BI connected to The Club of Rome

24 January 2022

Per Espen Stoknes is invited as a full member of The Club of Rome. This gives BI access to an influential international network of experts in sustainable development.

Since established in 1968, The Club of Rome has encouraged a debate about the conventional idea of continuous economic growth, and its implications.

In 1972, Club of Rome published the report Limits to Growth, which was the first to make use of computer-simulated modeling to explore how the world could evolve over time. Although contested, the report sold millions of copies worldwide. It is likely the world’s most famous futures study that awoke the acknowledgment that we cannot expect growth beyond what the earth can endure.

Stoknes invited into an impressive network

Just before the New Year, Per Espen Stoknes was invited as a full member of Club of Rome. It is likely Stoknes’ books, his communication undertakings such as his popular global TED-talk, as well as his research extending the original Limits to Growth report, which have contributed to Stoknes being included in the exclusive, invite-only network.

"The Club of Rome has a unique global network of experienced sustainability experts as members. The good news is that this network is now available for our Center for Sustainability at BI, says Stoknes.

Over the years, Club of Rome has published more than 45 reports all focusing on what can be good solutions both for society and the planet as a whole. The goal is to solve the complex societal challenges that consist of technical, social, economic, and political elements. The members represent a diversity of researchers, business people, former heads of state, and people from the civil sector from around the world.

Aiming to solve grand societal challenges

The Limits to Growth model developed in 1972 was groundbreaking work yet criticized for being inaccurate and too pessimistic. As technology has improved and access to data has increased radically, researchers affiliated with Club of Rome have developed more sophisticated data models and scenarios.

In 2018, among other things, Stoknes was involved in creating new models that explored whether the world can achieve all of UN’s 17 sustainability goals without destroying nature along the way.

"This year it is 50 years since Limits to Growth was released, and Club of Rome is being contacted by many organisations that want to celebrate the anniversary. The think tank will celebrate with the launch of new models and proposals for systemic solutions", says Stoknes.

He refers to the project www.Earth4All.life, where Stoknes is intended to be assigned a central role and where BI is one of the research partners. Given the uproar that came in the wake of Limits to Growth, it will be exciting to see the reactions to the project’s proposals for how we can achieve transformative societal change, when it is launched this Summer.

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