A Convo with Kim Stanley Robinson

Friday April 8, 2022 12:00pm to 1:00pm

How will our reliance on fossil fuels today reshape our future? Global efforts like the Paris Agreement and COP26 have set targets to curb emissions, but the world is still falling short of the action required to mitigate the most deleterious impacts of climate change.

In his latest book, legendary science-fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson imagines a near future where our unsustainable energy system has wrought unimaginable harm. Named one of President Barack Obama’s favorite books of 2020, The Ministry for the Future uses fictional eyewitness accounts to tell the vivid story of how climate change will affect us all.

Join us as Kim Stanley Robinson discusses his new novel and a vision of climate change over the coming decades. Robinson will be joined in conversation by Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, Perry World House Professor of Practice of Law and Human Rights at the University of Pennsylvania.


Kim Stanley Robinson


Kim Stanley Robinson is a New York Times bestselling author and winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards. He is the author of more than twenty books, including the bestselling Mars trilogy and the critically acclaimed New York 2140, The Years of Rice and Salt, and 2312. In 2008, he was named a "Hero of the Environment" by Time magazine, and he works with the Sierra Nevada Research Institute. He lives in Davis, California. His latest novel is The Ministry for the Future, one of Barack Obama’s favorite books of 2020.

Headshot photo credit: Sean Curtin

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein

Perry World House Professor of Practice of Law and Human Rights

University of Pennsylvania

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein was Jordan’s Ambassador to the United States between 2007-2010 and represented Jordan before the International Court of Justice in 2004 and 2009, as well as on the issue of nuclear security. He was the UN Human Rights Chief from 2014-2018. Hussein played a key role in the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC), chairing the negotiations over the elements of individual offences amounting to genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. In September 2002, he was elected as the first President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC. Subsequently, he chaired negotiations, concluded in Kampala in June 2010, over the crime of aggression. He has extensive knowledge of peacekeeping, serving as a political affairs officer in UNPROFOR, in the former Yugoslavia (1994-96). In 2004, Kofi Annan appointed him as his Advisor on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, and the 2005 ‘Zeid Report’ provided the first comprehensive strategy for the elimination of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in UN Peacekeeping Operations. Hussein holds a Bachelor of Arts from Johns Hopkins University and a Doctorate in Philosophy from Cambridge University.

Cornelia Colijn

Executive Director

Kleinman Center for Energy Policy

Cornelia Colijn is the executive director of the Kleinman Center. She envisions, plans, and manages all center programming, while building connections with students, faculty, and leaders in the energy industry.