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 realise 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. These signals have for a long time been observed as collateral damage that can be treated by individual programmes, allowing economies to continue their (green) growth journey.

The Covid pandemic and the war in Ukraine have served as a wakeup call in many areas, but most of all brought the realisation that the European societies are very much dependent on resources that are mainly produced abroad. Any hiccup in the supply of resources has had and will have serious consequences for European economies and industries. The obvious first reaction is to implement measures that improve supply chain security (diversification of suppliers, increased autonomy, strategic stocks and circular economy), so we can continue business as usual. These are indeed important initial measures to limit the risks. However, when taking a closer look at the numbers of proven reserves volumes, sustainable production levels and growing worldwide resources demand, it becomes clear there will be a resource gap in the near future. Any attempt to increase and secure supply of primary and secondary resources for one continent, will have repercussions for other parts of the world.

To ensure a healthy future for all life on earth, we have to reset the way we treat the limited resources on earth – in the ground, on the ground, in the sea and in the air. The Resource Wende is a fact based programme that looks at resource scarcity on a systemic level and aims to incorporate the outcome of expert thinking in all sustainability transitions in the Netherlands and beyond.

Resource Wende Coalition

Urgent sustainability transitions are delayed at country, regional and global level. Persuasion power is needed to bring these transitions back on track as an integrated whole, while at the same time taking into account the imminent resource scarcity challenges. The Resource Wende Coalition aims to be the driving force for the most urgent transitions. Dialogues will be organised with a network of business and political leaders, professionals and social representatives. Past experience has shown that a combination of a powerful network and structured dialogues are key ingredients to develop a common story of the future and a decision-making framework that guide the realisation of an integrated set of sustainability transitions. As you can imagine, the limiting factors of our earth system will become a natural part of this framework. The ultimate goal is to deliver a widely supported Futures Agreement as the basis for broad prosperity in The Netherlands and beyond.


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 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.