Alex Steffen

Alex Steffen
Planetary Futurist
Planetary Thinking, LLC

Alex Steffen has been hailed by the media as "one of the world's leading voices on sustainability and the future of the planet.” He is currently writing a book on how businesses can thrive in the coming future of unprecedented urban change.

From 2013-2014, Steffen was Planetary Futurist in Residence at the design and innovation firm IDEO. His acclaimed 2012 book, Carbon Zero: Imagining Cities that can Save the Planet, is an exploration of the kinds of design, technology and policy innovations that can transform our cities into low-carbon engines of prosperity.

From 2003-2010, Steffen ran the pioneering sustainability and social innovation project, and edited the two, best-selling Worldchanging books. Before that, Steffen was an award-winning journalist in print and radio, covering planetary change on four continents.

The Future’s Wild Permission

The future demands that we reinvent, redesign and rebuild the world around us. In the next couple of decades, we need to rebuild our cities to accommodate the next, two billion urban people in socially equitable ways, adapt to new technological capacities and accelerating change  and make a massive turn towards planetary sustainability—moving especially towards carbon neutrality.

Alex Steffen asks, “How might we learn to imagine the huge, fast, widespread innovations our planetary crisis demands? Might it be that knowing we must change so much actually frees us to think in new ways—that it gives us a new permission to design the world to come to be better than the present we have?”