Mathis Wackernagel: Using the Ecological Footprint Metric as a Compass to the Next Economy [Ep. 63]

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



Earth Overshoot Day

The Ecological Footprint Explained

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


In addition to listening on B the Change Media, you can listen/subscribe to Next Economy Now on iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, or your favorite podcasting platform.

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