Johan Rockström works to redefine sustainable development, and figure out what needs to happen.

Why you should listen

Johan Rockström leads the Stockholm Resilience Centre, focusing on a new approach to sustainability: the capacity to use change and crisis to spur renewal and innovative thinking. In 2009, working with an international team of scientists, he identified and quantified a set of nine planetary boundaries within which humanity can continue to develop and thrive for generations to come -- while crossing them could generate abrupt or irreversible environmental changes.

Since then, the boundaries research has spread among international organizations, governments, NGOs and companies and has been adopted as a new framework to guide the discussion about "sustainable growth". It is currently debated as a core part of setting the criteria that will follow the UN's Millennium Development Goals. Rockström also chairs Future Earth, an initiative to advance integrated science for global sustainability.

What others say

“As the global population increases towards nine billion people sustainable development should be seen as an economy serving society within Earth's life support system.” — Johan Rockström

Johan Rockstrom’s TED talk

Johan Rockstrom on the TED Blog

Live from TEDGlobal 2013

The future of the sustainable Earth: Johan Rockström at TEDGlobal 2013

June 13, 2013

Johan Rockström returns to the TEDGlobal three years after his talk on environmental development to talk about the — hopeful! — future of our environment in crisis. Life in the Holocene is full of problems, but it’s not without unexpected turns of resilience and promise. Rockström grasps a piece of metal on stage, explaining that […]

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Live from TEDGlobal 2013

State of the Nations: The speakers in session 8 at TEDGlobal 2013

June 13, 2013

The world order of centuries past is deeply in flux. Western nations no longer sit comfortably atop the power pyramid, with democracy a gleaming ideal. And no longer is it the leader of nations who wield the most influence, as it may be local leaders who hold the key to change. In this session, a […]

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News

Meet the three new TEDGlobal speakers, and a few others making the news

May 9, 2013

We are excited to introduce you to three new speakers who’ve been added to the program for TEDGlobal 2013, themed “Think Again.” First, jazz-pop singer Jamie Cullum will take the stage to perform during session 10, “Imagined Beauty.” Just last week, Cullum released this nerdily adorable video — shot in one continuous Steadicam take — […]

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