Winners of TERI Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen Awards

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Professor Inge Røpke and Western Ghats Ecology Experts Panel chaired by Professor Madhav Gadgil announced winners of TERI Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen Awards.

New Delhi, December 10th  2013: The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) today announced the winners of the Second Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen Awards. The Award comprises of two categories – Unconventional Thinking and Bioeconomic Practice. Professor Inge Røpke has been named the winner of the Georgescu-Roegen Award for Unconventional Thinking, while Western Ghats Ecology Experts Panel chaired by Prof. Madhav Gadgil for Bioeconomic Practice. Instituted on the occasion of Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen’s 106thbirth anniversary during the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS) 2012, the awards will be presented to the winners at DSDS 2014 slated to be held from February 6th- 8th.

The ‘unconventional thinking’ category rewards contributions in academia, and publication of research and literature that reflects unconventional thinking. Professor Inge Røpke has been named the winner of the Georgescu-Roegen Award for Unconventional Thinking and is a sound example of an unconventional thinker. She has been conferred with the Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen Award – 2014 for her important contribution to the consumption literature, her service to the ecological economics school of thought. Her two-volume textbook in ecological economics, co-edited with Joan Martinez-Alier, is considered the best of its kind.

Inge Røpke is Professor of Ecological Economics at Aalborg University, Copenhagen. She trained as an economist and holds a PhD in social sciences. Røpke has written about the development of modern ecological economics, trade, economic growth and consumption. Most recently, Røpke has taken up ecological macroeconomics and the need for institutional change for a no-growth society. She is the co-editor (with Lucia Reisch) of The Ecological Economics of Consumption, the co-editor (with Joan Martinez-Alier) of Recent Developments in Ecological Economics, and has published in Ecological Economics, the Journal of Consumer Policy, Research Policy, and many other journals and edited books.

The Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (chaired by Prof. Madhav Gadgil) has been conferred with the Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen Award – 2014 in the Bioeconomic Practice Category for articulation of a policy framework with a scientific methodology for bio-economic practice. WGEEP has accomplished a policy framework based on a detailed and nuanced understanding of the dynamic interactions between people and ecosystems, and contributed a scientific methodology for decision-making in diverse and rich ecological-economic systems.

The Western Ghats Ecology Experts Panel (WGEEP) chaired by Prof. Madhav Gadgil emphasizes the bio-physical limits of economic activity, and proposes scientifically and ethically informed methods to make decisions about sustainable development given heterogeneous resources and inputs.

The articulation of a policy, more importantly a policy framework with a scientific methodology for bio-economic practice is an achievement. The fact that this, a policy framework, confronts and in many ways threatens existing policies, practices and currently accepted norms and contents of knowledge about ecological and economic processes, makes it one of the most difficult tasks. The WGEEP has done just that – accomplished a policy framework based on a detailed and nuanced understanding of the dynamic interactions between people and ecosystems, and contributed a scientific methodology for decision-making in diverse and rich ecological-economic systems.

The winners were decided by a nomination-selection process with a seven-member jury comprising of distinguished thinkers and innovators who share Georgescu-Roegen’s vision.

TERI instituted the Georgescu-Roegen Awards to honour, remember and rekindle the wisdom of Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen, an individual who had the courage and conviction to challenge conventional knowledge frameworks and prescribe a refreshingly different line of scholarship and intellectual endeavour. Georgescu-Roegen emphasised the need to account for inconvenient variables like energy and matter flows, fund and flow elements, and processes such as institutional inertia in the analysis of economic, ecological and social systems. Through his scholarly contributions, Georgescu-Roegen reminded the global knowledge community of mankind’s special mode of existence as one of the biological species on this planet.

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