Resource Wende

During many decades there has been a firm belief in large parts of the world that economic growth brings an end to poverty and will realize welfare for all humans. This belief has prevailed despite signals that indicate there are limits to growth, as already highlighted in the famous Club of Rome report Limits to Growth 50 years ago and recently in a personal and anxious message received from one of the writers Dennis Meadows in april 2023.

The Covid pandemic and the war in Ukraine have served as a wakeup call in many areas, but most of all brought the realization that modern societies are very much dependent on resources that are produced all over the world. The obvious first reaction is to implement measures to improve supply chain security (such as the EU Critical Raw Materials act and the US Inflation Reduction Act). Although these measures look like a solution in the short run, they are disastrous for climate change, biodiversity loss and resource availability in the near future. Any attempt to increase and secure the supply for one country, will be at the expense of other nations and obviously leads to additional geopolitical tension.

The Resource Wende promotes a transition from a Winner Takes It All towards a Common Future scenario, to ensure a healthy future for all current and future life on earth. The program looks at scenarios to decrease the materials footprint of high-income countries, allowing low-income countries to grow to an average footprint level over time.

Resource Wende Coalition

The Resource Wend Coalition currently consists of experts and institutions from Island, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany and The Netherlands. The aim of the coalition is to bring awareness about the consequences of resource scarcity and the collateral damage caused by increasing extraction, production, use and disposal. This awareness should lead to a desire for future scenarios that show alternatives routes towards resource efficient economies and societies.

The Coalition brings forward the growing evidence showing business-as-usual is threatening the health of societies and the ecosystem they depend upon. During dialogues with business and political leaders, professionals and social representatives, roadmaps to a more sustainable futures will be developed. Past experience has shown that a combination of a powerful network and structured dialogues are key ingredients to generate buy-in within society and confront the current power structures that maintain the status quo.


There are many dossiers that promote a transition to a more sustainable world. Most of these transitions require (large amounts of) resources. If resource scarcity is not taken into account when making investment decisions, many of these transitions will fail and only deliver stranded assets.


Nobody has detailed knowledge of all the necessary sustainability transitions and the overall implications of resource scarcity. There is a need to combine the various areas of expertise into a common story of the future and an underlying systems-model that enable integral decision-making. Structured dialogues are a means to bring the right people and knowledge together to create the necessary common understanding.


Many transitions are delayed or halted due to lack of support from society, experts, public and private organisations. Without a common vision and commitment from a network of leaders and influencers in each of these areas, most sustainability transitions will run aground. The development of the vision and support-network is a crucial part of the Resource Wende programme.