International experts to discuss limits to growth

Leading international and Australian experts on economics, the environment and carbon trading will gather at UNSW next week for a symposium on Limits to Growth.

Jorgen randers 1

Professor Jorgen Randers,Professor of Climate Strategy, BI Norwegian Business School

Leading international and Australian experts on economics, the environment and carbon trading will gather at UNSW next week to discuss questions such as:

Is economic growth forever sustainable? What impact would a stagnant or declining population have on GDP? What is the strategic plan for planet Earth?

Speakers will include Professor Jorgen Randers, a co-author of Limits to Growth, a 1972 study of growth in five key areas - population, agricultural production, natural resources, industrial production and pollution.

The study concluded that, if trends at the time continued, limits to growth would be realised within 100 years, with a sudden decline in population and industrial capacity.

Many of its projections on resources and pollution proved to be incorrect, with technological advances reversing the trends.

However, the central mathematical result of the study - that continued exponential growth is not sustainable indefinitely – is indisputable, and the world has already entered an era where the rate of population growth is slowing.

A full-day symposium, Limits to Growth, will be held on 11 December, as well as an evening Q&A Panel discussion with some of the keynote speakers on 12 December. The two events are being hosted by the UNSW School of Mathematics and Statistics as part of the 2013 International year for Mathematics of Planet Earth.

Keynote speakers at the symposium include:

Graciella Chichilnisky: Professor of Economics, Columbia University and architect of the carbon credit emissions trading market underlying the Kyoto Protocol.

Jorgen Randers: Professor of Climate Strategy, BI Norwegian Business School, co-author of Limits to Growth (1972) and author of 2052 – a Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years.

Graeme Maxton: Economist, Fellow of the International Club of Rome, author of The End of Progress.

Peter Victor: Professor of Environmental Studies, York University, author of Managing without Growth: Smaller by Design, not Disaster.

Ken Henry: Economist, Former Secretary of the Department of Treasury.

Peter Harper: Deputy Australian Statistician for the Population, Labour and Social Statistics Group.


What: Full day symposium with eight keynote speakers

When: Wednesday 11 December 2013, 9.00 to 17.45

Where: Parade Theatre, NIDA, Anzac Parade

Tickets and information:

 Q&A Panel Discussion

What: Key speakers from symposium in discussion hosted by ABC’s Ticky Fullerton

When: Thursday 12 December, 2013, 18.00 to 19.30

Where: Leighton Hall, Scientia Building, UNSW

Registration: The event is free but registration is essential


Media Contacts:

UNSW Science media officer: Deborah Smith, 9385 7307, 0478 492 060,

UNSW School of Mathematics media officer: Susannah Waters, 9385 7037,