Dennis Meadows, american systems analyst

Dennis Meadows, american systems analyst

Tue, 04/10/2022


Doctor Honoris causa of ENS de Lyon, September 19, 2022


A chemist by training, Dennis Meadows is a systems analyst, Professor Emeritus at the University of New Hampshire, USA.
Dennis Meadows obtained his doctoral thesis in 1969, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he began the work that made him known worldwide. From 1970 to 1972, he directed the "Predicament of Mankind" project for the Club of Rome, a think tank on the pressing problems facing societies, bringing together scientists, entrepreneurs and international civil servants.

This research project aims to predict the future trajectory of our civilization, on a purely scientific basis and through computer simulation. The World3 model has been created, which produces 13 scenarios, all quite pessimistic, and all announcing a shift of civilization during the 21st century.
In 1972, Dennis Meadows, Donnella Meadows, Jørgen Randers and William W. Behrens III submitted their report to the Club of Rome: The Limits to Growth.  This is the first major study on the dangers posed by population and economic growth on the world's environmental resources.

At the end of this study, Dennis Meadows became a full professor. During his career, he has served as director of three academic research institutes, at MIT, Dartmouth College, and the University of New Hampshire. A designer of sophisticated computer simulations, Dennis Meadows has also developed management games on resource and environmental issues.

In 1982, he co-founded with Donnella Meadows the Balaton Group, an international network of researchers and professionals involved in systems science, public policy and sustainability, of which he is currently Vice President.

Dennis Meadows is the author of 11 books, all translated worldwide. Thirty years after the first edition of the Club of Rome report, Dennis Meadows and his team have published an update that confirms the scenarios of 1972. While in 1972, the authors made their recommendations on slowing growth, in 2004 their purpose evolved towards "how to manage an orderly reduction of human activities to bring them below the limits of the Earth's resources" to quote Dennis Meadows.
Work by international teams, including Graham Turner's in 2014, confirms the overall scenario of this report as the most credible prediction.

Dennis Meadows' current commitment focuses on the theme of resilience in the face of the environmental crisis and how his findings can be transmitted through education.


Some of his awards and distinctions

Prize for the Protection of Nature of the Bavarian Society for Nature Protection, Munich, Germany in 1975

Jay W. Forrester Award in 1991

Japan Prize in 2009

German Cultural Award in 2019

Honorary PhD, Budapest University for Economic Sciences in 1988

Honorary PhD, Mendeleev Technical University in 1989

Honorary PhD, International University in Moscow in 1994

Honorary PhD, University of New Hampshire in 2009


The Limits to Growth

The Limits to GrowthDennis Meadows - Donella Meadows - Jorgen Randers

The 30-Year Update, 2004,     Chelsea Green Publishing

Videos of the evening of September 19, 2022

On Monday, September 19, 2022, in the Mérieux Auditorium, the École normale supérieure de Lyon had the honor of awarding the insignia of Doctor Honoris Causa to Dennis Meadows.
The ceremony was followed by a lecture by Dennis Meadows and a round table on the challenges of training for the ecological transition, in the presence of Jean Jouzel.


Vidéo de la table ronde

Round table How to prepare our students to face the climate and environmental emergency?

Around Dennis Meadows : Emmanuelle Boulineau (Vice-President of Academic affairs, ENS de Lyon), Gabriele Fioni Delegate Rector for Higher Education, Research and Innovation of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes academic region), Jean Jouzel (Climate scientist. Author of the report Raising awareness and training on the challenges of ecological transition and sustainable development in higher education), Zoé Reverdy, (student at ENS de Lyon)
Round table discussion moderated by Yves Sciama, scientific journalist
Followed by a discussion with the public

Photo: Portrait of Dennis Meadows. Bruno Charoy/Pasco&co.