Symposium: Already Beyond? - 40 Years Limits to Growth

Herrenhausen, Hannover
Researchers and Professionals

To mark the 40th anniversary of the “Limits to Growth” study by Dennis Meadows and others, funded by the Volkswagen Foundation, as well as to underline its relevance for the years to come and the future of humankind, a two-day symposium has been held on 28th and 29th November 2012 in Hanover, Germany.

You can find photos and selected contributions from the symposium and Winter School under the documentation: Already Beyond? - 40 Years Limits to Growth.

With the symposium “Already Beyond? – 40 years of ‘Limits to Growth’”, the Volkswagen Foundation provides international experts as well as junior researchers with a platform for an intense (inter-)disciplinary dialogue on new fields of research. The focus will lie on current challenges. The symposium therefore focuses on three complementary fields: society, environment and resources. The opening and closing sessions are focusing on the crucial role that society itself has in the process of extending or reducing the “Limits to Growth”. These sessions discuss the impact the study and its observations had and should have on people, on policies, attitudes, and lifestyles around the globe. The following sessions consider core topics of the “Limits to Growth” study and are discussing new theories and ideas in these research fields. They focus on demography, economics, climate change and global governance, food and water management and the problem of finite resources. We are interested in unanswered questions and unresolved problems. A Winter School on „Limits to Growth Revisited“, which is addressed to 60 young researchers of all relevant fields, will take place in the week running up to the conference, which was initiated by Dennis Meadows and the Volkswagen Foundation. During this week, new questions, hypotheses and ideas will be developed to be presented and discussed at the symposium. More information: