In 1972, the Club of Rome commissioned a report – The Limits to Growth – to look at the interconnected issues and complex problems faced by humanity. The findings showed that if growth trends continued, we would overshoot the carrying capacity of the Earth, but this could be avoided with the implementation of forward-looking policies. The model behind the study – World3 – has been shown to be remarkably accurate and has undergone a number of developments.
For 50 years, since The Limits to Growth report and the 1972 UN Stockholm summit, the world has ignored the risk of system collapse.
In 2020, Earth4All bought together scientists, economic thinkers, and communicators to explore how we could accelerate the systems-change needed to achieve wellbeing for all on a finite planet.
Combining the best available science with new economic thinking, the teams worked together to explore and develop bold proposals for the 21st century.
Our analysis focuses on three deeply intertwined systems: economy, society and ecology. It is grounded in systems thinking, a branch of science whose tools help us understand complexity, feedback loops, tipping points and exponential impacts.
Our findings show the minimum actions we need to take now – 5 extraordinary turnarounds for poverty, inequality, empowerment, food and energy – to achieve wellbeing for all within planetary boundaries.
The Earth4All models use scenarios to show how different policies are likely to affect human wellbeing, societies and ecosystems in the short and long-term. They can be used to answer questions like: what happens if societies adopt policies to redistribute wealth more fairly? Or, what happens if countries adopt policies to empower women? Or, what happens to Earth if more people eat healthy diets?
Our modelling looks at the quantitative and causal interactions between environmental variables and socio-economic variables, such as investments, energy use, taxes, savings, education, inequality and social trust.
The global model is open source (beta-version below), the regional model and a web-simulator will be published in the coming months. All the assumptions, variables, equations and structures are available inside the Earth4All model itself. We welcome feedback on the model and contributions to its further development.
Who is part of the Earth4All modelling team
Read the Earth4All model methodological note
Beta version with data & charts (Stella, Vensim & Excel formats)
The modeling teams are comprised of researchers from the Stockholm Resilience Centre, the BI Norwegian Business School and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.
The Transformational Economics Commission is made up of economists and economic thinkers from across the globe. They contributed to the Earth4All model by bringing forward new economic ideas whose long-term impact on people, economies, nature and the planet was tested by the model. Members of the Transformational Economics Commissions also critiqued and challenged the model’s outputs. Today, they contribute regularly to the Earth4All initiative by developing thought-provoking papers called “Earth4All deep-dives”, exploring new paradigms for our economic and societal operating systems.
Who is part of the Transformational Economics Commission
Read the Earth4All deep dives