CASSE’s chapters (see directory below) provide opportunities to collaborate on activities to advance the steady state economy. A chapter can cover one of a variety of geographic scales:
- College or university campus;
- City or county;
- State or province;
- Watershed, ecoregion, or other geographic region.
Chapter directors, in consultation with CASSE staff, determine the activities undertaken by the chapter. Chapters can work on projects such as gaining support for the CASSE position on economic growth, developing outreach materials, and arranging speaking engagements.
If you want to get involved with a chapter, please use the contact information provided in the directory below. If you are interested in starting a new chapter, please download the chapter guidelines and contact us. Also see our Staff page, if you do not see a chapter director in your area.
Location: Albany, New York, USA
Director: Ted Lawrence
Ted is an Energy and Environmental Policy Analyst for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). His primary responsibilities involve energy modeling, forecasting, policy and economic analysis in support of statewide energy planning and climate action planning. He is also co-chair of the Education and Outreach sub-committee of NYSERDA’s Sustainability Committee. Outside of NYSERDA, Ted is President and Executive Director of the Foundation for Developing Sustainable Societies, a nonprofit organization committed to environmental conservation and sustainable development in Mesoamerica. He has also served as a full-time visiting instructor in Siena College’s Economics Department. Ted’s interdisciplinary education includes public policy, system dynamics, sustainability, ecological economics, biodiversity conservation, and anthropology.
Contact: Ted’s email
Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Director: Eric Verploegen
Eric is a materials scientist with a Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Technology from MIT who works on developing chemical treatment processes to reduce the environmental impact of oil and gas extraction. He a member of the Echoing Green Social Investment Council and enthusiastically supports the social enterprises movement. Eric believes that the proliferation of organizations that operate to maximize social and environmental well being while being financially sustainable is a critical component of the path toward a steady state economy.
Contact: Eric’s email
Location: Cádiz, Spain
Director: Andrew Fanning
Andrew is a PhD candidate at the University of Cádiz in Spain that is applying the concept of a steady state economy to his studies and personal life. He became convinced of the urgent need to speak out about the fundamental conflict between economic growth and environmental sustainability while completing his Master’s in Development Economics at Dalhousie University in Halifax (Canada). Andrew is perplexed by the difficulties he faces when trying to lead a sustainable lifestyle and deeply disturbed by the ‘growth imperative’ built into our socio-economic institutions. He strives to enjoy life while providing the necessary resources for his family to live a comfortable lifestyle within the limits of a finite planet.
Contact: Andrew’s Email
Location: Santiago de Cali, Colombia
Director: Fabio Arias
Fabio Arias is Professor of Economics at the Universidad del Valle, Colombia. He has been responsible for several courses on sustainability where the Steady State Economy is a subject of constant analysis. His research has focused on collective choice and sustainability, particularly, how the policy of municipal territorial ordering promotes actions for sustainability. In Colombia, all municipalities must develop a land use plan that is participatory and fully considers the economic and environmental aspects. The results of his research confirms that cities are machines of growth, in the sense that local actors promote economic growth, while alternative movements towards sustainability are derived from synergies with strong community leaders in association with state sections that promote social welfare and environmental policy.
Contact: Fabio’s email
Hong Kong Chapter
Location: Hong Kong, China
Director: Claudio Delang
Claudio is a geographer working at the Hong Kong Baptist University. He has a background in economics, geography, and environmental studies, and has been working for the last 15 years in rural areas in Southeast Asia (Thailand, Laos, Vietnam) and China. He is interested in particular in people’s livelihoods, and the conflicts that emerge around the resources people depend on, and are denied by more powerful groups (for example through land grabbing for plantations or mining, or zoning for national park) and how this is presented as ‘economic development’. Through his work, he has become interested in the economics, social, and environmental failures of the growth economy. He is very keen in organizing activities in Hong Kong to contribute to the debate as to whether further economic growth is desirable, and the costs that accompany it. He welcomes your E-mails.
Contact: Claudio’s email
London, Ontario Chapter
Location: London, Ontario, Canada
Director: Juan Cardona
Juan has plans to start a Master’s Degree in Public Administration at the University of Western Ontario, Canada. He works for the local government in the Community Services Division as a financial analyst. He also holds a postgraduate degree in Management & Quality and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at EAFIT University Medellin, Colombia. Juan is making efforts to apply the ideas of Steady State Economics to himself first. He feels strongly about how the philosophy of the Steady State Economy is a good response to the current problems facing the world and how it can achieve effective improvements in the levels of consciousness and well being for all humanity. He also wants to help influence public policy and educate society about the need of building sustainability in a world of limited resources.
