Mathis Wackernagel: Using the Ecological Footprint Metric as a Compass to the Next Economy

If you only have two minutes, click here for a highlight from the interview


Mathis Wackernagel is CEO of Global Footprint Network and co-creator of the Ecological Footprint — a resource accounting tool that measures how much nature we have, how much we use, and who uses what. This data-driven accounting metric works like a bank statement, documenting whether we are living within our ecological budget or consuming nature’s resources faster than the planet can renew them.  

Mathis completed a Ph.D. in community and regional planning with Professor William Rees at the University of British Columbia, where his doctoral dissertation developed the Ecological Footprint concept. Mathis also earned a mechanical engineering degree from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.  

 

In our interview with Mathis, we discuss:

  • The story behind the Ecological Footprint and Global Footprint Network

  • How businesses and investors can use these tools and open source data

  • How understanding our ecological context helps individuals to recognize that they have skin in the game, a visceral understanding which helps one to appreciate the benefits of realizing a sustainable economy

  • Corporate Social Responsibility versus business models rooted in transformational, regenerative practices and design

 

Resources:

Earth Overshoot Day

The Ecological Footprint Explained

How much Nature do we have? How much do we use? | TEDxSanFrancisco

 

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Andrew Baskin is Executive Producer and Fellow at LIFT Economy, specializing in regenerative ag-related enterprise and impact investing that advances the health of our soil, food-system, and climate.  LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life. You can email Andrew at andrew@lifteconomy.com.