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Donella Meadows

Donella Meadows

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Donella H. "Dana" Meadows (March 13, 1941 Elgin, Illinois
Elgin, Illinois
Elgin is a city in northern Illinois located roughly northwest of Chicago on the Fox River. Most of Elgin lies within Kane County, Illinois, with a portion in Cook County, Illinois...

, USA - February 20, 2001, Hanover, New Hampshire
Hanover, New Hampshire
Hanover is a town along the Connecticut River in Grafton County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 11,260 at the 2010 census. CNN and Money magazine rated Hanover the sixth best place to live in America in 2011, and the second best in 2007....

) was a pioneering American environmental scientist, teacher and writer. She is best known as lead author of the influential book The Limits to Growth, which made headlines around the world.

Life


Born in Elgin, Illinois
Elgin, Illinois
Elgin is a city in northern Illinois located roughly northwest of Chicago on the Fox River. Most of Elgin lies within Kane County, Illinois, with a portion in Cook County, Illinois...

, Meadows was educated in science, receiving a B.A.
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 in chemistry
Chemistry
Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....

 from Carleton College
Carleton College
Carleton College is an independent non-sectarian, coeducational, liberal arts college in Northfield, Minnesota, USA. The college enrolls 1,958 undergraduate students, and employs 198 full-time faculty members. In 2012 U.S...

 in 1963, and a Ph.D.
Doctor of Philosophy
Doctor of Philosophy, abbreviated as Ph.D., PhD, D.Phil., or DPhil , in English-speaking countries, is a postgraduate academic degree awarded by universities...

 in biophysics
Biophysics
Biophysics is an interdisciplinary science that uses the methods of physical science to study biological systems. Studies included under the branches of biophysics span all levels of biological organization, from the molecular scale to whole organisms and ecosystems...

 from Harvard
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 in 1968. After a year-long trip with her husband, Dennis Meadows
Dennis Meadows
Dennis L. Meadows is an American scientist and Emeritus Professor of Systems Management, and former director of the Institute for Policy and Social Science Research at the University of New Hampshire...

, from England to Sri Lanka and back, she became along with him, a research fellow at MIT
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT has five schools and one college, containing a total of 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific and technological education and research.Founded in 1861 in...

 as a member of a team in the department created by Jay Forrester, the inventor of system dynamics
System dynamics
System dynamics is an approach to understanding the behaviour of complex systems over time. It deals with internal feedback loops and time delays that affect the behaviour of the entire system. What makes using system dynamics different from other approaches to studying complex systems is the use...

 as well as the principle of magnetic data storage for computers. She taught at Dartmouth College
Dartmouth College
Dartmouth College is a private, Ivy League university in Hanover, New Hampshire, United States. The institution comprises a liberal arts college, Dartmouth Medical School, Thayer School of Engineering, and the Tuck School of Business, as well as 19 graduate programs in the arts and sciences...

 for 29 years, beginning in 1972.

Meadows was honored both as a Pew Scholar in Conservation and Environment (1991) and as a MacArthur Fellow (1994). She received the Walter C. Paine Science Education Award in 1990. She also posthumously received the John H. Chafee Excellence in Environmental Affairs Award for 2001 presented by the Conservation Law Foundation
Conservation Law Foundation
Conservation Law Foundation is an environmental advocacy organization based in New England. Since 1966, CLF's mission has been to advocate on behalf of the region's environment and its communities. CLF's advocacy work takes place in four program areas: Clean Energy & Climate Change, Clean Water &...

.

Meadows wrote a weekly column called "The Global Citizen", commenting on world events from a systems point of view. Many of these columns are compiled and published in a book. Her work is widely recognized as a formative influence on hundreds of other academic studies, government policy initiatives, and international agreements.

Donella was a long-term member of the US Association for the Club of Rome
Club of Rome
The Club of Rome is a global think tank that deals with a variety of international political issues. Founded in 1968 at Accademia dei Lincei in Rome, Italy, the CoR describes itself as "a group of world citizens, sharing a common concern for the future of humanity." It consists of current and...

