Pearson OBE FSGD, Bernard Trainor, Charlie Harpur and Marian Boswall MSGD as keynote speakers at the Symposium, while Sarah Eberle FSGD, Advolly Richmond, David Stevens FSGD, Tom Massey MSGD, Jo Gibbons, Noel Kingsbury, Catherine Heatherington FSGD and Giacomo Guzzon, will be staging a series of lively panel debates. *
Lynne Marcus MSGD, Chair of the SGD said:
"Arit is passionate about using her position as a journalist and presenter to publicise the crucial role gardens and garden design can play in the planet's future.
"As an industry we should all be doing this, by encouraging our clients, suppliers and the wider public to engage with issues of climate change and sustainability. The Symposium aims to empower us to do just that and we're absolutely thrilled to have Arit as co-chair, guiding us through the many ideas and strategies our speakers and delegates will be sharing, and ultimately helping to shape the way forward for the whole industry."
For those unable to attend the live event the Symposium talks will also be live-streamed via Zoom.
* Given the significance of the environmental issues being discussed at the Symposium, the SGD has implemented a no-fly policy for the event. In line with this, Noel Kingsbury will be speaking via a live link from his home in Portugal. The SGD will also be encouraging delegates, wherever possible, to use public transport to get to the event.
Early Bird tickets are available until 12th May 2022.