IIER's projects work in three dimension: 1) scientific research and outreach, 2) today and tomorrow, and 3) focused on quantitative realites and behavioral "soft" aspects.
IIER works where surprisingly few organizations are active: in the explanation and documentation of economic systems and in guiding humanity towards a safe transition to a future that is unavoidably different from the past. Ultimately, we try to scientifically explain what significant majorities in almost all advanced economies feel in their gut - that their children's generation will be economically worse off. Additionally, we provide on how this reality doesn't need to turn into a downward trend in happiness and life satisfaction.
Our synthesis of likely human futures converges on three broad categories of projects:
- Integrated science and modelling: provide the science that enables stakeholders to rationally understand and plan a future that will eventually be based on renewable resources - as it always was before the year 1750;
- Outreach: establish a large enough group of people globally who know and can explain the dynamics underpinning our upcoming transition, begin to accept the implications, and put this knowledge to work by helping to design a good and positive future;
- Transitional dynamics: work on the necessary transitional aspects of arraving to that future safely - mostly related to societal stability and the avoidance of destructive conflicts.
Below are some details of our various initiatives. All of our projects create open-source outcomes that are available to anyone free of charge and funded by donations and grants.
Research and Modelling Projects
Our scientific projects focus on demonstrating the dynamics of a resource-constrained future and on providing tools to help create better outcomes.
Human Society Model - A tool, developed in collaboration with Imperial College in London, helping to plan future economies based on resource and energy conversions, including agent-based modeling of human well-being.
Net Energy Calculator - This project, created in collaboration with Imperial College and Stanford University establishes standards around the calculation of energy returns, and aims at helping decision-makers to identify energy pathways that offer the best net energy returns (NER or EROI) for present and future technolgies. Equally, it includes a tool to model electricity grids and transportation outputs. The project is currently being implemented, and a demonstration is available here.
TECS (True Energy and Carbon Statistics) - a project that highlights the true energy use and carbon emissions of economies including embedded energy and CO2 in imported goods.
These projects are meant to enable societies to safely migrate towards a more constrained future.
energy&stuff - The first and most important initiative is our energy&stuff website, which we aim at expanding toward becoming a portal for everyone who wants to understand the dynamics of the future of our human eco(nomic) system, learn about its implications and the fact that "less" in economic output doesn't necessarily mean a reduced quality of life.
Policy Outreach - IIER is consistently talking to policymakers and institutions, with the objective of disseminating the message that our future will look distinctly different from the past. Armed with that synthesis, and some actionable ideas, we hope to prepare our leaders in recognizing the patterns we are already seeing, and to react appropriately as future events unfold.
Transition Facilitation Projects
These projects have the objective to maintain societal cohesion and are often initated in collaboration with other organizations. Our core interest is to maintain or improve societal dialogue and preserve democratic systems in advanced economies, hoping that this will enable us to have a constructive dialogue about the futrure once the gut feeling of most people - that growth is over - becomes undeniable and begins to be discussed openly. Our most important project to date here is verimedia - whose aim is to improve the availablilty and quality of news and information to a majority of people in the Internet age.
What you can do?
Please start thinknig about how the end of continued economic growth invluences your organization and your own life and join us in moving towards a better future.