Johan Rockström works to understand Earth resilience.

Why you should listen

Johan Rockström is an internationally recognized scientist for his work on global sustainability. He helped lead a team of scientists that presented the planetary boundaries framework, first published in 2009 and updated in 2015. The nine planetary boundaries presented in the framework are assessed to be fundamental in maintaining a "safe operating space for humanity." This framework has been embraced as an approach to sustainable development and has been used to help guide governments, international organizations, NGOs and companies considering sustainable development.

Before focusing on the planetary scale, Rockström's research focused on water resources and building resilience in water-scarce regions. After completing a PhD at Stockholm University's Systems Ecology Department in 1997, he spent over a decade working on applied water research in tropical regions. 

Rockström co-founded the Stockholm Resilience Centre and is currently director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. He co-chaired the EAT-Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems, published in 2019 and he is co-chair of Future Earth and the Earth Commission. 

Rockström has published more than 150 research articles, including articles in Science and Nature, as well as 20 book chapters. He is a regular speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos and he has also published four books: The Human Quest (2012) and Big World Small Planet (2015), with National Geographic photographer Mattias Klum; coauthored Water Resilience for Human Prosperity (2014); and coauthored Bankrupting Nature (2012) with Swedish writer and politician Anders Wijkman.

More news and ideas from Johan Rockström

Countdown Global Launch

Urgency: Notes from Session 1 of the Countdown Global Launch

October 10, 2020

Countdown is a global initiative to accelerate solutions to the climate crisis. Watch the talks, interviews and performances from the Countdown Global Launch at ted.com/countdown. Today, 10.10.2020, is the climate’s day of destiny: the Countdown Global Launch, a call to action on climate change and the first-ever free TED conference. Launching Countdown means asking ourselves […]

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News

TED and Future Stewards announce Countdown, a global initiative to champion and accelerate solutions to the climate crisis

September 14, 2020

Prince William, His Holiness Pope Francis, Yemi Alade, Monica Araya, Xiye Bastida, Jesper Brodin, Don Cheadle, Dave Clark, Christiana Figueres, Al Gore, António Guterres, Chris Hemsworth, Kara Hurst, Lisa Jackson, Rose Mutiso, Johan Rockström, Prince Royce, Mark Ruffalo, Sigrid, Jaden Smith, Nigel Topping and Ursula von der Leyen join scientists, activists, artists, schools and leaders […]

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In Brief

Reggie Watts’ virtual reality dance party and more TED news

January 31, 2019

The TED community is busy with new projects and news — below, some highlights. A virtual reality dance party at Sundance. Musician and comedian Reggie Watts and artist Kiira Benzing debuted their new project “Runnin’” at the Sundance Film Festival’s New Frontier exhibit. “Runnin’” is an “immersive, interactive music video” backed with a hypnotic techno […]

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