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Moscow, 16 Febr.2007

Dennis L. Meadows (born June 7, 1942) is an American scientist and Emeritus Professor of Systems Management, and former director of the Institute for Policy and Social Science Research at the University of New Hampshire.[1] He is President of the Laboratory for Interactive Learning and widely known as the co-author of Limits to Growth.



Dennis Meadows received a BA from Carleton College, a Ph.D. in Management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and holds four honorary doctorates.

He started working at the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology end 1960s. From 1970 to 1972 at MIT he was director of the "Club of Rome Project on Predicament of mankind at MIT".[2 ] Further on Meadows has been a tenured professor in faculties of management, engineering, and social sciences. For many years he was the director of a graduate program based in business and engineering. He has facilitated workshops and developed innovative and complex strategic games all over the world for decades. In addition, Dr. Meadows has lectured in over 50 countries.

He has been the Director of 3 university research institutes: at MIT, Dartmouth College and the University of New Hampshire. He is the Past President of the International System Dynamics Society and the International Simulation and Games Association.

He has been a corporate board member and a consultant for government, industry and non-profit groups in the U.S. and many countries abroad. He co-founded the Balaton Group, a network of ca. 300 professionals in over 30 nations involved in systems science, public policy and sustainable development.

He has received numerous international awards for his work, including the Japan Prize in April 2009.



Club of Rome

The Club of Rome is a global think tank that deals with a variety of international political issues. It was founded in April 1968 and raised considerable public attention in 1972 with its report The Limits to Growth. From 1970 to 1972 at MIT he was director of the "Club of Rome Project on Predicament of mankind at MIT"[2 ] which constructed the world model underlying that publication.

Limits to Growth

The Limits to Growth is a 1972 book modeling the consequences of a rapidly growing world population and finite resource supplies, commissioned by the Club of Rome. Meadows coauthored the book with Donella H. Meadows, Jørgen Randers, and William W. Behrens III.

The book used the World3 model to simulate[3] the consequence of interactions between the Earth's and human systems. The book echoes some of the concerns and predictions of the Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus in An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798).

The eventual purpose of The Limits to Growth was not to make specific predictions, but to explore how exponential growth interacts with finite resources. Because the size of resources is not known, only the general behavior can be explored.

The 30-year update

There has been a major cultural shift in the thinking about global processes in the last three decades of the 20th century. In an 2004 interview Meadows explained:

"In 1972 it was inconceivable to most people that the physical impact of humanity's activities could ever grow large enough to alter basic natural processes of the globe. But now we routinely observe, acknowledge, and discuss the ozone hole, destruction of marine fisheries, climate change and other global problems." [4]

In their 1972 publication Limits to Growth their recommendations where focussed on "how to slow growth". In the 2004 Limits to growth : the 30-year update the message has changed. Meadows explained: "Now we must tell people how to manage an orderly reduction of their activities back down below the limits of the earth's resources.." [4]

See also


He has written or co-authored 10 books on systems, futures, and educational games, which have been translated into more than 30 languages. A selection:

  • 1970. Dynamics of commodity production cycles.
  • 1973. Toward global equilibrium: collected papers. Eds.
  • 1975. Beyond growth : essays on alternative futures. Edited with others.
  • 1974. Dynamics of growth in a finite world.
  • 1977. Alternatives to growth-I : a search for sustainable futures : papers adapted from entries to the 1975 George and Cynthia Mitchell Prize and from presentations before the 1975 Alternatives to Growth Conference, held at the Woodlands, Texas. Eds.
  • 1992. Beyond the limits : confronting global collapse, envisioning a sustainable future.
  • 1995 "The Systems thinking Playbook".
  • 2004. Limits to growth : the 30-year update. With Donella Meadows and Jørgen Randers.


  1. ^ Dennis Meadows :: Chelsea Green Publishing
  2. ^ a b Dennis L. Meadows (1977). Alternatives to growth-I: a search for sustainable futures : papers adapted. p.309.
  3. ^ The models were run on Dynamo, a simulation programming language.
  4. ^ a b Interview with Dennis L. Meadows, 2004. at Accessed Oct 20, 2009.

External links


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