Professor Jorgen Randers BI Norwegian Business School Oslo, Norway

Jørgen Randers (born 1945) is professor of climate strategy at the Norwegian Business School, where he works on climate and energy issues, scenario analysis and system dynamics. He lectures widely at home and abroad on sustainable development issues – particularly on the future and climate change – for all types of corporate and non-corporate audiences.

Jørgen Randers has spent one third of his life in academia, one third in business and on third in the NGO world. He is non-executive member of several corporate boards in Norway, including the state owned Postal Service. He also sits on the sustainability council of The Dow Chemical Company in the US and Astra Zeneca in the UK.

He was President of the Norwegian Business School BI 1981 – 89, and Deputy Director General of WWF International (World Wide Fund for Nature) in Switzerland 1994 – 99. He chaired the Commission on Low Greenhouse Gas Emissions who reported in 2006 to the Norwegian cabinet on how Norway can cut is climate gas emissions by two thirds by 2050.

He has written a number of books and scientific papers. He co-authored The Limits to Growth in 1972 and its sequels in 1992 and 2004. In 2012 he published 2052 – A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years, which is now available in 8 languages in more than 100.000 copies.

He has received many prizes and awards, including an honorary doctorate from the Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge UK. He is a full member of the Club of Rome.

Science Based Activism - Festschrift to Jorgen Randers

The pathway from scientific knowledge, based on data, models and forecasts, to societal implications and policy advice is a perilous one. The shift from “is” to “ought” may be slippery, in terms of climate, biodiversity, regulations and business. Yet, what is to be done if your research discloses that your fellow humans are unwittingly carrying out destructive actions on a large scale? If they are unaware of the dynamics within which they are – or are in danger of becoming – imprisoned, is there then not an ethical obligation to respond, to endeavor to act beyond the scope of your given role? This dilemma lies at the core of the issue of science based activism, which the life and work of Jorgen Randers in many ways epitomizes. The best means of understanding what science based activism is may be found in exploring his steps, as this Festschrift does.


1999 – Norwegian Business School, Oslo
(management education)
1994-99 WWF-World Wide Fund for Nature, Geneva
(non-governmental organization, nature conservation)
Deputy Director General
1993 Innovation AS, Oslo
(consultants in strategy)
1992-93 Full time Chairman of the Board of five companies
1989-91 World City AS, Oslo
(financial holding company)
Managing Director
1981‑89 Norwegian School of Management, Oslo
(management education)
1980‑81 Deminex (NORGE) AS, Oslo
(oil production)
Deputy Director
1980 Ministry of Long Term Planning, Oslo
(macroeconomic planning)
1974‑80 Resource Policy Group, Oslo
(futures research)
Founder and Director
1973 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Assistant Professor of Management
1970‑72 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, Massachusetts


2011 – Posten ASA
(the Norwegian Postal Service)
2006-14 yA Bank
(internet banking)
2003-07 Miljøforskningssenteret AS
(environmental research)
2002-03 Kanal24 Norge AS
(commercial radio)
1999-03 eBok AS
(electronic publishing)
1999- 21st Venture AS
(holding company, largely radio and IT)
1999-05 Egroup ASA
(internet consulting)
1992-96 P4 Radio Hele Norge AS, Oslo
(commercial radio)
1992-94 David Livsforsikrings AS, Oslo
(life insurance)
1991-2010 Tomra Systems AS, Oslo
(reverse vending machines)
1989‑91 Green Business AS, Oslo
(environmental goods and services)
1988‑93 Norwegian Institute for Market Research, Oslo
(market research)
1988‑92 The Norwegian Bank for Industry, Oslo
1988‑93 Åke Larson Construction AS, Oslo
(construction management)
1984‑87 Unique AS, Sandnes
(software house)
1989-93 Sven Sejersted Bødtker & Co. AS, Oslo
(& 1983‑85)  (shipowners)
1983‑85 Tiki Data AS, Oslo
(PC producer)
1982‑85 Åke Larson Construction AB, Stockholm
1987-92 (construction management)
1981‑85 Sunnmørsbanken Oslo AS, Oslo
(commercial banking)