Contact: Juan’s Email
Location: London, UK
Director: Desmond Kilroy
Desmond developed an interest in sustainable economics while doing an Msc Sustainable Development at the onset of the current financial crisis. His main professional interest is in the aspirational values of the sustainability agenda, i.e., ecological stability, social equity and economic efficiency. For six years he worked at the UK Empty Homes Agency as a consultant to the UK local authority sector on regeneration issues. Other experience includes managing NGO projects to create sustainable development benefits and some international development experience. In 2010 Desmond started a new organisation for sustainable development advocacy, Democratic Planet Capital (DPC) specifically focused on the systemic barriers that hinder sustainability and innovative financial mechanisms.
Contact: Desmond’s email
New South Wales Chapter
Location: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Co-Directors: Anna Schlunke and Haydn Washington
Anna is a chemical engineer with a PhD in reaction kinetics (from Sydney University) who works in the area of sustainable buildings, primarily creating algorithms to model building water use, greenhouse gas emissions and thermal comfort. Anna grew up in country NSW, where she lived in an off-the-grid mudbrick house (built by her father). It was a frugal but magical childhood. She is saddened by the comparative emptiness of affluent modern lifestyles (particularly in the city) and frustrated to find herself in a system that is destroying the planet. Anna co-runs a blog as an outlet for her ideas, worries and questions about sustainability and politics.
Haydn is an environmental scientist, writer, and activist with a 38 year history in environmental science. He is a Visiting Fellow and Sessional Lecturer in the Institute of Environmental Science at the University of NSW, and has worked in CSIRO, environmental NGOs (e.g. Director of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW), and as Director of Sustainability Projects at Willoughby City council from 2007-2009. His interests are sustainability (in all its forms) and solving the environmental crisis, and his books include Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand (2011) and Human Dependence on Nature (2013).
Location: Managua, Nicaragua
Director: Claudia Múnera Roldán
As a biologist, Claudia’s main interest is conservation of biodiversity. With working experience in Colombia, Nicaragua, and Guatemala, she has been involved in many conservation related projects, including endangered species, protected areas, bird watching tourism, invasive species, and recently climate change adaptation. This was how she became interested in the economic, social, and cultural issues behind the traditional economic growth model that is happening worldwide. She has a Master’s in World Heritage and Cultural Projects for Development from ITCILO and University of Turin, and her current research is related with the social aspects of conservation, looking for a way to reconcile nature conservation with society through a biocultural heritage approach. At this moment, Claudia is based in Managua, where she works as an independent consultant. She will be gathering more people and organizations in Nicaragua that are concerned about the problems of economic growth regarding the reality of our environment.
Contact: Claudia’s email
Northern Rivers Chapter
Location: Northern Rivers, New South Wales, Australia
Director: Peter Brennan
Peter Brennan is an academic with a PhD in ecology and natural resource management from the University of Hawaii. He has been an Academic Director with SIT Study Abroad for 20 years, and currently directs an undergraduate program focused on Sustainability and Environmental Action. The program is cross-disciplinary and includes eco-psychology, environmental philosophy, ecology, ecological economics, and sustainability science. Previously, Peter taught at the University of Auckland, New Zealand; Queensland University of Technology; and the University of Hawaii. He has also worked as a consultant ecologist and environmental planner in both Hawaii and Australia.
Contact: Peter’s email
Norway Chapter (click here to visit the Norway webpage)
Location: Oslo, Norway
Director: Tormod Burkey
Tormod is a conservation biologist with a Ph.D. from Princeton University on how to protect biodiversity and endangered species. He spent three years in Papua New Guinea as the Environment Programme Manager for the UN. He has served on the boards of the Rainforest Foundation and the Norwegian Carnivore and Raptor Foundation, advised parliamentarians on environmental policy, co-founded a wolf advocacy group, and is active with the Norwegian Green Party. He believes that political will is the limiting factor in bringing about meaningful change, not necessarily a lack of knowledge. Therefore he is drawn toward activism more than research.
Contact: Tormod’s email
Location: Queensland, Australia
Director: Richard Sanders
Richard is an ecological economist, futurist, environmental scientist and change agent who has delved deeply into the concept of sustainability for over 20 years and been a steady stater for over 40 years. He is employed as a principal policy officer within the Queensland government dealing with sustainability and resource management. He is executive officer and founder of Quest 2025, a not-for-profit community organisation which aims to: “help facilitate the transformation of society through informed people power and the democratic process from its current state of social, spiritual and ecological crisis into an enlightened civilisation that is ecologically sustainable and socially just by the year 2025”.
