In an effort to address the pressing challenges our planet faces, the Global Systems Institute recently hosted an international gathering of researchers from Europe, Africa, Australia, and the Americas. The Dartington Hall Writing Retreat brought together brilliant minds to contribute their expertise to the highly anticipated Tipping Points Report. Led by the GSI’s Professor Tim Lenton, this retreat provided an invaluable platform to delve into topics spanning Earth system science, ethics, governance, and social tipping points. The outcomes of this collaboration will be unveiled and discussed near to the upcoming COP28, setting the stage for meaningful change on a global scale.

The Significance of Tipping Points 

Tipping points are critical thresholds within complex systems where small changes can trigger disproportionately large and often irreversible consequences. By bringing together a diverse group of researchers, the retreat aimed to foster interdisciplinary collaboration, encouraging innovative thinking and holistic approaches to tackle the interconnected challenges faced by our planet.

The Venue: Dartington Hall 

Nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes of South Devon, Dartington Hall served as an idyllic backdrop for this transformative gathering. With its rich history of intellectual and creative pursuits, the venue provided the perfect setting to inspire meaningful discussions and forge new connections. Participants were immersed in a serene environment that fostered reflection and nurtured collaborative endeavours.

The Tipping Points Report 

The focal point of the retreat was the development of the Tipping Points Report, a comprehensive document that draws on a wide range of expertise to assess the state of our planet. Researchers from diverse fields, spanning continents and disciplines, came together to contribute their insights. The report covers crucial aspects of Earth system science, exploring the intricate workings of our planet’s interconnected systems. Additionally, it delves into the realms of ethics, governance, and social tipping points, acknowledging the vital role that human values and decision-making play in shaping our collective future.

Professor Tim Lenton’s Leadership 

Renowned scientist and visionary, Professor Tim Lenton, led the retreat.  His leadership provided a cohesive framework, facilitating fruitful discussions and fostering a collaborative spirit among the attendees. His commitment to interdisciplinary research and his ability to synthesize complex concepts into actionable insights was instrumental in shaping the outcomes of the retreat. 

The significance of accessibility 

In addition to the retreat’s emphasis on scientific rigor and collaboration, the Global Systems Institute recognizes the importance of making the Tipping Points Report accessible to a wide audience. While the report will undoubtedly serve as a valuable resource for experts and policymakers, its impact will be greatly enhanced by reaching beyond the academic realm. Efforts are underway to distill the findings into clear and concise language, ensuring that the report is comprehensible to the general public, policymakers, and individuals of all generations. By breaking down complex concepts and utilizing engaging visuals, the aim is to empower people from all walks of life to understand the urgency of the tipping points we face and inspire them to take meaningful action in their personal lives, communities, and decision-making processes. The Global Systems Institute recognizes that addressing global challenges requires collective engagement, and making the Tipping Points Report accessible to a wider audience is a vital step towards fostering a sense of shared responsibility for our planet’s future. 


The Dartington Hall Writing Retreat brought together diverse perspectives and expertise from around the world. The collaborative efforts of researchers from Europe, Africa, Australia, and the Americas have culminated in the creation of the Tipping Points Report, a crucial document that will inform discussions at COP28. This retreat not only exemplified the power of interdisciplinary collaboration but also underscored the need for collective action to address the tipping points facing our planet. The insights gained from this retreat will pave the way for informed decision-making, policy changes, and a shared commitment to safeguarding the future of our planet.  

Keep an eye on our social media for a sneak peak into how these reports come together and for interviews with the experts themselves!