CONSULTING (selected)

2014- Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences
Shanghai 2050 Plan
(advising on content of plan)
2014- AstraZenca, London
Environmental Sustainability Council
(advising on sustainability and corporate responsibility)
2007 – Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Michigan
2005-06 Governmental Commission,
Ministry of Environment, Oslo
(reduction of Norway’s greenhouse gas emissions)
2004-07 Economic Development Board of Rotterdam
International Advisory Board
(advising on sustainability issues)
2001-12 HRH Prince Charles Programme on Business and the Environment
Cambridge University Program on Industry, Cambridge
(sustainable development for senior managers in multinationals)
Member of Core Faculty
2001-12 British Telecom plc, London
Leadership Panel
(advising on sustainability and corporate responsibility)
2001-02 Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Washington
Core Measurement Group
(global standards for sustainability reporting)
2000-5 Corporate Environmental Advisory Council
(advising on sustainability and corporate social responsibility)
1998-02 OECD, Paris
Roundtable on Sustainable Development
(sustainable development in industrial countries)
1985‑87 Commission for Health Institution Services,
Ministry of Social Affairs, Oslo
(financing and organizing Norwegian hospitals)
1979‑83 OECD, Paris
(Social effects of forest investment projects)
1979 United Nations Development Program (UNDP), New York.
(Planning a Petroleum Institute in Bangladesh)


2012 – The Club of Rome, Rome
Full member
2004 – 08 WWF International, Gland
Member of the Board
Chairman of the Programme Committee in 2006
Member of Exco from 2006
2003 – The Global Footprint Network, San Fransisco
Member of the Advisory Council
2001 – 08 WWF-Norway, Oslo
2001 – 12 Center for Corporate Citizenship
Norwegian School of Management, Oslo
2000 – 06 Fondation du Tour du Valat, Sambuc, France
Member of the Board
1985‑88 Norsk Forum, Oslo
Council member
1983‑89 The Research Center of the Federation of Norwegian Labour Unions,
Council member
1980‑86 World Futures, New York
Member of editorial council
1977‑87 The Club of Rome, Rome
Full member
1976- The System Dynamics Society, Cambridge, Mass
Member. President 1985-86


2052 – A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years

Chelsea Green Publishing, White River Junction, Vermont 2012

Available in 8 languages


Limits to Growth – The 30 Year Update

with D.H. Meadows and D.L. Meadows, Chelsea Green Publishing, White River Junction, Vermont 2004


Beyond the Limits

with D.H. Meadows, D.L. Meadows, Chelsea Green Publishing House, Post Mills, Vermont 1992


Elements of the System Dynamics Method

Editor, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts 1980


Wood Resource Dynamics in the Scandinavian Forest Sector

editor with L. Lønnstedt, Studia Forestalia Suecia No. 152, Stockholm 1979


Smelteverkene i smeltedigelen (The Future of the Electro‑Metallurgical Industry)

with L. Ervik, C. Tank‑Nielsen, D. Nunn, J.W. Cappelens forlag, Oslo 1979


Skognæringen i overgangsalderen (Transition in the Forest Sector)

with L. Stenberg, K. Kalgraf, J.W. Cappelens Forlag, Oslo 1978


The Dynamics of Growth in a Finite World

with D.H. Meadows, D.L. Meadows, W.W. Behrens, R.F. Naill and E.K.O. Zahn, Wright‑Allen Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts 1974


Conceptualizing Dynamic Models of Social Systems: Lessons from a Study of Social Change

Ph.D. dissertation, MIT Sloan School of Management, Cambridge, September 1973


The Limits to Growth

with D.H. Meadows, D.L. Meadows and W.W. Behrens, Universe Books, New York 1972

Available in 36 languages


“Demokratin oförmögen att hantera klimahotet” (“Can democracy handle difficult issues like climate change?”)

