The Friede-Gard-Preis 2022 was awarded to Prof. Jørgen Randers PhD. The prize awarding ceremony was held at Umwelt-Campus Birkenfeld on October 12th, 2023. A seminar with Professor Randers was held on the following day.

  Jørgen Randers                        ..->  CV & Publications

Professor Randers was awarded the Fried-Gard-Prize 2023 for his outstanding contributions to ‘World Modeling’, always appropriately recognizing the mutual interdependencies of the ecological, economic and social realities; especially for

  • his decade-long commitment to the system dynamics based world modeling (as opposed to the widely used, utility-optimizing neoclassical equilibrium modeling, in ‘Climate economics’ exemplified by the appallingly bad DICE-models of the Nordhaus-school)

and - by this means –

  • his tireless provision of practicable scenarios for a sustainable global future – contrasting these to a business-as-usual scenario,

and - as a culmination point of years of continuous improvements -

(3) his “Earth for All”-model from 2022, in which the environment with land use, energy and climate change is modeled, as well as the economic and social aspects with the population dynamics, production and investment, unemployment and distribution of the produced welfare. (The E4A-model is open for everybody’s use and mall enough to run on every personal computer.)  

The system dynamics approach to modeling is – from the point of view of the Friede-Gard-Foundation – far superior to the optimization (of utility) approach of the neoclassical mainstream. System dynamics includes nonlinear cause-effect-relations, interdependencies and delayed feedbacks. Willliam Nordhaus and his followers do not recognize the necessity to do so; instead they calculate a global economic optimum, which gives an ‘optimal’ climate warming of +2.7° until 2100 and goes together with very little loss of global material welfare – based on untenable assumptions for their calculations and a thinking that has no place for nonlinearities, feedbacks and tipping-points, which have the potential to let our ecosystem collapse. On top of that they neglect the distribution effects towards huge economic inequality that eventually may destroy our social peace.

The awarding ceremony was introduced by the president of the University of Applied Sciences Trier, prof. Dr. Dorit Schumann, the Minister for Sciences and Health of Rhineland-Palatinate. Clemens Hoch, and the founder of the Friede-Gard-Stiftung, Gerd Schuster.

In his introduction (in German), Gerd Schuster directed the attention to several inconvenient truths with regard to the climate crisis, our economy, and its forming basis, the economic thinking in the form of the predominant neoclassical thinking.

..-> Text (in English)  Intro engl

In his acceptance speech (in English, slides in German) Professor Randers defined the prerequisites for a state-of-the-art modeling of economic systems. System dynamics modeling (as developed by Professor Jay Forrester from the 1950’s on) complies with all of these, the predominant Neoclassical Thinking (NCT) in contrast not even one. Therefore, NCT is not suitable or even dangerously misleading as a basis for decisions on economic policy. Professor Randers explained this with examples from his Earth-for-All model.

..-> Acceptance Speech Randers    Acceptance Speech Randers       slides  Acceptance Speech Randers slides

The laudation (in German) was held by Ulrich Golüke, a fellow scientist of Professor Randers for decades, who has published together with him and closely collaborated in his modeling work. He explained what a difference there is between

  • linear thinking vs. thinking in loops,
  • drawing conclusions from statistical correlations vs. from causal physical relations,
  • assumption of equilibrium vs. complex adaptation with feedback.

..-> Text of laudation (in English)  Laudation Golüke engl

During the seminar (in English) on the following day professor Randers gave a detailed explanation of the architecture and functioning of the Earth-for-All model. The focus was on the economic parts, including the growth loop, the population loop, the labor market, the distribution of wealth and the financial sector. This system dynamic modeling approach is in many respects fundamentally different from the neoclassical thinking (NCT), and incorporates concepts from many heterodox approaches (e.g. MMT Modern Monetary Theory, Karl Marx, Richard Goodwin, Post-Keynesianism).

The recording of the award ceremony and the seminar are available on the YouTube-channel of the Friede-Gard-Foundation: