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Mathis’s Short Bio

Dr. Mathis Wackernagel

With head and heart dedicated to a world that works for all

Dr. Mathis Wackernagel created the footprint concept in the early 1990s, with his Ph.D. advisor Prof. William E. Rees, to compare human demand against planetary or regional ecosystem regeneration. This tool allows researchers to track global overshoot and countries’ ecological deficit. The carbon footprint portion has become the most popular footprint variant.

In 2003, he founded Global Footprint Network, a sustainability think-tank, making planetary constraints relevant to decision-making. Its largest engagement campaign is its annual Earth Overshoot Day. Mathis’s main interest is how to turn overshoot into a magnet that motivates, rather than an “inconvenient truth” that triggers resistance. While Mathis is mostly interested in engaging with what is afore, he can also bicycle backwards.


Mathis’s honors include the 2018 World Sustainability Award, the 2015 IAIA Global Environment Award, and the 2012 Blue Planet Prize, the 2011 Zayed International Prize for the Environment, honorary doctorates, and a Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship.

More info

More details about me are on the "about Mathis" page, or you can consult me CV here. Or check out my LinkedIn profile. On this site, you can also find more on my publications and  awards. 

Mathis jump Golden Gate 2024-03-09.jpg

Mathis on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California.

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