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Perspectives on Limits to Growth: Challenges to Building a Sustainable Planet

Perspectives on Limits to Growth: Challenges to Building a Sustainable Planet

1 March 2012   9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

The Club of Rome and the Smithsonian Institution’s Consortium for Understanding and Sustaining a Biodiverse Planet hosted a one-day symposium on March 1, 2012 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the launching of Limits to Growth, the first report to the Club of Rome published in 1972. This book was one of the earliest scholarly works to recognize that the world was fast approaching its sustainable limits. Forty years later, the planet continues to face many of the same economic, social, and environmental challenges as when the book was first published.

The morning session focused on the lessons of Limits to Growth. The afternoon session addressed the difficult challenges of preserving biodiversity, adjusting to a changing climate, and solving the societal issues now facing the planet. The symposium ended with a thought-provoking panel discussion among the speakers on future steps for building a sustainable planet.

The symposium was webcast live, and has been archived for later viewing, on this page. An event program is available for download along with the PowerPoint presentations from speakers Dennis MeadowsJorgen RandersDoug Erwin, and Richard Alley. The talk given by Neva Goodwin is also available for download.

The Grand Challenges Consortia would like to thank the Club of Rome, the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, and Pedro and Carol Cuatrecasas for their generous support of the event. We would also like to thank the National Museum of the American Indian for providing a wonderful venue for the proceedings.