Constraints and Opportunities for Human Futures - A Systems Overview

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Nathan Hagens, Director, The Institute for the Study of Energy and Our Future (ISEOF)

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Speaker Biography

Dr. Nate Hagens is the Executive Director of The Institute for the Study of Energy & Our Future (ISEOF) an organization focused on educating and preparing society for the coming cultural transition. Formerly in the finance industry at Lehman Brothers and Salomon Brothers, since 2003 Nate has shifted his focus to understanding the interrelationships between energy, environment, and finance and the implication this synthesis has for human futures. Allied with leading ecologists, energy experts, politicians and systems thinkers, ISEOF assembles road-maps and off-ramps for how human societies can adapt to lower throughput lifestyles.  Nate was the Managing Editor of the website The Oil Drum from 2005 to 2013, one of the most popular and respected websites for analysis and discussion of global energy supplies and the future implications of the upcoming energy transition. He has co-authored the books Reality Blind - Integrating the Systems Science Underpinning Our Collective Futures - Vol 1 and The Bottlenecks of the 21st Century and continues to expand his energy and economy education projects. Nate has appeared on PBS, BBC, ABC and NPR and continues to lecture around the world. Nate hosts the podcast The Great Simplification with Nate Hagens, in which he has conversations with experts in energy, ecology, government, technology, and the economy to provide a systemic view of the world around us. Nate holds a Masters Degree in Finance with Honors from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont.  He teaches an Honors course, Reality 101, at the University of Minnesota. Nate lives on a small farm in the Mississippi River Valley with his pack of rescue dogs, taking care of horses, chickens, and an intermittently tended garden. 



Systems are at the core of any basic understanding of the inner workings of our world. What are the parts of our global systems, how do they interact with each other, and what keeps the system going? In this presentation, Nate Hagens breaks down how energy, ecology, economics, and human behavior combine with other global factors to create a picture of the direction our society is moving in and the challenges and opportunities we’ll face in the coming decades.

How does a society function when its primary energy sources begin to decline? How do our governance and financial systems propel growth until it's too late? How do biodiversity and environmental services support our communities and what happens when modern lifestyles erode them away? Most importantly, we need to look at how all of these questions and more interact with each other. In the not too distant future, we will face compounding, existential issues unlike ever before - now is the time to ask questions, get informed and start discussions in our networks and communities to prepare for what is to come.

Date and Time
Sept. 20, 2022, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
Locations: Live Stream Online (Zoom and YouTube)
Event tags
UT Energy Symposium