Tim  Jackson Author of Evaluating Organization Development
FEATURED AUTHOR

Tim Jackson

Professor / Director
Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity

Tim Jackson is the Director of CUSP. His vision for CUSP builds on thirty years of multi-disciplinary research on sustainability and decades of policy experience, in particular his work as Economics Commissioner on the UK Sustainable Development Commission. Tim is the author of Prosperity Without Growth, recently published in a substantially revised and updated 2nd edition. He is also an award-winning playwright with numerous radio-writing credits for the BBC.

Biography

Tim Jackson is Director of the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP), and Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey in the UK. CUSP builds on Tim’s vision over three decades to explore the moral, economic and social dimensions of prosperity on a finite planet. He’s served as an advisor on sustainability to numerous commercial, government and intergovernmental organisations. During five years at the Stockholm Environment Institute in the early 1990s, he pioneered the concept of preventative environmental management—a core principle of the circular economy framework—outlined in his 1996 book 'Material Concerns: Pollution Profit and Quality of life'.  Between 2004 and 2011, Tim was Economics Commissioner on the UK Sustainable Development Commission, where his work culminated in the publication of his controversial book 'Prosperity without Growth' (Routledge 2009/2017). In 2016, he was awarded the Hillary Laureate for exceptional international leadership. In addition to his academic work, Tim is an award-winning dramatist with numerous radio-writing credits for the BBC.

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    Tim’s current role at Surrey is Director of the ESRC Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP). CUSP is a multi-disciplinary research centre which aims to understand the economic, social and political dimensions of sustainable prosperity. It’s guiding vision for prosperity is one in which people everywhere have the capability to flourish as human beings – within the ecological and resource constraints of a finite planet. The work addresses the implications of sustainable prosperity at the level of households and firms; and explores sector-level and macro-economic implications of different pathways to prosperity. It pays particular attention to the pragmatic steps that need to be taken by enterprise, government and civil society in order to achieve a sustainable prosperity.

    From 2013 to January 2017, Tim held a Professorial Research Fellowship on Prosperity and Sustainability in the Green Economy (PASSAGE). From 2010 to 2014 he was Director of the Sustainable Lifestyles Research Group (SLRG), which aimed to develop evidence-based advice to policy makers about realistic strategies to encourage more sustainable lifestyles. From 2006 to 2011 he was Director of the ESRC Research group on Lifestyles, Values and Environment (RESOLVE), a novel cross-disciplinary institution at the time, set out to unravel the complex links between lifestyles, values and the environment. Following his Professorial Research Fellowship on the social psychology of sustainable consumption (2003–2005), Tim published a widely cited report Motivating Sustainable Consumption. A retrospective Earthscan ‘Reader’ in Sustainable Consumption was issued in 2006. From 1995 to 2000 Tim held an EPSRC fellowship on the Thermodynamics of Clean Technologies. During five years at the Stockholm Environment Institute in the early 1990s, he pioneered the concept of preventative environmental management—a core principle of the circular economy—outlined in his 1996 book Material Concerns: Pollution Profit and Quality of life.

Websites

Books

Featured Title
 Featured Title - Prosperity without Growth 2e - 1st Edition book cover

Articles

Ecological Economics, vol 173

A tale of two utopia's: Work in post-growth world


Published: Mar 24, 2020 by Ecological Economics, vol 173
Authors: Simon Mair, Tim Jackson
Subjects: Literature, Classical Studies, Environment and Sustainability

In this paper, we aim to contribute to the literature on post-growth futures. Modern imaginings of the future are constrained by the assumptions of growth-based capitalism. To escape these assumptions we turn to utopian fiction. We explore depictions of work in Cokaygne, a utopian tradition dating back to the 12th century, and William Morris's 19th century News from Nowhere. Cokaygne is a land of excessive consumption without work, while in News from Nowhere work is the route to the good life.

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Limits to Growth

Wellbeing Matters - Tackling growth dependency


Published: Feb 13, 2020 by All-Party Parliamentary Group on Limits to Growth
Authors: Tim Jackson

Economists have known for over eighty years that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is not a good measure of social progress. Attempts have been made to establish alternative indicators of progress. There have been several initiatives to articulate a different kind of economy whereby the pursuit of wellbeing takes precedence over the pursuit of growth in GDP. This policy breifing highlights some alternatives to the conventional approach, presenting a three-fold strategy for moving beyond GDP.

CUSP Working Paper No. 23

Energy and Productivity - A Review of the Lierature


Published: Feb 04, 2020 by CUSP Working Paper No. 23
Authors: Shimaa Elkomy, Simon Mair, Tim Jackson
Subjects: Economics, Finance, Business & Industry, Environment and Sustainability

This report aims to expand conventional understandings of productivity by exploring the literatures which relate productivity to the availability, production and use of energy in the economy. The report is the result of a survey, a desk-based literature review and a participatory mapping process (Boehnert et al 2019).