Extract, January 2015, Stockholm


“A realistic leverage point for one-planet living: More compulsory vacation in the rich world”

System Dynamics Review, Vol 30, No 4, 2014


“Compulsory Vacation: Reducing the Human Ecological Footprint Through More Annual Leave”, in W. Visser (ed) Disrupting the Future: Great Ideas for Creating a Much better World (pp. 61-67). London: Kaleidoscope Futures, 2014


“Living in overshoot: A forecast and the desire to have it wrong”, in G.J.Kramer & B. Vermeer (ed) The colours of energy: Essays on the future of our energy system (pp. 56-60). Amsterdam: Shell International BV, 2014


“2052 – Japan: a global world leader in increasing citizen’s well-being during slow GDP growth and declining population” Tokyo: Fole, 2, pp 2-5, 2014


“Global Trends 2030 Compared with the 2052 Global Forecast”

World Future Review, Volume 5, No 4, pp 360-366, 2013

DOI: 10.1177/0123456789123456


“Norsk Klimapolitikk 2006-12“(“Norwegian Climate Policy 2006-12“)

with D. Rees & M. Sjøvaag Marino

Report from BI’s Center for Climate Strategy, 33 pp, Oslo


“The «perceived progress» indicator – measuring the rate of change in subjective well-being with D. Rees

Report from BI’s Center for Climate Strategy, 13 pp, Oslo


“2052: Droht ein globaler Kollaps” (“2052: Towards Global Collapse?”)

Aus Politik und Zeiteschichte, Vol 62, No 51-52, pp 3-10, 2012


“GEVA – Greenhouse Gas Emissions per Unit of Value Added. A corporate guide to voluntary climate policy”

Energy Policy, Vol 48, pp 46-55, 2012


“The real message of The Limits to Growth: A plea for forward-looking global policy”

GAIA, Vol 21, No 2, pp 102-105, 2012


“Meny 5 – En vedtakbar energi- og klimapolitikk for Norge” (“Menu 5 – A politically feasible energy- and climate-policy for Norway”)

Magma, Vol 14, No 2, pp 21-34, 2011


“The One Degree War Plan” with P. Gilding

Journal of Global Responsibility, Vol 1, No 1, pp 170-188, 2012


“Future Mapper for the Shipping Market” with U. Golüke

Quarterly (later annual) market forecast to shipping investors, Future Mappers AS, Oslo, 1990-2009


“Global Collapse – Fact or Fiction?”

Futures, Vol 40, No 10, pp 853 – 864, Dec 2008


”Et forslag til byrdefordeling i post-Kyoto avtale” (”A proposed burden sharing for the post-Kyoto agreement”) with B. Holtsmark

Klima, No 6, pp14-15, Dec 2008


“Fremtidsbilde 2030: Er verden flat?” (“Scenario 2030: Is the world flat?”) with A. J. Isachsen

Magma, Vol 10, No 1, pp 51-57, 2007


“Forecasting Turning Points in Shipping Freight Rates: Lessons from 30 Years of Practical Effort”, with U. Goluke

System Dynamics Review, Vol 23, No 2-3, Summer/Fall 2007


“How Can Norway Become a Climate-Friendly Society?” with K. Alfsen

World Economics, Vol 8, No 1, Jan-Mar 2007


“Et klimavennlig Norge” – Utvalgsleder (“A Climate Friendly Norway” – Commission chair)

NOU 2006:18, Ministry of the Environment, Oslo 2006


“The Living Planet Index: using species population time series to track trends in biodiversity”

with J. Loh et al

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Vol. 360, pp 289 – 295, February 2005


“Sammenligning av kostnadene ved stasjonær og mobil røntgenundersøkelse av sykehjemspasienter” (“Comparison of the costs of stationary and mobile x-ray imaging of nursery patients”)

Michael Quarterly, No 2, 2005, pp 151–9.


