Paul Raskin is the founding President of the Tellus Institute. The overarching theme of Dr. Raskin’s work has been the development of visions and strategies for a transformation to more resilient and equitable forms of social development. Toward this larger aim, his research has spanned issues (energy, water, climate change, ecosystems, and sustainable development) and spatial scales (local, national, and global). He has conceived and built widely-used models for integrated scenario planning for energy (LEAP), freshwater (WEAP), and sustainability (PoleStar). Dr. Raskin has published widely, and served as a lead author for the U.S. National Academy of Science’s Board on Sustainability, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, the Earth Charter, and UNEP’s Global Environment Outlook.
In 1995, he convened the Global Scenario Group to explore the requirements for a transition to a sustainable and just global civilization. The Group’s 2002 valedictory essay—Great Transition: The Promise and Lure of the Times Ahead—became the point of departure for the Great Transition Initiative that Dr. Raskin launched in 2003 and continues to direct. His recent book, Journey to Earthland: The Great Transition to Planetary Civilization, updates and expands his thinking on the shape of the global future.
Dr. Raskin received a PhD in Theoretical Physics from Columbia University in 1970, and taught at the university level before co-founding the Tellus Institute in 1976.