Volkswagen Foundation Winter School "Limits to Growth Revisited"

Visselhoevede and Hanover, Germany
Researchers and Professionals

The Winter School "Limits to Growth Revisited" aimed at young researchers from all relevant fields. From a total of 150 qualified applicants, 61 participants from all over the world have been selected. The Winter School has taken place in Visselhoevede from November 24th, to December 1st , 2012 on invitation of the Volkswagen Foundation to mark the 40th anniversary of the publication of "Limits to Growth", a study by Dennis Meadows and others.

No Vacancy

For photos and selected contributions from the symposium and Winter School. please see the Documentation: Already Beyond? - 40 Years Limits to Growth. Objectives of the Winter School.

The young researchers will work together in different working groups tackling three major subjects of the Meadows-study: resources, environment, and society, and will also try to develop new models in the various fields. The scientists are supported by a steering committee, which has given advice on the design of the Winter School:
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Kurths, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
Prof. Matin Qaim, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, University of Göttingen
Prof. Dr. Roland Rau, Department of Demography, University of Rostock
Dr. Frank Uekötter, Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, University of Munich
At the Herrenhausen Symposium "Already Beyond? - 40 Years Limits to Growth" on November 28th and 29th, 2012 in Hanover, the participants of the Winter School will be developing their viewpoints further and present their findings, ideas, and questions. During the symposium, they will fulfill different tasks:
1. Panelists in panel discussions
The program of the symposium "Already Beyond" has been designed to involve junior researchers in nearly all panels, which means that each working group of the Winter School will be represented by a young scientist in the discussion.
2. Spokespersons of the working groups
The spokespersons of the working groups will be asking questions during the Q & A sessions of the symposium thus bringing the debates of the Winter School into the discussion.
3. "Ambassadors" for various topics
"Ambassadors" for certain topics on which the working groups have focused in their discussions will be interviewing peers from among the audience during the conference in order to deepen the issues raised and the arguments brought forth.
4. Press representatives
Press representatives of the Winter School report on the work and discussion processes and give answers to the media.

The buzzword of our time, "sustainability", is closely related to a book published 40 years ago, in 1972: "The Limits to Growth" written by an MIT project team involving Donella and Dennis Meadows. Using computer models in an attempt to quantify various aspects of the future, "Limits to Growth" has shaped new modes of thinking. The book became a bestseller and is still frequently cited when it comes to analyzing growth related to finite resources.