Director, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
Johan Rockström is Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Professor at the Institute of Earth and Environmental Science at Potsdam University, and Professor in Water Systems and Global Sustainability at Stockholm University.
Rockström gained international recognition with the development of the Planetary Boundaries framework, which has since become a standard of sustainability science. He is deeply involved in research activities covering a range of topics related to the Earth System and global sustainability in the Anthropocene, with the overarching research question: “What is the safe operating space for Humanity’s future on Earth, and which sustainable transformations that can take us there?” Rockström’s research creates considerable impact. For example, he received the prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant, and is ranked as one of the most influential and most-cited scientists in the world by Clarivate Analytics.
In addition to his research endeavors, which have been widely used to guide policy, Rockström provides strategic scientific guidance as a member of the European Commission’s Expert Group ‘Mission Board for Adaptation to Climate Change, including Societal Transformation’ and the ‘Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences’. He regularly acts as an advisor to high-level international meetings and organisations, such as the World Economic Forum (WEF), the General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA), the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conferences (UNFCCC). Moreover, he is the Chief Scientist of Conservation International, as well as chairing the advisory board for the EAT Initiative on Health, Food and Sustainability, the Earth League, and Future Earth (co-chair) and the Earth Commission.
Rockström’s work has been recognized with accolades, the most recent of which include the Prince Albert II of Monaco Climate Change Award (2020), the Hillary Laureate by the Hillary Institute of International Leadership (2017), the French distinction Knight of the Legion of Honour (2016), the German Environmental Award (2015) and the International Cosmos Prize (2015).
Before becoming Director of the Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research, Rockström founded the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University and was Executive Director at the Stockholm Environment Institute. He obtained a Master of Science (MSc) at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, a Diplôme d’Agronomie Approfondie (DAA) at Institut National Agronomique Paris-Grignon, a Licentiate of Philosophy (PhLic) at Stockholm University, and completed a doctorate (PhD) in Natural Resources Management at Stockholm University.