CUSP Working  Paper No. 22

Wellbeing and Productivity : A Review of the Literture


Published: Feb 04, 2020 by CUSP Working Paper No. 22
Authors: Amy Isham, Simon Mair, Tim Jackson
Subjects: Economics, Finance, Business & Industry, Environment and Sustainability

This report reviews the relationship between the different aspects of wellbeing, productivity and productivity growth. It is the culmination of a desk-based evidence review, survey and a mapping workshop held with experts from backgrounds including psychology, sociology, economics and design. The focus is on wellbeing and labour productivity although resource productivity and multi-factor productivity are also touched upon at relevant points within the report.

Science, 366 (6468): 950-951

Unravelling the claims for (and against) green growth


Published: Nov 26, 2019 by Science, 366 (6468): 950-951
Authors: Tim Jackson, Peter Victor
Subjects: Economics, Finance, Business & Industry, Environment and Sustainability

It is clear that the larger the economy becomes, the more difficult it is to decouple that growth from its material impacts… This isn’t to suggest that decoupling itself is either unnecessary or impossible. On the contrary, decoupling well-being from material throughput is vital if societies are to deliver a more sustainable prosperity—for people and for the planet.

Nature, 574:473-474

The storied state of economics


Published: Oct 23, 2019 by Nature, 574:473-474
Authors: Tim Jackson
Subjects: Economics, Finance, Business & Industry

Robert Shiller's new book probes how social behaviour trumps statistics in determining the fate of economics - Tim Jackson reviews.

CUSP Working Paper No. 20

Measuring Prosperity - Navigating the Options


Published: Aug 28, 2019 by CUSP Working Paper No. 20
Authors: Tim Jackson & Christine Corlet Walker
Subjects: Economics, Finance, Business & Industry, Environment and Sustainability

Since its development in the 1930s, GDP has been the most widely used measure of the health and progress of an economy. Its many shortcomings as a measure of progress are well documented, and the alternative indicators of progress developed in response to these shortcomings have been diverse and numerous. This paper synthesises the literature, discusses the benefits and disadvantages of the different types of indicator, and elaborates on five prominent case studies in detail.

CUSP Working Paper No. 18

Zero Carbon Sooner - the case for an early zero carbon target for the UK


Published: Jul 19, 2019 by CUSP Working Paper No. 18
Authors: Tim Jackson
Subjects: Economics, Finance, Business & Industry, Environment and Sustainability

This briefing paper addresses the question of when the UK should aim for zero (or net zero) carbon emissions. Starting from the global carbon budget which would allow the world an estimated 66% chance of limiting climate warming to 1.5o C, the paper derives a fair carbon budget for the UK of 2.5 GtCO2. The briefing then analyses a variety of emission pathways and target dates in terms of their adequacy for remaining within this budget.

CUSP Working Paper No. 19

"All Models are Wrong" - the challenge of modelling 'deep decarbonisation'


Published: Jun 30, 2019 by CUSP Working Paper No. 19
Authors: Tim Jackson
Subjects: Economics, Finance, Business & Industry, Environment and Sustainability

This paper summarises the dilemma associated with using mainstream, macroeconomic models to guide disruptive, transformative change such as those that might occur under ‘deep decarbonisation’: a rapid transition to a net-zero carbon economy.

Ecological Economics, vol 156, 236-246

The Post-Growth Challenge: Secular Stagnation, Inequality and the Limits to Growth


Published: Feb 18, 2019 by Ecological Economics, vol 156, 236-246
Authors: Tim Jackson
Subjects: Economics, Finance, Business & Industry, Environment and Sustainability

Sluggish recovery in the wake of the financial crisis has revived discussion of a ‘secular stagnation’. These conditions have been blamed for rising inequality and political instability. Tim Jackson contests this view, pointing instead to a steadfast refusal to address the ‘post-growth challenge’. (An earlier draft of the article was published as CUSP Working Paper No 12.)

In: Victor P: Managing Without Growth - Slower by Design, Not Disaster, Edward Elgar

Managing Without Growth: Exploring Possibilities


Published: Jan 13, 2019 by In: Victor P: Managing Without Growth - Slower by Design, Not Disaster, Edward Elgar
Authors: Jackson T & Victor P
Subjects: Economics, Finance, Business & Industry, Anthropology - Soc Sci, Environment and Sustainability

In this chapter, Tim Jackson and Peter Victor present three scenarios generated with their LowGrow SFC model, describing alternative futures for Canada from 2017 to 2067. One scenario is a base case which is essentially a projection of the past into the future. The second scenario introduces a vigorous program of greenhouse gas reduction. The third scenario builds on the second by adding more environmental, social and economic measures that combine to provide sustainable prosperity.

