Author page for Gilberto Gallopín


Gilberto Gallopín

Gilberto Gallopín is an independent scholar based in Argentina. Originally trained in ecology, he has worked throughout the world on a wide spectrum of issues pertaining to sustainable development: ecological systems analysis, integrated scenarios, global modeling, environmental impact assessment, and development policy. He has previously held senior positions at the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Stockholm Environment Institute, International Center for Tropical Agriculture, International Institute for Sustainable Development, and International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). He has also served as a professor at the University of Buenos Aires and Fundación Bariloche, Argentina, where he served as Executive President. He has published numerous articles and books. He holds a PhD in Ecology from Cornell University.



Tellus Publications (Selected)


Global Scenarios: Explorations in the Scientific Imagination

Gilberto Gallopín

Global futures pioneer Gilberto Gallopín discusses the origins of contemporary global scenario analysis, the ways worldviews can influence our sense of the future, and how the scenario approach offers a powerful way to envision unconventional tomorrows and guide actions today.

Great Transition: The Promise and Lure of the Times Ahead

Paul Raskin, Tariq Banuri, Gilberto Gallopín, Al Hammond, Rob Swart, Robert Kates, Pablo Gutman

The planetary phase of history has begun, but the future shape of global society remains profoundly uncertain. Though perhaps improbable, a shift toward a planetary civilization of enriched lives, human solidarity, and environmental sustainability is still possible. This treatise examines the historic roots of this fateful crossroads, analyzes alternative scenarios that can emerge from contemporary forces and contradictions, and points to strategies and choices for advancing a Great Transition. It synthesizes the insights of the Global Scenario Group, convened in 1995 by the Tellus Institute and Stockholm Environment Institute to explore the requirements for a sustainable and desirable future.

Global Sustainability: Bending the Curve

Gilberto Gallopín, Paul Raskin

Unprecedented levels of wealth, technology, and institutional capacity can forge a just, peaceful, and ecologically resilient future. However, social polarization, geo-political conflict, and environmental degradation are threatening the long-term well-being of humanity and the planet. This book explores the alternative futures that could emerge from the resolution of these antagonisms. It identifies the perils and potential failure of conventional market-driven approaches and presents a vision of the possibility of a "Great Transition" in which revised human values and development goals bring a new stage of civilization.

Available for purchase here.

Bending the Curve: Toward Global Sustainability

Paul Raskin, Gilberto Gallopín, Rob Swart, Al Hammond, Pablo Gutman

This paper analyzes the prospects for sustainability within the confines of Conventional Worlds scenarios. The shift to more sustainable forms of development must at least begin at this level, although we will likely need more fundamental social changes to complete the transition to a sustainable global society. The paper introduces social and environmental targets as well as strategic policies for reaching them. It shows both the great potential for progress and the daunting challenges within a growth-driven development paradigm.

Technical documentation available here.

Windows on the Future

Paul Raskin, Gilberto Gallopín

One way to gain insights into the uncertain future is to construct what are known as scenarios. This article explores a wide range of long-term scenarios that could unfold from the forces that will drive the world system in the twenty-first century by considering six contrasting possibilities. The scenarios were developed by an international and interdisciplinary group of 15 development professionals called the Global Scenario Group. This scan of the future illuminates the perils and possibilities before us and, more importantly, helps to clarify the changes in policies and values that will be required for a transition to sustainability during coming decades.

Originally published in Environment 40, no. 3 (April 1998): 6-11, 26-31.

Branch Points: Global Scenarios and Human Choice

Gilberto Gallopín, Al Hammond, Paul Raskin, Rob Swart

This paper introduces scenario methods and a framework for envisioning global futures. It depicts contrasting world development scenarios, all compatible with current patterns and trends, but with sharply different implications for the quest for sustainability in the twenty-first century. The paper focuses on three broad scenario classes—Conventional Worlds, Barbarization, and Great Transitions—which are characterized by, respectively, essential continuity with current patterns, fundamental but degenerative social change, and fundamental and progressive social transformation.