This event was recorded as part of a live broadcast on 15 November 2022.
Brazil is a country rich in diverse peoples, history, and landscape. Home to the Amazon rainforest, the Pantanal wetlands, and the pampas grassland, Brazil’s natural ecosystems are critical to the Earth’s climate and wildlife preservation. And as the second most populous country in the Western Hemisphere, bordering almost all South American nations, Brazil’s critical position in the global order cannot be overstated.
Now after one of the most historic elections in Brazil’s history that saw Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva be elected to the presidency, the future direction of the country is in a uncertain place. President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will have to navigate stagnated growth and high crime levels, balance supporting agri-business while preventing deforestation and protecting indigenous peoples, and build unity in an increasingly polarised society.
Aspen UK brings together key experts from Brazil and the UK, including leading scientists, diplomats, and journalists to explore the future of Brazil at this historical inflection point.
Michael Stott – Michael is the Latin American Editor at the Financial Times. Prior to this, he was Managing Editor at Nikkei Asian Review as well as the Financial Times UK News Editor, where he oversaw coverage of the Brexit vote and the 2014 Scottish Referendum. He is also the former correspondent for Reuters based in West Germany and covered the collapse of the Berlin Wall.
On the panel:
Chargé d’Affaires Melanie Hopkins – Melanie is the United Kingdom Chargé d’Affaires (Acting Ambassador) in Brazil. In 2021 she was appointed as Deputy Head of Mission to Brazil and took her current role in February 2022. Her previous posting was as British High Commissioner to Fiji and Head of the UK’s network of five diplomatic missions. Melanie is a career diplomat having served in Turkey, Havana and more over her 20 year long career. Previously she has worked on multilateral and bilateral policy (including security policy), programme management and finance. She joined the Civil Service in 2002 after beginning her career in Management Consultancy.
Richard Lapper – Richard is a consultant on Latin America and the author of the book ‘Beef, Bible, and Bullets: Brazil in The Age of Bolsonaro’. He is an Associate Fellow, US and the Americas Programme at Chatham House. He has extensive experience as a journalist in the region and is a research affiliate at King’s College, London. He worked for the Financial Times for 25 years, occupying the post of Latin America editor between 1998 and 2008.
Pamella Lessa – Pamella is the Impact Director of the social organisation SEJA, which provides financial support, professional development, and assists in cultural projects in Rio de Janeiro, Natal, and London. She is a specialist in programme management and social projects, and a consultant in third sector industries. She received her Bachelors from Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro – RJ, and postgraduate in project management from Fundação Getúlio Vargas.
Dr Carlos Nobre – Carlos is an Earth System Scientist currently associated with Institute for Advanced Studies, University of São Paolo. He is the author of several IPCC reports, including the 2007 report that was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Previously, Carlos was the National Secretary for R&D Policies at Brazil’s Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation and President of Brazil’s Agency for Post-Graduate Education (CAPES). Former roles also include: former chair Large-Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia, former Director Center of Weather Prediction and Climate Studies, and the creator of Center for Earth System Science and of the National Center for Monitoring and Early Warning of Natural Disasters. Currently, Carlos sits as co-chair of the Science Panel for the Amazon and as the director of the Amazonia 4.0 project. He is a foreign member of the US National Academy of Sciences, The Royal Society, and full member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences and the World Academy of Sciences.