The Blue Economy: 10 Years, 100 Innovations, 100 Million Jobs

7 June 2011

Gunter Pauli.
Gunter Pauli.

Zero Emissions Research and Initiative (ZERI) and the subsequent Global ZERI Network were established by Belgian economist and entrepreneur Gunter Pauli to find a new business model able to operate without emissions and without waste.

The international network uses science and publicly available information to find and develop sustainable solutions. Serving clients from remote communities to major corporations, solutions are inspired by what is locally available, building on local knowledge and culture.

In his Sydney Ideas talk on 9 June, Gunter Pauli will discuss the Blue Economy, whose mission is to develop 100 manufacturing innovations with viable business models that could generate 100 million jobs in 10 years.

Recent innovations include the use of coffee waste for mushroom farming, the production of biodegradable detergent from discarded citrus peel, and the conversion of petrol stations into 'charge stations' for electric cars.

The Blue Economy describes itself as the ZERI philosophy in action, and was originally published as a report to the Club of Rome last year. It features innovations inspired by science, drawing on biomimetics and the laws of physics and inspired by the belief that entrepreneurship is the route to a sustainable society. The innovations developed in the Blue Economy cover the full gamut of industrial activity, from energy to mining, from medicine to banking.

Pauli's current initiative is to replace all nuclear power in Germany with renewable energy sources within 10 years without subsidies or hikes in tariffs. It uses a combination of three proven technologies:

  • vertical wind turbines within existing high tension transmission towers
  • biogas generation from waste water treatment plants and organic solid municipal waste
  • solar using innovative film.

Pauli was closely involved in the German government's decision last week to phase-out nuclear power.

Gunter Pauli was born in Antwerp, Belgium. His entrepreneurial activities span business, culture, science, politics and the environment

He was the founder and Chairman of PPA Holding and of more than 10 other companies, founder and CEO of the European Service Industries Forum (ESIF), Secretary General of the European Business Press Federation (UPEFE), founder and president of the Foundation "Mozarteum Belgicum", Chairman and President of Ecover, and adviser to the Rector of the United Nations University in Tokyo (Japan).

He has been visiting lecturer and professor at universities around the world, and a board member of NGOs and private companies in Asia, USA and Latin America. Since 2009 he has taken responsibility for the design of an economic development concept based on GNH (Gross National Happiness) principles and values as part of his advisory role in designing an economic development strategy for Bhutan.

He is a Fellow of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences (San Francisco, USA), a creative Member of the Club of Budapest (Hungary), Member of the Club of Rome. Gunter has published 19 books and 36 fables bringing science and emotions to children. He is fluent in seven languages and has lived in four continents. Gunter Pauli is in Australia as a guest of Amplify 2011.

Event details

What: The Blue Economy: 10 Years, 100 Innovations, 100 Million Jobs, a Sydney Ideas lecture by Gunter Pauli

When: 6 to 7.30pm, Thursday 9 June

Where: Foyer, New Law Building, Camperdown Campus. See map and directions.

Cost: Free, no registration required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis.

Media enquiries: Katie Szittner, 9351 2261, 0478 316 809,