Uwe Möller: A man of foresight

19 September 2023 – “He inspired without dominating; he excelled without taking the shine off others.”

Uwe Möller, former Secretary-General of The Club of Rome (1999 to 2007) and former president of the German Chapter (1989 to 1999), recently passed away at the age of 87. 

Many members of The Club of Rome and representatives from different chapters and associations across the globe have shared their condolences and memories of working with him. Repeatedly it was emphasised that it was also thanks to him that The Club of Rome was able to overcome a period of funding challenges. See here for memories expressed by members of the German Chapter. 

In addition to his pro bono work, Uwe Möller provided The Club of Rome with office space at “Haus Rissen – Institute for International Politics and Economics” in Hamburg, of which he was director from 1983 to 1998. 

He had worked closely with two Presidents of The Club of Rome: the late Ricardo Díez-Hochleitner (1990-2000) and HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan (2001-2007). 

His extraordinary commitment to The Club of Rome was in line with his own values.  He remained committed to the activities of the German Chapter until 2020 and remained a propagator of the Club of Rome Schools, a school network in Germany, that was close to his heart. He was also one of the drivers behind the DESERTEC project of the Club of Rome. At 80, he still delivered lectures on behalf of the Club of Rome. 

Education was an issue close to his heart for both the old and young. Uwe had a particular eye on the younger generation and wanted to give them opportunities. As part of the “Gerhard Merzyn and Uwe Möller Foundation” he promoted dialogue between young people and decision-makers.  

Furthermore, he supported and enabled relevant educational institutions such as the New School in Wolfsburg where he was a member of the founding group. The initiation of the Schwerin Academy can also be traced back to him. 

In 2013, at the annual conference of the Club of Rome in Bucharest, he announced his withdrawal from The Club of Rome, saying it was time to make way for the younger generation. 

Several associates and colleagues of Uwe Möller have described him as an authority of sustainability and foresight. A man who fought tirelessly for the goals of The Club of Rome over several decades, selflessly, idealistically, and at the same time pragmatically, and never sought the limelight.  

Uwe and I got to know each other soon after I became a member of the then youth organisation of the Club of Rome – Think Tank (tt) 30. Our relationship grew particularly close after I had accepted my role as Uwe’s Deputy Secretary-General in 2005. 

In the course of our two and a half years of very close collaboration, which included two office moves, several Club of Rome conferences, a number of Executive Committee meetings and even more philosophical dialogues about, I was able to witness Uwe’s ability to reflect on the “big picture” without, however, losing the necessary grounding. Uwe was a mentor and role model. He practiced his duties with great conviction and authenticity. Uwe had the wonderful gift of trusting his peers. He was also able to take people on a journey between the major issues of our time and present complexity and systemic connections with empathy. He inspired without dominating; he excelled without taking the shine off others. Uwe will be missed by many! 

 

 

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