Contact: Richard’s email
Rio de Janeiro State Chapter
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Director: Christopher Amaral Paterson
Chris has a technical background and a strong interest in the social and economic issues of our time. He is a systems engineer from PUC-RJ with a masters course in computer science also from PUC-RJ and a master of science degree in operations research from Stanford University. Chris strongly believes that a steady state economy is a must for all countries, but its implementation has to adjust to the specifics of each country. He further believes that blind economic growth fails to address human development needs and prioritizes profit above well-being. Chris is the founder of the Nova Economia Blog (written in Portuguese), which is dedicated to promoting new economic ideas with a Brazilian perspective.
Contact: Chris’s email
Location: Risaralda, Colombia
Director: Paola Arias
Paola Arias is an economist with graduate studies in the management of protected areas. She has worked on interdisciplinary projects in the environmental sector, such as environmental goods and services, economic valuation, watershed management and planning, and payments for environmental services. She currently lives in the state of Risaralda where she works mainly in the Otun Watershed. She is very happy to live there, since it is an excellent place to explore local development experiences toward a steady state economy. For example, the Otun Watershed encompasses ecovillages; commitments to conserve seeds, medicinal plants and traditional knowledge; community-based ecotourism in protected areas; children involved in environmental groups; and agro-ecological schools. She believes these activities stem from the high levels of social capital in the communities of the watershed. Besides her work as a consultant, Paola is excited to be working with other steady staters to create sustainable habitats and communities, based on the experience of 11 years of the Ecovillage El Prado.
Contact: Paola’s email
San Francisco Bay Area Chapter
Location: San Francisco, California, USA
Director: Erik Alm
Erik is a researcher and consultant providing services to companies in the clean fuels sector. He has studied sustainability formally having earned a B.S. in Environmental Studies at the University of Vermont, and an MPA in Environmental Science and Policy at Columbia University. His strong passion for the preservation of biodiversity was his motivating factor for getting involved with CASSE. Through his work with the Center, he hopes to build a collaborative environment in the Bay Area where the local effects of uneconomic growth can be documented, and ways of moving toward a steady-state economy can be devised.
Contact: Erik’s email
Location: Novi Sad, Serbia
Director: Ante Vujić
Ante Vujić is a biologist with a Ph.D. in diversity of Diptera (Syrphidae). He is a full professor at the Department of Biology and Ecology, Faculty of Sciences (University of Novi Sad, Serbia), whose main interest is biodiversity conservation, entomology, and the protection of endangered species. He intends to implement ecological economics into university curriculum in Serbia, and point out the importance of biodiversity through economic valorizations. He believes that biodiversity conservation through a steady state economy can provide potential solutions for many problems. He wants to help spread CASSE’s concept in Serbia and welcomes your emails.
Contact: Ante’s email
South Africa Chapter
Location: KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Co-Director: Gertrud Lomas-Walker
Gertrud Lomas-Walker has for the past 20 years worked in the field of sustainability, in local economic development, for a large South African financial services organisation, and latterly as an advisor to companies for an international assurance and advisory firm. Her areas of speciality are sustainability strategy, integrated reporting and governance. She is pursuing a non-consumption driven ecological economic agenda and helping organisations and communities prepare for the transition. She is political science major and has an honours degree in organisational development.
Contact: Gertrud’s email
South Africa Chapter
Location: KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Co-Director: Jean Senogles
Jean Senogles is a veteran environmental activist and conservationist. Her primary concerns are around biodiversity and education especially with reference to the 9 Planetary Boundaries. She has served on various boards including the Fish Quota Board, Natal Parks Board, is chairman of the local Palmiet Nature Reserve management committee and the Westville Conservancy, and serves on the Board of the South African Association for Marine Biological Research. She is a geographer and teacher of environmental sciences in underprivileged schools in KwaZulu Natal, founding member of Primates Africa and PLANT (Plant a National Tree), and has propagated and planted thousands of trees over 40 years in gardens, parks, schools and hospitals. With her husband Ron, she sailed extensively in the Indian Ocean, and together served on the Executive of the Save St Lucia Campaign. St Lucia is now a World Heritage Site.
Contact: Jean’s email
St. Louis Chapter
Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Director: Eric Zencey
Eric is the author of Virgin Forest: Meditations on History, Ecology, and Culture and the forthcoming The Other Road to Serfdom: Essays in Sustainable Democracy. An internationally published (and nationally best-selling) novelist, Eric has been teaching ecological and steady state economics since the 1980s. He holds a Ph.D. in political philosophy, and currently is a visiting professor of historical and political studies for Empire State College. He is also an affiliate of the Gund Institute of Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont.
Contact: Eric’s email
Location: Tolima, Colombia
Director: Sandra Marcela Cely Santos
Marcela works at a Regional Innovation Institute which educates people living in rural landscapes and supports them in the establishment of cooperatives and associations. The purpose is to improve livelihoods, build equitable communities, and re-empower communities to build a better future. Marcela is a biologist with a passion for wildlife conservation and a deep interest in biodiversity conservation in productive landscapes. She believes that agroecology and sustainable food systems are critical to achieving healthy landscapes and a sustainable economy.