, which has instituted an award in her memory "The US Association for the Club of Rome Donella Meadows Award in Sustainable Global Actions". This coveted award is given to a highly outstanding individual who has created actions in a global framework toward the sustainability goals of Donella expressed in her writings.

Work



Limits to Growth


In 1972 she was on the MIT team that produced the global computer model
Computer simulation
A computer simulation, a computer model, or a computational model is a computer program, or network of computers, that attempts to simulate an abstract model of a particular system...

 "World3
World3
The World3 model was a computer simulation of interactions between population, industrial growth, food production and limits in the ecosystems of the Earth. It was originally produced and used by a Club of Rome study that produced the model and the book The Limits to Growth...

" for the Club of Rome
Club of Rome
The Club of Rome is a global think tank that deals with a variety of international political issues. Founded in 1968 at Accademia dei Lincei in Rome, Italy, the CoR describes itself as "a group of world citizens, sharing a common concern for the future of humanity." It consists of current and...

 and provided the basis for the book, Limits to Growth
Limits to Growth
The Limits to Growth is a 1972 book modeling the consequences of a rapidly growing world population and finite resource supplies, commissioned by the Club of Rome. Its authors were Donella H. Meadows, Dennis L. Meadows, Jørgen Randers, and William W. Behrens III. The book used the World3 model to...

. The book reported a study of long-term global trends in population, economics and the environment. The book made headlines around the world, and began a debate about the limits of Earth
Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

's capacity to support human economic expansion, a debate that continues to this day.

The Balaton Group


In 1982 Donella Meadows and Dennis Meadows
Dennis Meadows
Dennis L. Meadows is an American scientist and Emeritus Professor of Systems Management, and former director of the Institute for Policy and Social Science Research at the University of New Hampshire...

 created an international "network of networks" for leading researchers on resource use, environmental conservation, systems modeling, and sustainability. Since its foundation the members have met at Lake Balaton
Lake Balaton
Lake Balaton is a freshwater lake in the Transdanubian region of Hungary. It is the largest lake in Central Europe, and one of its foremost tourist destinations. As Hungary is landlocked , Lake Balaton is often affectionately called the "Hungarian Sea"...

 in Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

, every autumn. While the formal name for the network was the International Network of Resource Information Centres (INRIC), it became more popularly known as the Balaton Group based on the location of its meetings.

Sustainability Institute


Donella Meadows was the founder of the Sustainability Institute, combining research in global systems with practical demonstrations of sustainable
Sustainable development
Sustainable development is a pattern of resource use, that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come...

 living, including the development of a cohousing
Cohousing
A cohousing community is a type of intentional community composed of private homes supplemented by shared facilities. The community is planned, owned and managed by the residents – who also share activities which may include cooking, dining, child care, gardening, and governance of the...

 or ecovillage
Ecovillage
Ecovillages are intentional communities with the goal of becoming more socially, economically and ecologically sustainable. Some aim for a population of 50–150 individuals. Larger ecovillages of up to 2,000 individuals exist as networks of smaller subcommunities to create an ecovillage model that...

 and organic farm at Cobb Hill
Cobb Hill
Cobb Hill is an intentional community in Hartland, VT in the United States. Its design borrows from other community, agricultural, and environmental action models: cohousing, ecovillages, sustainable communities, community-supported agriculture , agricultural collectives, sustainability research...

 in Hartland, Vermont
Hartland, Vermont
Hartland is a town in Windsor County, Vermont, United States. The population was 3,223 at the 2000 census.-Geography:According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 45.2 square miles , of which 45.0 square miles is land and 0.2 square mile is water...

 in the United States.

State of the Village Report


In 1990 Donella Meadows published the State of the Village Report under the title "Who lives in the Global Village?"
"If the world were a village of 100 people" has since been published in Spanish and Japanese.

Twelve leverage points



Meadows published Leverage Points: Places to Intervene in a System, one of her best-known essays, in 1999. It describes what types of interventions in a system (of any kind) are most effective, and which are least effective.

See also


  • Amory Lovins
    Amory Lovins
    Amory Bloch Lovins is an American environmental scientist and writer, Chairman and Chief Scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute. He has worked in the field of energy policy and related areas for four decades...

  • Cobb Hill
    Cobb Hill
    Cobb Hill is an intentional community in Hartland, VT in the United States. Its design borrows from other community, agricultural, and environmental action models: cohousing, ecovillages, sustainable communities, community-supported agriculture , agricultural collectives, sustainability research...

  • Dennis Meadows
    Dennis Meadows
    Dennis L. Meadows is an American scientist and Emeritus Professor of Systems Management, and former director of the Institute for Policy and Social Science Research at the University of New Hampshire...

  • System dynamics
    System dynamics
    System dynamics is an approach to understanding the behaviour of complex systems over time. It deals with internal feedback loops and time delays that affect the behaviour of the entire system. What makes using system dynamics different from other approaches to studying complex systems is the use...

  • DYNAMO (programming language)
    DYNAMO (programming language)
    DYNAMO was a simulation language and accompanying graphical notation developed within the system dynamics analytical framework...


Further reading

  • Donella H. Meadows, Jorgen Randers and Dennis L. Meadows Limits to Growth-The 30 year Update, 2004, hardcover ISBN 1-931498-51-2
  • Dennis L. Meadows, Donella H. Meadows, Eds. Toward Global Equilibrium: Collected Papers, Pegasus Communications, 1973, hardcover ISBN 0-262-13143-9
  • Donella H. Meadows and J. M. Robinson, The Electronic Oracle: Computer Models and Social Decisions, John Wiley & Sons, 1985, hardcover, 462 pages, ISBN 0-471-90558-5
  • Donella H. Meadows, Global Citizen, Island Press, 1991, paperback 197 pages, ISBN 1-55963-058-2
  • Donella H. Meadows, et al. Limits to Growth: A Report for the Club of Rome's Project on the Predicament of Mankind, New American Library, 1977, paperback, ISBN 0-451-13695-0; Universe Books, hardcover, 1972, ISBN 0-87663-222-3 (scarce).
  • Donella H. Meadows et al. Beyond the limits : global collapse or a sustainable future, Earthscan Publications, 1992, ISBN 1-85383-130-1
  • Donella H. Meadows (2008) Thinking in Systems - A primer (Earthscan) ISBN 978-1-84407-726-7
  • Dennis L. Meadows, Donella H. Meadows and Jorgen Randers, Beyond the Limits: Confronting Global Collapse, Envisioning a Sustainable Future, Chelsea Green Publishing, 1993, paperback, 320 pages, ISBN 0-930031-62-8
  • Donella H. Meadows, John M. Richardson and Gerhart Bruckmann, Groping in the Dark: The First Decade of Global Modelling, John Wiley & Sons, 1982, paperback, ISBN 0-471-10027-7
  • edited by Sandi Brockway, foreword by Marilyn Ferguson, introduction by Denis Hayes, preface by Donella H. Meadows, Macrocosm U. S. A.: Possibilities for a New Progressive Era..., Macrocosm, 1993, paperback, 464 pages, ISBN 0-9632315-5-3
  • Michael J. Caduto, foreword by Donella H. Meadows, illustrated by Joan Thomson, Pond and Brook: A Guide to Nature in Freshwater Environments, University Press of New England, 1990, paperback, 288 pages, ISBN 0-87451-509-2
  • Ikeda Kayoko, C. Douglas Lummis, Si El Mundo Fuera Una Aldea De 100 Personas/if The World Were A Village Of 100 People, Paperback, 64 pages, ISBN 8476696256. Japanese/English version: ISBN 4-8387-1361-4

External links


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