The Big Bang for Sustainability: 50 Years Club of Rome



The year 2018 marks the 50 th Anniversary of the Club of Rome’s foundation on the 7 th April 1968. The Club’s million-fold bestselling first report “The Limits to Growth” has been followed by more than 40 subsequent reports, which have had deep impact on the emerging environmental movement and raised global awareness of the urgent need to rethink human activity on our planet in a more sustainable, climate neutral and eco-friendly way.

On 7 th April 1968, a network of entrepreneurs, diplomats, scientists and economists was created in Rome on the initiative of the Italian industrialist Aurelio Peccei and Alexander King, then Science Director of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The group was united in their concern about the future of humanity and the planet and assumed responsibility to make politicians and decision-makers worldwide aware of the most crucial issues of the future. “The Club of Rome” was born.

In the first report on the predicament of mankind, the Club of Rome warned of unlimited
material growth and uninhibited consumption in a world of limited resources: if human
activity was to continue in the same way as between 1900 and 1972, humanity would be about to overshoot the carrying capacity of planet earth until the end of the century. Fifty years later, there is no doubt that the ecological footprint of humanity exceeds its limits each year.

The work of the Club of Rome significantly contributed to the emergence of the global
environmental movement in the 60s and 70s and altered people worldwide to the dangers of climate change, environmental pollution as well as unlimited resource consumption.

The concerns of the Club of Rome have not lost their relevance: Already 50 years ago, the Club of Rome stated that it was possible to alter growth trends and establish new
conditions for a just and sustainable world which allows for stability, sustainability and
global balance.

Today, the central problem is no longer if we can achieve a global standard of living that
does not exceed the limits of our planed but how we can achieve that.

The framework of today’s work of the Club of Rome is based on the findings of the last 50 years in which more than 40 reports were published and 35 National Associations were founded.

The 100 members, worldwide renown experts in their respective disciplines, are still
devoted to the founding principles of the Club: The commitment for a sustainable future
of humankind from a holistic, systemic and long-term perspective. The global challenges facing humanity are interconnected and cannot be tackled as singular, isolated events.

The latest report “Come On! Capitalism, Short-termism, Population and the Destruction of the Planet”, authored by the Co-Presidents Prof. Ernst von Weizsäcker and Dr. Anders Wijkman with contributions by 30 more members of the Club of Rome, will be launched to coincide with the 50 th Anniversary. This report suggests a positive and realistic agenda for the future and states that we have sufficient knowledge to achieve the necessary sustainability transformation and preserve our natural environment, resources and living conditions.

Anniversary Events:

28 March 2018: Anniversary Speech by Prof. Ernst von Weizsäcker in Winterthur (in German)

04 April 2018: Anniversary Celebration in Turin (in Italian)

07 April 2018: Anniversary Celebration in Winterthur

12 April 2018: Book Launch: Come On! In Brussels

26 April 2018: Book Launch: Come On! in London

28 August 2018: Zukunft denken – Welt erhalten!  50 Jahre Club of Rome in Hannover (in German)

27-29 September 2018: Springtij Global Green Summit & 50 Years Club of Rome Forum in Terschelling

17-18 October 2018: Club of Rome Anniversary Conference in Rome

Press Release in English

Press Release in German