Tim Jackson is Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey and Director of the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (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.
In this wide-ranging interview, Professor Jackson outlines the compelling arguments for a post growth economy, based on his research and best-selling book Prosperity without Growth, highlighting the contradiction between the idea of unlimited growth and life on a finite planet. Professor Jackson recognises the progress that has been made in terms of relative decoupling of GDP growth from environmental impact but highlights the challenge of reaching a stage of absolute decoupling. He also discusses the shortcomings of using GDP as a measure of economic welfare and provides an overview of recent initiatives to develop alternative measures. This is a fascinating interview with a key thinker at the heart of post-growth thinking which gets to the heart of some of the biggest contradictions at the heart of green growth-and why green growth has proven to be such a seductive idea.