Tellus Institute for a Great Transition

Advancing the transition to a sustainable, equitable, and humane global civilization is the core mission of Tellus Institute. Formed in 1976 as a not-for-profit research and policy organization, Tellus is an international leader in assessing critical environment and development issues. The Institute has conducted thousands of projects throughout North America and the world. The story of Tellus has unfolded in the context of staggering changes around it. The very vocabulary that describes our work today -- global scenarios, planetary phase of civilization, sustainable development, climate change, eco-efficiency, globalization, information technology -- was not even part of the development lexicon a quarter century ago.

Over time, the issues have become more complex, our time horizon has lengthened from years to many decades, and our perspective has broadened to include a global panorama. Tellus has worked at every level -- global, regional, national, local, and enterprise -- bringing both vision and analytic rigor to fashioning strategies, policies and decision-support tools. Key foci have included energy, water, sustainable communities, corporate social responsibility, and climate change. Our projects are distinguished by an integrated perspective that illuminates linkages across spatial scales and the environmental, social, and economic dimensions of development. The Institute’s sponsors -- foundations, government agencies, multilateral organizations, civil society organizations, and business -- reflect this diversity.

Over the coming decades, society faces a profound challenge -- navigating toward ways of producing, consuming, and living that balances the rights of people today, future generations, and the wider community of life. The prospects for such a transition rest with the ascendance of new values, a planetary consciousness, and a sense of global citizenship. These goals are at the core of the new vision we call the Great Transition. They will lie at the heart of the Institute’s program of research, education, and network-building in the coming years.

2 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
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