Towards #TECE14, interview to Mr Gunter Pauli, author of the book “The Blue Economy”

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Only a few weeks to go before the congress “Towards a European Circular Economy” will take place in Rome. The event will be opened on May 21st at 16, 30  by an important Lectio Magistralis held by the key speaker Mr. Gunter Pauli. In our cycle of interviews in preparation for the event, in which some of the main guests give us a closer insight in their background and interventions, we have today the chance to ask a few questions to Mr. Gunter Pauli himself.

Belgian economist and writer, Mr. Pauli has, among others, founded in 1994 the Zero Emissions Research Initiative (ZERI) in Tokyo with the support of the Japanese Government and the United Nations University (UNU), redesigning production and consumption into clusters of industries inspired by natural systems. Mr. Pauli later wrote the book The Blue Economy with the aims of stimulating entrepreneurship while setting up new and higher standards towards sustainability.  The book includes the principles that support the Blue Economy concept and also one hundred business cases that follow the principles. The goals set for the Blue Economy as a Business Model are high: To create 100 million jobs and substantial capital value through 100 innovations in the 2010-2020 decade.

Professor Gunter, on May 21st, you will open the Congress with a Lectio Magistralis. Could you give us some anticipations of the content of your intervention?

The content of the lecture … well, I would like to surprise people! However, the core message is clear : it is time to change and it is time to stop discussing the good and the bad and the reducing the negative impact of all we do. We need to start doing much better, exploit all the opportunities we have and focus on implementation. One of the greatest challenges of us Europeans is that we analyze everything, and new ideas have to be subjected to feasibility studies, and audits and if it seems fine then we undertake a certification! How do you ever wish us to get out of the straight jacket?

The three day congress in Rome focuses on economy’s circularity: how can the attention to environmental matters help generate new employment opportunities in the green economy?

When it comes to employment – let us not forget that jobs come AFTER we have successfully implemented new business models. The models I propose have multiple cash flows and generate multiple benefits: that is the key to be able to do much more with what is locally available.

For a more complete overview of  Mr. Pauli’s curriculum, please visit , whereas for an overview on ZERI please visit

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