Top Futurist to Speak
on Sustainable Development
January 31, 2000
Futurist Dennis Meadows will give a public lecture on "Sustainable Development is Not a Destination: It's the Way You Make the Trip," on Wednesday, February 9, at 4 p.m. in the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.
Meadows, named one of the top futurists of all time by The Encyclopedia of the Future, is coauthor of Beyond the Limits (1992) and The Limits to Growth (1972), which sold over 9 million copies in 29 languages and received the 1974 German Peace Prize.
His books and interactive games help confront the possibility of reaching the physical limits of the planet and a resulting global collapse, in order to envision a sustainable future.
In 1972, Meadows and his colleagues constructed a global computer model that gave a coherent understanding of the long-term causes and consequences of growth in the world's population and economy. It was published in the book Limits to Growth, which graphically portrayed the difficulties inherent in achieving a stable and equitable global society. Meadows and his coauthors concluded that if present trends of growth were to continue unchanged, the limits to physical growth on the planet would be reached in the next 100 years.
The model was updated in 1992 for the book Beyond the Limits, in which Meadows shows that the world has already overshot some of its limits, and if present trends remain unchanged, we face the virtually certain prospect of a global economic collapse in the next century.
During his lecture, he will present unpublished research findings based on recent simulations of the long-term consequences of growth in the world's population and economy, and will reflect on his personal and professional efforts for the past three decades to live and work in a way that is consistent with insights gained from his work. He also will involve the audience in simple interactive games and exercises to convey his points.
Meadows is director of the Institute for Policy and Social Science Research and the Laboratory for Interactive Learning at the University of New Hampshire, and manager of The Browne Center that provides leadership training for 8,000 people a year.
He is author, co-author or editor of seven books and numerous other publications. He also has designed educational games ranging from complex computer simulations to simple exercises for a general audience, and is editor of Simulation and Games and other journals.
His numerous distinctions include serving as U.S. Director of the Soviet-American Bilateral Agreement in Environmental Education. His contributions to international environmental policy analysis and computer-aided education have resulted in honors from universities or governments in Moscow, Italy, Austria, Norway, Hungary, and others. He received the 1995 Konrad Lorenz prize in Germany.
Meadows' presentation is part of the Edwin Way Teale Lecture Series on Nature and the Environment, a multidisciplinary initiative that brings leading scholars and scientists to the University.
For more information, call (860) 486-4500 or click here for the museum website.