Future Earth

Future Earth is a major international research platform providing the knowledge and support to accelerate transformations to a sustainable world. Launched in 2015, Future Earth is a 10-year initiative to advance global sustainability, build capacity in this rapidly expanding area of research and provide an international agenda to guide natural and social scientists working around the world.

Since September 2016 Laszlo Zsolnai serves as Co-Chair of the Future Earth Finance and Economics Knowledge-Action Network. For Future Earth Finance and Economics Knowledge-Action Network the main departure point is the new reality of the Anthropocene, where humanity is altering the biogeochemistry of the planet itself, destabilizing climate and influencing co-evolution at the planetary level. Human perturbation already overcomes four of the nine planetary boundaries (climate change, biosphere integrity, biogeochemical flows, and landsystem change). 

Business (including finance) is the definitive player in the Anthropocene and is mainly responsible for the degrading state of the biosphere. The key problem is the nature, form and scale of business operations. The operating models of today’s mainstream business and financial institutions do not fit in the reality of the biosphere. Business models vary but almost none of them are consistent with the flourishing life on Earth (including human, non-human and future life).

The Future Earth Finance and Economics Knowledge-Action Network addresses these problems in a holistic, transdisciplinary, action-oriented way. Key topics include: Climate Finance, Sustainable Investing, Ecological Economics, Business Sustainability and Ethics, Social and Environmental Accounting, Organization and Environment, Integrated Risk Governance, and Sustainable Financial Markets. The overall goal is to reinventing business and economic models for the Anthropocene. How can business and economic organizations become ecologically conscious agents which operate within planetary boundaries, that is, use only a “fair earth share” and contribute to the richness of life on Earth?

Progressive Business Models: Creating Sustainable and Pro-social Enterprise

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Eleanor O'Higgins & Laszlo Zsolnai (eds.) Progressive Business Models: Creating Sustainable and Pro-social Enterprise. Palgrave-Macmillan, London, 2017. (This book may be available at: Palgrave)

The book collects and analyzes 11 exemplary cases of progressive business. Progressive business is understood as ecologically sustainable, future respecting and pro-social enterprise. The collected cases aim to show the best to be expected from business in the 21st century.

Palgrave Studies in Sustainable Business

Palgrave launches a new book series entitled „Palgrave Studies in Sustainable Business: In Association with Future Earth”. Series editors are Paul Shrivastava (Future Earth & Concordia University Montreal) and Laszlo Zsolnai (Corvinus University of Budapest & European SPES Institute, Leuven).

Finance Norway and Future Earth Norway

Laszlo Zsolnai gave a presentation on the Future Earth’s Finance and Economics Knowledge-Action Network at a roundtable meeting organized by Finance Norway and Future Earth Norway on May 30, 2016 in Oslo, Norway. He presented the main propositions and value-basis of the Future Earth Finance and Economics program and emphasized the importance of reinventing business models for serving the commonwealth of life on Earth. (See link)

Socio-Economic & Biophysical Dynamics of the Humanity-Nature Nexus: The Role of Business

Future Earth Germany organized a Foresight Workshop entitled “Science needs in the context of tough choices in implementing the new SDG framework” in Lake Como, Italy in April 18-21, 2016. Laszlo Zsolnai gave a talk on “Socio-Economic & Biophysical Dynamics of the Humanity-Nature Nexus: The Role of Business” in which he emphasized that to transform business into a progressive social institution we should address both the mindset, the behavior and the organizational structure of today’s mainstream business.