Contact: Marcela’s email
Location: Toronto, Canada
Director: Ryan Dyment
Ryan is a Chartered Accountant and the Executive Director of IRBE, a non-profit organization that connects economic and environmental issues and implements shared-resource projects in Toronto. Ryan started his career working at KPMG, an international accounting firm, and moved to the health care industry for several years before founding IRBE. In his day-to-day life, Ryan aims to limit his participation in the growth economy, build community and advocate for a sustainable economic model. Ryan is a graduate of McGill University and serves on the Board of Wildlife Preservation Canada, a registered charity that addresses biodiversity issues.
Contact: Ryan’s email
Vermont State Chapter
Location: Burlington, Vermont, United States
Director: Aaron Witham
Aaron is the sustainability coordinator of Green Mountain College in Vermont. He holds an M.S. in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont and a Graduate Certificate in Ecological Economics from the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics. He was also a former research scholar at the Transportation Research Center at UVM and the Managing Director of the Center for Environmental Education in Maine. His research interests include reforming the fractional reserve banking system, promoting alternative economic indicators, and mitigating climate change. As an avid hunter and fisherman, Aaron is also interested in steady-state outreach among outdoor enthusiasts.
Contact: Aaron’s email
Location: Vienna, Austria
Director: Graziano Ceddia
Graziano is an economist with a PhD in Environmental Economics and Management (Ebor, UK). He is Associate Professor in Sustainable Development at MODUL University (MU) Vienna, where he teaches ecological economics and where he also serves as president of the MU Sustainability Committee. He has worked on interdisciplinary topics looking at the interactions between environmental and socio-economic systems, including the management of invasive alien species and infectious diseases. More recently he has been working on the relationship between agricultural intensification and deforestation in tropical regions and looking into the existence of Jevons paradoxes in land use changes. His interest in ecological economics has come from his dissatisfaction with the way in which standard neoclassical theory deals with environmental issues. He firmly believes in the role of education and in the necessity of providing new generations with an alternative paradigm capable of explaining the current energetic, environmental and economic crisis.
Contact: Graziano’s email
Location: Leeds, UK
The Yorkshire Chapter of CASSE holds regular Enough Waiting meetings and events on the third Wednesday of each month at the University of Leeds. All are welcome to attend. The chapter also has a Facebook page.
Co-Directors: Brian Flynn and Owen Brear
Brian Flynn is a newly retired teacher who is concerned about the inexorable and widespread desire “to have more”. This dichotomy between having and being has been a matter of personal interest and struggle over the long term. Attending the Steady State Economy Conference held at Leeds Metropolitan University a couple of years ago was a revelation to him, in that there appeared to be a real alternative to the current unsustainable system. Brian is keen to get the message out there. Personal example is, he believes, important in order to demonstrate that you walk the talk, but without pushing the idea up the national and political agendas it seems unlikely change will happen. It is with this in mind that he recently agreed to co-direct the Yorkshire chapter.
Owen Brear is a graduate in Environment, Economics and Ecology from the University of York and is currently studying a PhD with Bangor University in the area of ‘well-being’ and investigating the multi-faceted nature of the Ancient Greek word “eudaimonia”. Owen is interested in the intersection of economic thought and eudaimonic well-being as presented within the field of positive psychology. He is also studying the more mystical aspects of this work – especially the notion of the daemonic in the human mind as presented within Jungian and post-Jungian psychology via the metaphysical union of opposites, and within the context of the divine feminine i.e. daemonic imagery and the unconscious coupled with the Christian ‘demonisation’ of the Pagan ‘daemon’. He is also a keen birdwatcher.
Contact: Brian and Owen’s email
Location: Zürich, Switzerland
Director: Michael Curran
Michael Curran is a part-time postgraduate researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zürich. His research focuses on assessing the impact of agricultural production on biodiversity, specifically how the overconsumption of imported products in developed economies is driving biodiversity loss in the developing world. His research applies steady state and ecological economic principals to both characterize the problem, and propose solutions (e.g. a “conservation tax” on imported products). Since 2014, Michael has a position as project manager in a small Environmental Consultant in Trubschachen, in the Emmental (yes, where the cheese comes from!). His work there focuses on promoting regional sustainability and self-sufficiency, and in advocating postgrowth economics. He is involved in grass roots sustainability projects that engage individuals in community initiatives (e.g. a vibrant community garden at the ETH Zurich: www.seedcity.ethz.ch). Michael completed a PhD in environmental engineering at the ETH Zürich in 2013, a Master’s degree in spatial ecology at the University of Basel in 2009, and a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology from University College Dublin in 2005.
Contact: Michael’s email