Scientist Dennis Meadows and an international team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, began a study in 1970 – commissioned by the Club of Rome and financed by the VW Foundation – which already predicted the problems we are facing today: e.g. climate change, overpopulation and shortage of resources. The results of this comprehensive study were summarised in the publication The Limits To Growth – a book that has been translated into 30 languages and sold over 30 million copies to date.

“The message of this book still holds today: The earth’s interlocking resources – the global system of nature in which we all live – probably cannot support present rates of economic and population growth much beyond the year 2100, if that long, even with advanced technology” (Club Of Rome, 2020).

However, besides all the negative scenarios, the book also provides a message of hope: “Man can create a society in which he can live indefinitely on earth if he imposes limits on himself and his production of material goods to achieve a state of global equilibrium with population and production in carefully selected balance” (ibid).

Despite his age, Meadows continues to give lectures and interviews in which he argues that “it is possible to change habits, but this needs thought, and in the beginning mistakes will be made” (Meadows, 2019). In his opinion we need to focus on cultural and social changes and on designing resilient systems in order to successfully manage the current and future crisis.

The book is available in english as a free download from the Club Of Rome website.

Published by Potomac Associates – Universe Books, NY

Club Of Rome. (n.d.). Retrived from

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© Photo by Potomac Associates – Universe Books

Ingrid Ruegemer

Fields of Expertise: Art, Craft, Design