Denis White discusses energy and emergy, and measuring the state of well-being.
The conference combines elements of both the Long Finance and
Grand Challenges agendas to focus on how to address development challenges in
straitened economic times. It draws particularly on the themes of the
Green Growth and Global Health challenges. The event provides a platform
for informed and robust discussion to highlight the most important issues and
to offer possible solutions that can have an impact at a policy level.
We consider how the challenge of achieving
sustainable global prosperity impacts on developing nations, extending the
discussion around sustainable growth beyond the economic issues of GDP and a
low-carbon economy and engaging with some of the fundamental questions
concerning societal infrastructure, what prosperity means and how we can
evaluate and measure well-being in a meaningful way.
Denis White is a geographer recently retired from the US
Environmental Protection Agency in Corvallis,
Oregon, where he worked from 1988
until 2011. He currently holds a courtesy appointment in the geography program
in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at OregonStateUniversity. While at the
EPA he worked on designing global grid systems for environmental monitoring and
other applications, developing methods for and analysing biodiversity data,
programming fish assemblage simulation models, developing a modeling framework
for ecosystem services, developing alternative futures projects for EPA, and
visualising energy system analyses.
Before moving to Corvallis Denis worked at the
Harvard University Laboratory for Computer Graphics and Spatial Analysis for 13
years. He worked in a small group in his early years there developing one of
the first vector-based geographic information systems including contributions
to overlay analysis, topological encoding, memory management and map projection
utilities, and a functional language for analysis of attributes of spatial
objects. In later years at Harvard he continued software development work but
also taught computer graphics and GIS, and worked extensively with landscape
planners on alternative futures projects in US national parks. Before Harvard
Denis had research positions at the Department of Earth and Planetary Science
at MIT and at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Wisconsin.