Speaker on The Economy, Climate Change and Energy Security
“Humanity is desperate for a sustainable economic game plan to take us into the future”
Jeremy Rifkin has been an advisor to the European Union for the past decade. He advised the government of Spain during its presidency of the European Union and served as an adviser to President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, Prime Minister Jose Socrates of Portugal, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero of Spain, and Prime Minister Janez JanÅ¡a of Slovenia, during their respective European Council Presidencies, on issues related to the economy, climate change, and energy security. He currently advises the European Commission, the European Parliament, and several EU heads of state.
Jeremy is president of the Foundation on Economic Trends and the bestselling author of nineteen books on the impact of scientific and technological changes on the economy, the workforce, society, and the environment. His books have been translated into more than thirty five languages and are used in hundreds of universities, corporations and government agencies around the world. His most recent books include The Third Industrial Revolution, The Empathic Civilization, The Hydrogen Economy, The European Dream, The End of Work, The Age of Access, and The Biotech Century.
He is the principle architect of the European Union’s Third Industrial Revolution long-term economic sustainability plan to address the triple challenge of the global economic crisis, energy security, and climate change. The Third Industrial Revolution was formally endorsed by the European Parliament in 2007 and is now being implemented by various agencies within the European Commission as well as in the 27 member-states.
Jeremy is also the founder and chairperson of the Third Industrial Revolution Global CEO Business Roundtable, comprised of 100 of the world’s leading renewable energy companies, construction companies, architectural firms, real estate companies, IT companies, power and utility companies, and transport and logistics companies. Mr. Rifkin’s global economic development team is the largest of its kind in the world and is working with cities, regions, and national governments to develop master plans to transition their economies into post-carbon Third Industrial Revolution infrastructures.
Since 1994, he has been a senior lecturer at the Wharton School’s Executive Education Program at the University of Pennsylvania – the world’s #1 ranked business school – where he instructs CEOs and senior management on transitioning their business operations into sustainable Third Industrial Revolution economies.
His monthly column on global issues appears in many of the world’s leading newspapers and magazines, including The Los Angeles Times in the United States, The Guardian in the U.K., Die Süddeutsche Zeitung and Handelsblatt in Germany,Le Soir and Knack in Belgium,L’Espresso in Italy,El Mundo and El País in Spain, Kathimerini in Greece, Informatíon in Denmark, De Volkskrant in the Netherlands, Hospodárské Noviny in the Czech Republic, Wort in Luxembourg, Eesti Päevaleht in Estonia, Trud in Bulgaria, Clarín in Argentina, andAl-Ittihad in the U.A.E.
He has been a frequent guest on numerous television programs, including Face the Nation, The Lehrer News Hour, 20/20, Larry King Live, Today, and Good Morning America. The National Journal named Rifkin as one of 150 people in the U.S. that have the most influence in shaping federal government policy.
Jeremy holds a degree in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a degree in international affairs from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Rifkin speaks frequently before government, business, labor and civic forums. He is the founder and president of The Foundation on Economic Trends in Bethesda, MD. The Foundation examines the economic, environmental, social and cultural impacts of new technologies introduced into the global economy.
A sweeping new interpretation of the history of civilization and a transformative vision of how our species will thrive on an unpredictable Earth.
The viruses keep coming, the climate is warming, and the Earth is rewilding. Our human family has no playbook to address the mayhem unfolding around us. If there is a change to reckon with, argues the renowned economic and social theorist Jeremy Rifkin, it’s that we are beginning to realize that the human race never had dominion over the Earth and that nature is far more formidable than we thought, while our species seems much smaller and less significant in the bigger picture of life on Earth, undermining our long-cherished worldview. The Age of Progress, once considered sacrosanct, is on a deathwatch while a powerful new narrative, the Age of Resilience, is ascending.
In The Age of Resilience, Rifkin takes us on a new journey beginning with how we reconceptualize time and navigate space. During the Age of Progress, efficiency was the gold standard for organizing time, locking our species into the quest to optimize the expropriation, commodification, and consumption of the Earth’s bounty, at ever-greater speeds and in ever-shrinking time intervals, with the objective of increasing the opulence of human society, but at the expense of the depletion of nature. Space, observes Rifkin, became synonymous with passive natural resources, while a principal role of government and the economy was to manage nature as property. This long adhered to temporal-spatial orientation, writes Rifkin, has taken humanity to the commanding heights as the dominant species on Earth and to the ruin of the natural world.
In the emerging era, says Rifkin, efficiency is giving way to adaptivity as the all-encompassing temporal value while space is perceived as animated, self-organizing, and fluid. A younger generation, in turn, is pivoting from growth to flourishing, finance capital to ecological capital, productivity to regenerativity, Gross Domestic Product to Quality of Life Indicators, hyper-consumption to eco-stewardship, globalization to glocalization, geopolitics to biosphere politics, nation-state sovereignty to bioregional governance, and representative democracy to citizen assemblies and distributed peerocracy.
Future generations, suggests Rifkin, will likely experience existence less as objects and structures and more as patterns and processes and come to understand that each of us is literally an ecosystem made up of the microorganisms and elements that comprise the hydrosphere, lithosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere. The autonomous self of the Age of Progress is giving way to the ecological self of the Age of Resilience. The now worn scientific method that underwrote the Age of Progress is also falling by the wayside, making room for a new approach to science called Complex Adaptive Systems modeling. Likewise, detached reason is losing cachet while empathy and biophilia become the norm.
At a moment when the human family is deeply despairing of the future, Rifkin gives us a window into a promising new world and a radically different future that can bring us back into nature’s fold, giving life a second chance to flourish on Earth.
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