Three Ways Threaten Representative Government

Prof. Dennis Meadows

Dienstag, 12. September 2017

Technische Universität, Radinger Hörsaal, Getreidemarkt 9, 1060 Wien

Economic growth rates are being reduced in most of the globe’s nations by acombination of ecological, economic, and political limits. That poses three challenges to all governments which are based on the principlesof democratically chosen representatives. First, escalating crises cause leaders to focus on the short-term benefits of policies, ignoring long-term costs. This makes it impossible to find fundamentalsolutions to problems like climate change. Second, declining capacity to create real new wealth causes the powerful to sustain growth in their own welfare by exploitingthe less powerful, opening a bigger gap between rich and poor, reducing the level of trust in institutions, and increasing the potential for violence. Third, economic stagnation forces people to migrate into new regions. That destroys cultural homogeneity eliminating the host population’s shared cultural norms that are required for compromise. Dennis Meadows will describe these trends and discuss options to reduce their effects.

Dennis Meadows is an American scientist and received a Ph.D. in Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he was director of the „Club of Rome Project on the Predicament of Mankind“ between 1970 and 1972. Further on Meadows has been a tenured professor in faculties of management, engineering, and social sciences. For many years he was the director of a graduate program based in business and engineering. He has been the Director of three university research institutes: at MIT, Dartmouth College and the University of New Hampshire. He is the Past President of the International System Dynamics Society and the International Simulation and Games Association.