Thomas Homer-Dixon

 I've never been much a “fan” of anything or anyone for the sake of boosterism. Not sports teams, rock stars, actors or political teams. A by-product of 20 years as a cynical journalist I suppose. However, the upside of being a journalist is that you get the chance to meet, interview and photograph a lot of smart people doing facinating things beyond the mundane and you can't help but admire and respect them for their actions, leadership, intelligence or clear vision.

Thomas Homer-Dixon, left, didn't know it when I took him aside for a photograph at the NOIA conference last week but I have been a “fan” of his work for a long time. I have followed his work in the areas of political science, international affairs and conflict studies for a number of years. His work should be bookshelves of every journalist coving these issues. These days it's a rare thing to find someone who brings intelligent analyis and observation to the table without the filter of political ideology or partisan objectives. At an energy conference where the speakers were the major players in the industry Mr. Dixon's address on climate change, economics and the impact and role of oil in human development was, by far, the most interesting and eye opening presentation.

Mr Homer-Dixon holds the George Ignatieff Chair of Peace and Conflict Studies at the Trudeau Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at University College, University of Toronto. 

He received his B.A. in political science from Carleton University in 1980 and his Ph.D. from MIT in international relations and defense and arms control policy in 1989. He then moved to the University of Toronto to lead several research projects studying the links between environmental stress and violence in developing countries. Recently, his research has focused on threats to global security in the 21st century and on how societies adapt to complex economic, ecological, and technological change.

His books include The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization (Knopf, Island Press, 2006), which won the 2006 National Business Book Award, The Ingenuity Gap (Knopf, 2000), which won the 2001 Governor General's Non-fiction Award, and Environment, Scarcity, and Violence (Princeton University Press, 1999), which won the Caldwell Prize of the American Political Science Association.

A few more portraits of the energy players at the 2008 NOIA conference in the PHOTOS folder or over there in the left column.


This entry was posted in The Blogs.


  1. Anonymous June 26, 2008 at 10:09 #

    WOW! a visit from the Art Faery!!! It's an honour and thank you.
    As much as I love “creating” images in the studio where you can make whatever light you like it is more like movie making and creating a photo than capturing the true essence of the moment.
    I always felt the power of a photo was when it was dynamic . The tension of something about to happen. Even in a simple portrait like this, because it is natural light, it feels like there is something happening or you have stumbled across something.
    When you see someone speaking at a news event you will hear all the cameras go off when hands are raised or gestures made.

  2. Anonymous June 26, 2008 at 08:01 #

    Beautiful lighting in this portrait.. it could almost be a painting.In more candid shots you have a definite style that also comes through in the picture of Danny below (something about the hand reminds me of your bingo lady. Perhaps it's the unexpected gesture.)