Screening review: “Breaking Boundaries – the Science of our Planet” with J. Rockström

Documentary screening review with Prof. Dr. Johan Rockström, joint director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) Germany and Tanja Gönner, Chair of the Management Board of the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ). 

The Earth’s boundaries have already been pushed far beyond stable living conditions. Still, there is room for cautious optimism. But the window for action is closing rapidly.  

During the film screening of the acclaimed documentary “Breaking Boundaries – the science of our Planet” at the GIZ Berlin Representation, participants learned about planetary boundaries which indicate the safe operating space for humanity.  

Prof. Johan Rockström introduced the concept of planetary boundaries in 2009. In the movie, he defines 9 parameters, including climate change, water and land use, as boundaries that represent crucial tipping points on which humanity’s existence depends. The documentary approaches the complex topic through a creative way with touching images and stories.  

After the film screening, the on-site and online participants had the chance to ask questions to both panelists, followed by a lively discussion facilitated by Maike Voss, Director of the Center for Planetary Health Policy. Prof. Rockström stressed that the global community cannot wait for a new era to arise. The current economic paradigm needs to be changed because it does not respond to the needs of a global transition towards sustainability within a safe operating space.  Furthermore, it is of utmost importance to integrate local communities and their knowledge into the transition to a sustainable future for the planet and all living beings. The knowledge required is already there, but it urgently needs to be translated into policies and actions. Tanja Gönner pointed out during her input the active role of GIZ and the Alliance to contribute to this goal.  

With the film screening, the Alliance aimed to sensitize various audiences for the concept of planetary boundaries and to amplify the discourse on the environmental limits of our planet and translating science into action. 

For further insights please have a look at the video documentation:

Film Screening of ‘Breaking Boundaries: The Science of Our Planet’

Wednesday, October 12th, 2022, at 17:30 CEST

online and at the GIZ offices, Reichpietschufer 20, 10785 Berlin.

The Alliance Secretariat is organizing a hybrid screening of the acclaimed documentary “Breaking Boundaries” on October 12th: high-level guests and GIZ board member Ms. Tanja Gönner will discuss essential consequences with Prof. Dr. Johan Rockström of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). With this event we take to opportunity to learn about the safe operating space for humanity and discuss the environment-health-nexus at which the work of the International Alliance is embedded, with Johan Rockström.

At 17:45 CEST you may click on the following link to enter the Livestream

About the event

Following the film screening, Prof. Rockström will enter a discussion with you and invited guests. We are looking forward to exploring and debating possible consequences and recommendations to the German politics in general, and German development cooperation in particular. This open and frank discussion should bring to light opportunities but also the real challenges we are now facing considering this evidence. The event will be held in English with:

  • Prof. Johan Rockström, Co-Director, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), exploring and debating with
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Sabine Gabrysch, Professor for Climate change and Health, Charité, and
  • Ms. Tanja Gönner, Chair, Management Board of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH,
  • facilitated by Maike Voss, Director, Center for Planetary Health Policy (CPHP), and Managing Director, Allianz Klimawandel und Gesundheit (KLUG).

About the film

Breaking Boundaries featuring Sir David Attenborough and Professor Johan Rockström explores the science behind the impact humanity has had on Earth since the dawn of civilization, revealing an urgent truth about the health of our planet. The film details just how far we’ve pushed Earth beyond the boundaries that have kept our planet stable for millennia, and what steps need to be taken to turn things around. At the core of Breaking Boundaries lies a key message of action: stay innovative, cooperate, and make the next decade one that safeguards the future of our planet. The science is clear on what humanity needs to do. Only when we listen to these facts – and pay attention to the undeniable urgency – can we create a future where nature and people thrive.