CUSP Working Paper No. 2

Beyond Consumer Capitalism - foundations for a sustainable prosperity


Published: Oct 09, 2016 by CUSP Working Paper No. 2
Authors: Tim Jackson
Subjects: Economics, Finance, Business & Industry, Environment and Sustainability

This paper explores the ramifications of the combined crises now faced by the prevailing growth-based model of economics. In paying a particular attention to the nature of enterprise, the quality of work, the structure of investment and the role of money, the paper develops the conceptual basis for social innovation in each of these areas, and provides empirical examples of such innovations.

APPG on Limits to Growth

Limited Revisited - a review of the limits to growth debate


Published: Apr 19, 2016 by APPG on Limits to Growth
Authors: Tim Jackson & Robin Webster
Subjects: Economics, Finance, Business & Industry, Environment and Sustainability

To coincide with the launch of a new All Party Parliamentary Group on Limits to Growth, Tim Jackson discusses the continuing relevance of the Club of Rome’s groundbreaking report in today’s context and introduces Limits Revisited, a new review of the debate, co-written with environmental writer Robin Webster.

Ecological Economics, vol 121, 206-219

Does slow growth lead to rising inequality? Some theoretical reflections and numerical simulations


Published: Jan 15, 2016 by Ecological Economics, vol 121, 206-219
Authors: Tim Jackson, Peter Victor
Subjects: Economics, Finance, Business & Industry, Environment and Sustainability

This paper explores the hypothesis that slow growth rates lead to rising inequality. If true, this hypothesis would pose serious challenges to achieving ‘prosperity without growth’ or meeting the ambitions of those who call for an intentional slowing down of growth on ecological grounds. It would also create problems of social justice in the context of a ‘secular stagnation’. The paper describes a closed, demand-driven, stock-flow consistent model of SIGMA.

Ecological Economics, vol 120, 32-48

Does credit create a growth imperative? A quasi-steady state economy with interest-bearing debt


Published: Dec 12, 2015 by Ecological Economics, vol 120, 32-48
Authors: Tim Jackson, Peter Victor
Subjects: Economics, Finance, Business & Industry, Environment and Sustainability

This paper addresses the question of whether a capitalist economy can ever sustain a ‘stationary’ (or non-growing) state, or whether, as often claimed, capitalism has an inherent ‘growth imperative’ arising from the charging of interest on debt.

Friends of the Earth

The Mindful Consumer. Mindfulness training and the escape from consumerism


Published: Jun 04, 2015 by Friends of the Earth
Authors: Alison Armstrong & Tim Jackson
Subjects: Anthropology - Soc Sci, Environment and Sustainability

For more than 40 years we’ve seen that the wellbeing of people and planet go hand in hand – and it’s been the inspiration for our campaigns. Together with thousands of people like you we’ve secured safer food and water, defended wildlife and natural habitats, championed the move to clean energy and acted to keep our climate stable. Be a Friend of the Earth – see things differently.

In. Sofia #109, 4-9. Dinah Livingstone (Ed). ISSN: 1749-9062

The Altruist Within


Published: Sep 04, 2013 by In. Sofia #109, 4-9. Dinah Livingstone (Ed). ISSN: 1749-9062
Authors: Tim Jackson
Subjects: Economics, Finance, Business & Industry

Tim Jackson gives a keynote speech about what he thinks is the philosophical foundation of a different approach to economics. He talks of how economies are supposed to work, about why the model is wrong, and then builds a different model, based on the very simple idea that locked within us is some kind of altruist, some kind of other-regarding behaviour.

In. Wuppertal Spezial, vol 48, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy

Angst essen Seele auk - Escaping the 'iron cage' of consumerism


Published: Jun 15, 2013 by In. Wuppertal Spezial, vol 48, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy
Authors: Tim Jackson
Subjects: Economics, Finance, Business & Industry, Environment and Sustainability

Our systematic failure to address existential anxiety robs society of meaning and blinds us to the suffering of others; to persistent poverty; to the extinction of species; to the health of global ecosystems. With this think piece, Tim Jackson adds to an eclectic set of essays, published in honour of Wolfgang Sachs.

In. New York Times, 27th May 2012, pSR4

Let's be Less Productive


Published: May 26, 2012 by In. New York Times, 27th May 2012, pSR4
Authors: Tim Jackson
Subjects: Economics, Finance, Business & Industry, Environment and Sustainability

Has the pursuit of labor productivity reached its limit? The relentless drive for productivity may have some natural limits. Ever-increasing productivity means that if our economies don’t continue to expand, we risk putting people out of work. If more is possible each passing year with each working hour, then either output has to increase or else there is less work to go around. Like it or not, we find ourselves hooked on growth.