The Steady State Economy Conference

Workshop 2: Stabilising population

Question: In a steady state economy, how will population growth issues be discussed and addressed?

Why: All else being equal, the total resource use of a country will increase when either the number of people living in the country increases, or the amount that each of these people consumes increases. To achieve a steady state economy, it is therefore necessary to stabilise — not just per capita resource use — but also population numbers. A stable population is also desirable to deal with issues such as urban sprawl and biodiversity loss, and to plan social programmes and pension schemes that are sustainable over the long term.

How: Some approaches that have been proposed to achieve a stable population in the UK include: balancing immigration with emigration, making efforts to reduce teenage pregnancies, and encouraging couples to voluntarily stop at two children.


Roger Martin    Roger Martin (Speaker)

Roger Martin was a first-year VSO, then diplomat, serving in Asia, the UN, Middle East and Africa, before resigning in fury as a Deputy High Commissioner to become an environmentalist in Somerset. Over 22 years, he has been elected and appointed to numerous local, regional and national environmental NGOs and quangos (Regional Assembly, National Park, several Environment Agency committees, Wildlife Trust Director, regional chair and Trustee CPRE etc). He progressively realised, and began saying, that indefinite population growth, though never mentioned, dooms all their worthy efforts at achieving sustainability to long term failure. Roger has served as Chairman of Optimum Population Trust since 2009.


Eric Rimmer    Eric Rimmer (Chair)

Eric Rimmer FCIPD, qualified as an electrical engineer before his military service, switching to the human resource management field following post-graduate studies at Liverpool University. He spent fifteen years working with US multinational corporations, principally in Europe-wide human-resource management roles. Subsequently, he devoted five years to independent consulting with international companies before joining with two US Partners to form one of the earliest Executive-Coaching companies (www.krw-intl.com). He has since worked with senior leaders of Fortune 500 corporations on both sides of the Atlantic, on individual executive leadership assessment and development. Since 2003 as a member of www.optimumpopulation.org, he has devoted increasing time to campaigning for the stabilisation and reduction of human population.


Christian Kerschner    Christian Kerschner (Rapporteur)

Christian Kerschner is a PhD student in ecological economics at the Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals (ICTA) in Barcelona, and is principally interested in resource scarcities and general issues of economic scale. He started his academic formation with an MA in Business and Economics at the University of Vienna. In his master thesis he analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of the steady-state economy as a policy option for sustainability. In 2006 he received a Masters degree in Ecological Economics from ICTA, after having spent 7 months at the University of Leeds as a Marie Curie Fellow. In his thesis he studied the potentials of using Input-Output (IO) Analysis for assessing resource scarcities (Peak Oil). He is currently working on combining his interest for the steady-state economy with the newly emerging field of economic de-growth.


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