This coming March, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the launching of Limits to Growth, the first report to the Club of Rome, a joint symposium entitled “Perspectives on Limits to Growth: Challenges to Building a Sustainable Planet" will be hosted in Washington, DC by the Club of Rome and the Smithsonian Institution’s Consortium for Understanding and Sustaining a Biodiverse Planet.
We would like to cordially invite you to attend this symposium on Thursday March 1st. The symposium will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. in the Rasmuson Theater of the National Museum of the American Indian at 4th Street and Independence Avenue, SW on the National Mall. We hope you will join us for a reception following the symposium.
Please see the attached program statement for more information about the symposium, and feel free to send this invitation to additional parties who may be interested in the event. For those who would like to attend, we ask for an RSVP to [log in to unmask] or (202) 633-1507 with your name and affiliation.
"Perspectives on Limits to Growth: Challenges to Building a Sustainable Planet"
A One-Day Symposium Co-sponsored by The Club of Rome and the Smithsonian’s
Consortium for Understanding and Sustaining a Biodiverse Planet
1 March 2012
The Rasmuson Theater
National Museum of the American Indian
In the spring, the Club of Rome and the Smithsonian Institution will be hosting a joint
symposium in Washington, DC to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the launching of Limits to
Growth, the first report of the Club of Rome published in 1972. This book, which sold over ten
million copies in various languages, was one of the earliest scholarly works to recognize that the
world was fast approaching its sustainable limits. Forty years later, the planet continues to face
many of the same economic, social, and environmental challenges as when the book was first
The symposium, which will be held in the Rasmuson Theater of the National Museum of
the American Indian on the Mall, will be divided into two sessions. The morning session
will focus on the lessons of Limits to Growth and will consist of presentations by two of the
original authors of the work, Dennis Meadows and Jørgen Randers. These talks will be
complemented by an outside perspective from Lester Brown, President of the Earth Policy
Institute and author of World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic
The afternoon session will address the difficult challenges of preserving biodiversity,
adjusting to a changing climate, and solving the societal issues now facing the planet. Dr. Doug
Erwin, Senior Scientist and Curator of Paleobiology at the National Museum of Natural History
and author of Extinction (Columbia University press), will address how climate has structured
biodiversity over long periods of time in the geologic history of the planet. Prof. Richard Alley,
a well-known geoscientist from Pennsylvania State University and presenter and author of the of
the PBS series and book Earth: The Operator’s Manual, will speak on climate change in the
present-day world. Finally, Neva Goodwin, the Director of the Global Development and
Environment Institute at Tufts University and lead author of Microeconomics in Context and
Macroeconomics in Context, will address the many societal challenges that must be addressed in
a world without growth, from ecological health to restructuring corporations for social
responsibility. The symposium will end with a thought-provoking panel discussion among the
speakers on future steps for building a sustainable planet. The panel will be moderated by Dr.
Eva J. Pell, Under Secretary for Science.
The Symposium will be open to the public and may be of particular interest to scholars,
educators, and policy makers at Federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, economic
think tanks, universities, and environmental organizations in the Washington metropolitan area