Paul Raskin is the founding President of the Tellus Institute. The overarching theme of Raskin’s work has been the development of visions and strategies for a transformation to more resilient and equitable forms of social development.

Toward this larger aim, his research has spanned issues (energy, water, climate change, ecosystems, and sustainable development) and spatial scales (local, national, and global). He has conceived and built widely-used models for integrated scenario planning for energy (LEAP), freshwater (WEAP), and sustainability (PoleStar). Dr. Raskin has published widely, and served as a lead author for the U.S. National Academy of Science’s Board on Sustainability, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, the Earth Charter, and UNEP’s Global Environment Outlook. In 1995, he convened the Global Scenario Group to explore the requirements for a transition to a sustainable and just global civilization. The Group’s 2002 valedictory essay – Great Transition: The Promise and Lure of the Times Ahead – became the point of departure for the Great Transition Initiative that Dr. Raskin launched in 2003 and continues to direct. Earlier in his career, Dr. Raskin received a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from Columbia University in 1970.

Published by the Great Transition Initiative. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License by the Tellus Institute. Cite as Paul Raskin, “A Great Transition? Where We Stand,” Great Transition Initiative (October 2014). Available at

Rural America
A Great Transition? Where We Stand
Paul Raskin