Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker

Prof. Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker is a Honorary President of the Club of Rome. At the beginning of his career he served as professor and director of several universities and institutes, such as the UN Centre for Science and Technology for Development. In 1972, he was appointed full professor of interdisciplinary biology at the University of Essen in 1972, and in 1975 President  of the University of Kassel. In 1981 he moved to New York as Director at the UN Centre for Science and Technology for Development in New York. He returned to Europe in 1984 serving as Director of the Institute for European Environmental Policy in Bonn, London, and Paris. In 1991 he was appointed Founding President of the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, Energy, which soon developed into the largest climate policy think tank in Europe.

In 1998 he was elected Member of the Bundestag where he served as Chairman of the Commission on Globalization and later of the Environment Committee. Deciding not to run for Parliament again, he accepted the appointment in 2006 as Dean of the Bren School for Environmental Science and Management, at the University of California, Santa Barbara, from which he retired end 2008. In 2007, he was appointed Co-Chair (with Ashok Khosla) of UNEP’s International Resource Panel. In 2008, he was joint winner of the Takeda award for Outstanding Achievement in the Application of New Engineering Intelligence.

In 2014, he was listed as one of the 100 most influential thinkers of the world. Other Top 100 thinkers include Nobel Prize winning Paul Krugman, Joseph Stiglitz, Murray Gell-Mann and Daniel Kahnemann, entrepreneurs George Soros, Craig Venter, Tim O’Reilly and Tim Berners Lee (World Wide Web), writers Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy, Mario Vargas-Llosa and Thomas Friedman, biologists Jane Goodall, Edward O. Wilson, Jared Diamond and Richard Dawkins, and philosophers Jürgen Habermas, Martha Nussbaum and Peter Sloterdijk. The top rank is still held by Al Gore.

One of the world’s most respected thinkers on resource efficiency, Prof. Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker is lead author of three Reports to the Club of Rome: Factor Four (1995), Limits to Privatization (2005), Factor Five (2009) and Co-author of Come On! (2017).

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