About Jeremy Rifkin
Jeremy Rifkin is president of the Foundation on Economic Trends and the author of seventeen bestselling books on the impact of scientific and technological changes on the economy, the workforce, society, and the environment. His books have been translated into more than thirty languages and are used in thousands of universities, corporations and government agencies around the world. His most recent books include The Empathic Civilization, The Hydrogen Economy, The European Dream, The End of Work, The Age of Access, and The Biotech Century.
Jeremy Rifkin has been an advisor to the European Union for the past decade. Mr. Rifkin is advising the government of Spain during its presidency of the European Union (January 1st – June 30, 2010). Mr. Rifkin also served as an adviser to President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, Prime Minister Jose Socrates of Portugal, and Prime Minister Janez Janša of Slovenia, during their respective European Council Presidencies, on issues related to the economy, climate change, and energy security. He currently advises the European Commission, the European Parliament, and several EU heads of state, including Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero of Spain.
Mr. Rifkin is the principle architect of the European Union’s Third Industrial Revolution long-term economic sustainability plan to address the triple challenge of the global economic crisis, energy security, and climate change. The Third Industrial Revolution was formally endorsed by the European Parliament in 2007 and is now being implemented by various agencies within the European Commission as well as in the 27 member-states.
Mr. Rifkin is also the founder and chairperson of the Third Industrial Revolution Global CEO Business Roundtable, comprised of 100 of the world’s leading renewable energy companies, construction companies, architectural firms, real estate companies, IT companies, power and utility companies, and transport and logistics companies. Mr. Rifkin’s global economic development team is the largest of its kind in the world and is working with cities, regions, and national governments to develop master plans to transition their economies into post- carbon Third Industrial Revolution infrastructures.
Since 1994, Mr. Rifkin has been a senior lecturer at the Wharton School’s Executive Education Program at the University of Pennsylvania—the world’s #1 ranked business school—where he instructs CEOs and senior management on transitioning their business operations into sustainable Third Industrial Revolution economies.
Mr. Rifkin’s monthly column on global issues appears in many of the world’s leading newspapers and magazines, including The Los Angeles Times in the United States The Guardian in the U.K., Die Süddeutsche Zeitung in Germany, L’Espresso in Italy, El Mundo and El País in Spain, Le Soir and Knack in Belgium, Kathimerini in Greece, Informatíon in Denmark, De Volkskrant in the Netherlands, Hospodárské Noviny in the Czech Republic, Wort in Luxembourg, Eesti Päevaleht in Estonia, Trud in Bulgaria, Clarín in Argentina, and Al-Ittihad in the U.A.E.
Rifkin has been influential in shaping public policy in the United States and around the world. He has testified before numerous congressional committees and has had consistent success in litigation to ensure responsible government policies on a variety of environmental, scientific and technology related issues.
He has been a frequent guest on numerous television programs, including Face the Nation, The Lehrer News Hour, 20/20, Larry King Live, Today, and Good Morning America. The National Journal named Rifkin as one of 150 people in the U.S. that have the most influence in shaping federal government policy.
Mr. Rifkin holds a degree in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a degree in international affairs from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Rifkin speaks frequently before government, business, labor and civic forums. He has lectured at hundreds of the world’s leading corporations as well as more than 200 universities in some 30 countries in the past 30 years.
Jeremy Rifkin is the founder and president of The Foundation on Economic Trends (www.foet.org). The Foundation examines the economic, environmental, social and cultural impacts of new technologies introduced into the global economy.
The Third Industrial Revolution: Leading the Way to a Green Energy Era and a Hydrogen Economy
We are approaching the sunset of the oil era in the first half of the 21st century. The price of oil on global markets continues to climb and peak global oil is within sight in the coming decades. At the same time, the dramatic rise in carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels is raising the earth’s temperature and threatening an unprecedented change in the chemistry of the planet and global climate, with ominous consequences for the future of human civilization and the ecosystems of the earth.
While oil, coal, and natural gas will continue to provide a substantial portion of the world’s and the European Union’s energy well into the 21st century, there is a growing consensus that we are entering a twilight period where the full costs of our fossil fuel addiction is beginning to act as a drag on the world economy. During this twilight era, the 27 EU member states are making every effort to ensure that the remaining stock of fossil fuels is used more efficiently and are experimenting with clean energy technologies to limit carbon dioxide emissions in the burning of conventional fuels. These efforts fall in line with the EU mandate that the member states increase energy efficiency 20 percent by 2020 and reduce their global warming emissions 20 percent (based on 1990 levels), again by 2020. But, greater efficiencies and mandated global warming gas reductions, by themselves, are not enough to adequately address the unprecedented crisis of global warming and global peak oil and gas production. Looking to the future, every government will need to explore new energy paths and establish new economic models with the goal of achieving as close to zero carbon emissions as possible.
In his lecture, “The Global Environmental Crisis: The Path to Sustainable Development”, Mr. Rifkin provides a big-picture analysis of the major ecological challenges of the 21st century and the economic and political initiatives that will need to be put in place to address them.
The Global Environmental Crisis: The Path to Sustainable Development
Mr. Rifkin’s talk begins with a broad overview of the far-reaching ecological and economic impacts that “real-time global warming” and the rising price of energy on world markets are having on the earth’s biosphere. The presentation examines how climate change, population growth, consumer lifestyles, and economic development are resulting in loss of biodiversity, shrinking habitats, water shortages and spreading deforestation and desertification.
Mr. Rifkin helps his audience better understand concepts like “caring capacity” and “sustainable development” by exploring the principles of ecology and the laws of thermodynamics (the energy laws). This part of the discussion is designed to be both educational and ‘audience friendly’ providing a strong theoretical context for understanding ecology and the environmental challenges we face.
The Age of Access: The Shift from Markets to Networks and the Rethinking of Commerce in the 21st Century
Jeremy Rifkin is the author of the international best seller, The Age of Access, which has been translated into fourteen languages. Mr. Rifkin’s lecture, “The Age of Access”, will focus on the profound changes taking place in the global economy with particular emphasis on the new economic models that are beginning to fundamentally change the way we do business.
A great change is occurring in the nature of commerce, although, as yet, it has gone largely undetected and unexamined by the media. The new information and telecommunications technologies, e-commerce and globalization are making possible a new economic era as different from market capitalism as the latter is dissimilar from mercantilism. In the new century, markets are slowly giving way to network ways of conducting business, with far-reaching implications for the future of society.
In his lecture, Mr. Rifkin will discuss the many features of the emerging new economic system, including: the shift from geography to cyberspace and from national markets to global networks; the conflicts and synergies developing between the traditional intellectual property rights regime and the new open-source access models; the increasing popularity of co-sharing and gain savings agreements between former competitors, suppliers and distributors; the transition from conventional exchange of goods and services to selling human time and experiences; and the emergence of cultural production and new cultural based industries.