Review of The Blue Economy by Gunter Pauli, Report to the Club of Rome, 2010, by Hazel Henderson Author Gunter

Pauli has in his latest book, The Blue Economy, laid out the parameters for the great transition of early-stage industrialism to a truly sustainable strategy for human development. Pauli is a brilliant systems scientist as well as a successful entrepreneur and a superb teacher and public intellectual. I have been fortunate to know Pauli since we met at an early Club of Rome meeting when he was a student as deeply concerned as I was for the future of the human family on our precious blue planet. As our paths have crossed over the years, I have applauded his “outside-the-box” research and deep exploration of how lowly, overlooked species have solved their survival problems with brilliant, subtle technological innovations. I have always considered Nature as the preeminent designer and marveled at natural innovations over billions of years, optimizing methods such as photosynthesis for capturing photons from the sun to create food and resources. In my Paradigms in Progress (1991, 1995), I included a chart identifying such technologies and how humans mimicked them while claiming to be their “inventors.” Now in The Blue Economy, Pauli has assembled 100 such natural technologies and innovations and explained lucidly the science behind their success. I was enthralled and learned much about physics, chemistry, thermodynamics, insects, ecosystems and the human body! This book is far and away the best manual for actually moving our early industrial methods away from fossil fuels, nuclear power and many other mistakes of the past. Old paradigms based on obsolete economic textbooks, miscasting such terms as: “efficiency,” “cost,” “investment,” “profit,” etc., have lead our business schools to miseducate generations of MBAs and company executives. Pauli explains why Nature’s paradigms are more sustainable and efficient because they integrate processes and components into “cascades” of symbiotic productivity and true wealth (no longer measured by devalued fiat currencies!). I congratulate my colleagues at the Club of Rome for publishing this report. Buy this book and read every page – including the two valuable appendixes! Here you will find as an investor, as I did, many new enterprises, research programs and companies busy growing the ultimate information-rich, clean, harmonious societies of the Solar Age. This sustainability sector has been overlooked by security analysts due to their outdated “fossilized” asset-allocation models (“Updating Fossilized Asset-Allocation Classes: Here Comes the Sustainability Sector!”). I will be sending this book to my financial advisor and other “green” asset managers, and to friends who use triple bottom line ESG asset valuations and also care to leave a better world to our descendents. We will be looking at many of these companies as potential investments. Traditional Wall Streeters still using Modern Portfolio Theory will be left at the starting gate!