All posts by Erik Assadourian

Senior Fellow Erik Assadourian is a Senior Fellow at the Worldwatch Institute, where he has studied cultural change, consumerism, economic degrowth, ecological ethics, corporate responsibility, and sustainable communities over the past 11 years. Erik has directed two editions of Vital Signs and four editions of State of the World, including State of the World 2013. Erik also directs Worldwatch’s Transforming Cultures project, which explores innovative new ways to intentionally and proactively transform cultural norms so that living sustainably feels as natural as living as a consumer feels today. Through this project, Erik directed State of the World 2010: Transforming Cultures: From Consumerism to Sustainability and designed Catan: Oil Springs, an eco-educational scenario for the popular board game Settlers of Catan. Over the years he has been interviewed by media around the world and has traveled extensively to communicate his research findings. Before joining Worldwatch, Erik learned environmental organizing as a fellow with Green Corps, and worked as a Toxics and Environmental Health Field Organizer with U.S. PIRG. He graduated from Dartmouth College with majors in Psychology and Religion modified with Anthropology.

Having Your Bit of Cake and Eating It Too?

Downsizing, the film by Alexander Payne, which follows Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) as he decides to shrink himself to 5 inches tall and moves to the downsized colony of Leisureland, had great promise as a conversation starter about sustainability, and in some ways it succeeded, but in many ways it reinforced the same myths society … Continue Reading ››

Why We Must Talk About Population

A Response to David Roberts’ Self-Censorship on Overpopulation
Reading David Roberts’ recent explanation of why he never writes on overpopulation, I felt compelled to reply. While Roberts made a set of superficially convincing arguments, ultimately he’s wrong not to focus directly on the population pressures we’re facing. Not confronting population head-on is like … Continue Reading ››

Talking with David Sobel about the Future of Nature Preschools

Yesterday I asked childhood and nature expert and author of Chapter 2 of EarthEd a series of questions about getting children into nature and particularly on the value and future of nature preschools. As a father of a 5-year old, getting myself and my son into nature frequently is paramount—as is developing his relationship … Continue Reading ››

EarthEd Webinar Video Now Online

Last week EarthEd project director Erik Assadourian, and report authors Melissa K. Nelson and Joslyn Rose Trivett joined Ed Saltzburg of the Security & Sustainability Forum to share the findings of EarthEd: Rethinking Education on a Changing Planet. Watch the full webinar below and learn the surprising links between sustainability education in prison populations and … Continue Reading ››

School Days in 2040: Beatriz’s Day at the Freire School of Activism

Education in 2040In this fifth story from the blog series School Days in 2040, Erik Assadourian explores an activist high school in São Paulo, Brazil. At this school students are activists first, students second. They’re learning by doing and, in the process, bringing about positive social change in … Continue Reading ››

Growing Circular Food Systems in a Growing City

This article on UDC's food system work was originally posted on FuturePerfect.

The University of the District of Columbia is leading the charge in transforming the food system in a city challenged with high levels of poverty, obesity, and population growth.
“Nature will be just fine. The question is whether it’ll be just fine … Continue Reading ››

School Days in 2040: Arivan’s Day at the Garden City Eco-engineering Academy

Education in 2040In this fourth story from the blog series School Days in 2040, Erik Assadourian explores an eco-engineering high school in Singapore that is training highly moral scientific leaders to guide investigation of the world’s most controversial environmental technologies. Arivan has just stepped off Singapore’s … Continue Reading ››

School Days in 2040: Lakshmi’s Day at Bunker Hill High

Education in 2040In this third story from the blog series School Days in 2040, Erik Assadourian explores a high school in India specializing in training future social entrepreneurs, farmers, and even midwives. With lunch now concluded, Lakshmi excuses herself from the meal at her parents’ home, … Continue Reading ››

School Days in 2040: Saikou’s Day Aboard the Tigerfish Floating School

Education in 2040What might education look like in 2040 if it were to be truly Earth-centric? That is to say, teaching a deep connection to—and obligation to care for—the planet that sustains us? Over the course of the summer, as I work on the upcoming State … Continue Reading ››

School Days in 2040: Rima’s Day at École Gardiens de la Forêt (Montreal, Canada)

Education in 2040What might education look like in 2040 if it were to be truly Earth-centric? That is to say, teaching a deep connection to—and obligation to care for—the planet that sustains us? Over the course of the summer, as I work on the upcoming State … Continue Reading ››