Hard Rain keynote

Hard Rain is a witness report thirty years in the making. It opens with Bob Dylan’s poetic masterpiece “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall”, synced to photographs from around the world.

Dylan sets the scene for a moving and unforgettable exploration of the state of our planet at this critical time. Meet the people at the sharp end of the environmental debate in squatter cities, villages, jungles and deserts across Africa, Asia and South America then look at the modern world with new eyes; both the extraordinary achievements and the crisis we face as our goals became inflated – as modernity became the sign of conquest, exploitation, overconsumption and the destruction of the earth.

Hard Rain shows that there are not many problems, but one huge challenge with many solutions: aligning human systems and natural systems. Mark shows that we have the technologies, lifestyle approaches and development strategies to reinvent the modern world so it’s compatible with nature. The tragedy is that governments have largely given up on sustainable development. They pretend to negotiate a carbon-constrained world; they pretend they are making progress. They might just pretend until it is too late.

“What’ll you do now?” asks Dylan in the last verse of his prophetic song. Will the next generation of decision-makers, students at college now, find ways to show political leaders that there are votes for sustainable development? This is the burning question that runs through Hard Rain.

The Hard Rain lasts 50 minutes and is illustrated with over 200 photographs


One of the most powerful presentations I have ever seen – it has a huge impact on people.
Jonathon Porritt, Founding Director, Forum for the Future

I do think that everyone should see the Hard Rain presentation. It is powerful and beautiful -the simple honesty of the interaction between the photographs and Bob Dylan’s words really spoke to me - it had a profound effect on everyone in the room.
Jo Pye, student, Glasgow School of Art

Thank you for your impressive Hard Rain presentation for IPCC scientists in Berlin. It gave me something that had been missing from the conference. I was astonished at how deeply I was touched and involved by the careful and intelligent combination of words, music and pictures.
Sonja Waldhausen, Berlin

Bob Dylan and Mark Edwards take storytelling to a new level.
Kevin Keliher, Buckner & Company, Dallas, Texas

What is refreshing is that Mark doesn’t paint the situation as hopeless. He highlights real changes governments, industry and individuals can make that are potentially highly effective.
Alex Ritson, Senior Editorial Advisor, BBC Global News

Thank you for your disturbing but beautiful wake-up call. Hard Rain is bold, brave, honest and hopeful. It is a project of hope, a very powerful initiative to act in favour of the future.
Mark Clarke, President, Jumpstreet Educatours, Montreal, Quebec

This is a thrilling presentation – one of the most important my colleagues will ever see.
Azola Mabinza, Mossel Bay, South Africa

Hard Rain is electrifying. Mark Edwards transported his audience from the Sheraton Ballroom in Perth, Australia to facets of a world seldom seen by one individual. We travelled with him and went away transformed in our understanding. His commentary forces us to ask fundamental and unexpected questions about ourselves and how we live. An extraordinary experience.
Philip Noyce, Director, United Nations Global 500 Forum

I was shaken to the core and deeply moved by the Hard Rain photographs and Bob Dylan’s words and was looking forward to Mark’s visit and presentation. He did not let me down. I will take his words with me throughout my life. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to attend this amazing and disturbing look at the world so I can do my part to turn things around.
Chessie Nelson, North Hennepin Community College

When it comes to these challenges, we are all in it together – we all have a role to play. The decisions we make, for example, about shopping, travelling and living all make a difference. So the lesson from Hard Rain is not only of the damage we are causing, but of the shared responsibility we all have to respond – and to do those things which, step by step, can make a real difference.
Rt Hon David Cameron MP, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

If Hard Rain is a photographic elegy it is also an impassioned cry for change. Forceful, dramatic and disturbing, it is driven by what Martin Luther King called “the fierce urgency of now” – and I believe the call for a truly global response to climate change is an idea whose time has finally come.
Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

I can think of no better way of raising awareness and appealing to that deeper connection with our planet than through music and the arts. Hard Rain’s appeal is timeless, instinctive and startling in its directness, and the time is right for this project to take centre stage.
Joan Walley MP, Chair, Environmental Audit Committee

Hard Rain inspires me to try and stand again. To know that others share this bleakest outlook brings a ray of hope. At first I thought that Dylan’s lines should not be illustrated. I was wrong.
Christy Moore, singer, songwriter and guitarist

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