“Tracking the ecological overshoot of the human economy” with M. Wackernagel et al

Proceedings of the (US) National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 44, No. 14, pp 9266 – 9271, July 2002


“From Limits to Growth to Sustainable Development”

System Dynamics Review, Vol. 16, No. 3 (Fall 2000), pp 213-224


The Living Planet Report with J. Loh et al,

WWF-International, Gland, Switzerland 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2004


“Opprustning innenlands eller satsing ute”

in Morten Møller Warmedal (ed), Utlandet Kaller, Lex, Oslo 1999


“Depressing Trends”

in Helen de Mattos-Shipley (ed), WWF Changing Worlds, Banson, London 1996


“The Quest for a Sustainable Society – A Global Perspective”

in G. Skirbekk, editor, The Notion of Sustainability, Scandinavian University Press, Oslo 1994


“Siviløkonomer og fremtiden”

in Norske Siviløkonomer gjennom 50 år, NSF, Oslo 1989


The Public Management of Forestry Projects

with H. Gregersen, J. Montgolfier, L. Ferrer-Martin, OECD, Paris 1986


“Prediction of pulp prices. A review two years later”

BI Working Paper 84/6, Stiftelsen BI, Bekkestua 1984


“The Tanker Market”

BI Working Paper 84/9, Stiftelsen BI, Bekkestua 1984


“Guidelines for Model Conceptualization”

in B.W. Hennestad and F.E. Wenstøp, editor, Bedriftsøkonomi og Vitenskapsteori (Management and Theory of Science), Universitetsforlaget, Oslo 1983


“Den norske næringsstruktur i fremtiden” (Norway’s Economic Structure in the Future)

Bergen Bank Kvartalsskrift, No. 1, 1981


“National Strategies to Limit the Industrial Use of Wood to the Sustainable Forest Growth”

with J. Høsteland and L. Lønnstedt

Journal of Business Administration, Vol. 11, No. 1 & 2, Fall 1979/Spring 1980


“Den unødvendige arbeidsløsheten” (The Unnecessary Unemployment) with J.W. Nilsson

in Arbeid og Inntekt (Employment and Income), Tiden Norsk Forlag, Oslo 1980


“Guidelines for Model Conceptualization”

in J. Randers (ed), Elements of the System Dynamics Method, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts 1980


“Watch for the Foothills: Signalling the End to Growth in a Finite World”

with W.W. Behrens, in David W. Orr and Marvin S. Soroos, The Global Predicament: Ecological Perspectives on World Order, The University of North Carolina Press 1979


“Petroleum: Norwegian Experience and Third World Policy”

Jamaica Journal, No. 43, pp. 69‑76, 1979


“Transition Strategies for the Forest Sector” with L. Lønnstedt

Futures, Vol 11, No. 3, June 1979


“Den globale økonomiske utvikling på 10‑15 års sikt”

(The Global Economy of the Next 10‑15 Years)

Bergen Bank Kvartalsskrift No. 4, 1978


“How to be a Useful Builder of Simulation Models”, in J. Rose (ed.)

Current Topics in Cybernetics and Systems, Springer, New York 1978


“How to Stop Industrial Growth with Minimal Pain”

Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Vol 11, p. 371, 1978


“A System Dynamics Study of the Transition from Ample to Scarce Wood Resources”

Proceedings of the XVI International Union of Forest Research Orqanizations’ World Congress, Oslo 21‑26 June 1976


“A Response to Sussex” with D.L. Meadows, D.H. Meadows, and W.W. Behrens

Futures Vol. 5, No 1, February 1973


“Dynamic Modelling as a Tool for Managerial Planning: A Case Study of the US Hog Industry” with R.F. Naill, N.J. Mass and M.K. Simpson

Proceedings of the 1973 Summer Computer Simulation Conference, Montreal 1973


“The Dynamics of Environmental Policy: DDT”

The International Journal of Environmental Studies, Vol. 4, p. 51, 1972


“The Dynamics of Solid Waste Generation” with D.L. Meadows

Technology Review, April 1972


“The Carrying Capacity of the Globe” with D.H. Meadows

Sloan Management Review, Vol 15, No. 2, 1972


“Adding the Time Dimension to Environmental Policy” with D.L. Meadows

International Organization, Vol. 26, No. 2, spring 1972