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Professor Tim Jackson awarded by Sir Edmund Hillary's Institution

University of Surrey Professor appointed 2016 Hillary Laureate

University of Surrey


IMAGE: Professor Tim Jackson at a recent Centre for Understanding Sustainable Prosperity event. view more

Credit: University of Surrey

Professor Tim Jackson, Director of the University of Surrey's Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity, has been appointed 2016 Hillary Laureate.

The prestigious honour has been presented by The Hillary Institute of International Leadership for Professor Jackson's exceptional mid-career leadership. Honouring the leadership legacy of Sir Edmund Hillary, the New Zealand based Hillary Institute has run a global search programme since 2009 with seven annual Laureates selected by its international governors in that time. The Institute's leadership focus since 2009 has been in addressing Climate Change and Climate Equity. Starting from 2016, the focus will shift to 'Capital for Change'.

The recipient of the title, Professor Tim Jackson, said: "I'm delighted that the Hillary Institute wishes to acknowledge my work with this award. I have a long-standing admiration for New Zealand's 'most famous son', so it's a particular honour to be recognised in this way."

Professor Jackson is the Institute's 7th annual, global Laureate since 2009. He has an unusual portfolio of being respected both as an ecological economist and a successful playwright.

Increasingly aware of the wider social and macro-economic forces driving environmental problems, Professor Jackson's career led him from an early position in the Stockholm Environment Institute to a twenty year research programme at the University of Surrey, which explores not just the economic and institutional factors but also the social and psychological drivers of the consumer society. Throughout this time, he continued to write plays 'with purpose'.

Professor Jackson's latest book Prosperity without Growth (Routledge 2009/2016), was the culmination of a five year work programme on 'Redefining Prosperity' as Economics Commissioner on the Sustainable Development Commission, chaired by pre-eminent environmentalist Jonathon Porritt and reporting directly to the UK Prime Minister. Prosperity without Growth outlines a vision for lasting prosperity on a finite planet. Originally a report to the UK Government, the book was a surprise best-seller, with translations in 17 foreign languages.

On May 23rd, alongside Rowan Williams and Satish Kumar, Professor Jackson launched the first in a series of public debates on the Nature of Prosperity hosted by his Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP), engaging young and old alike across business, policy and civil society in that most seminal of questions: what does prosperity mean in a world of environmental and social limits?

Speaking of his work, Professor Tim Jackson, said: "If capital cannot change, then capitalism is lost. We have to reconceive investment so that it's not about the relentless and mindless pursuit of consumption growth. We must invest in the idea of a meaningful prosperity, providing capabilities for people to flourish. Of course it's nonsense to speak of prosperity if people don't have food, clothing and shelter - but prosperity goes beyond material concerns - it has social and psychological aims - family, friendship, commitment, society. Ultimately investment in the new economy has to protect the ecological assets on which our future depends."


Media enquiries: Ashley Lovell, Media Relations Office at the University of Surrey, Tel: 01483 686141 or E-mail:

Notes to Editors:

About the University of Surrey

The University of Surrey is one of the UK's leading professional, scientific and technological universities with a world-class research profile and a reputation for excellence in teaching. Ground-breaking research at the University is bringing direct benefit to all spheres of life - helping industry to maintain its competitive edge and creating improvements in the areas of health, medicine, space science, the environment, communications, defence and social policy. Programmes in science and technology have gained widespread recognition and it also boasts flourishing programmes in dance and music, social sciences, management and languages and law.

In addition to the campus on 150 hectares just outside Guildford, Surrey, the University also owns and runs the Surrey Research Park, which provides facilities for 110 companies employing 2,750 staff.

The University of Surrey was named University of the Year by the Times and Sunday Times, both overall and for 'Student Experience', and achieved a top-five ranking in the Guardian University Guide 2017.

The Hillary Institute of International Leadership

The Hillary Institute searches the globe for exceptional mid-career leaders. Their goal is to provide leaders with a platform, a shared community of engagement and an enhanced resource base to take their efforts to larger scale. Inspired by the late* Sir Edmund Hillary, New Zealand's most celebrated public figure, the Institute was launched by Sir Edmund from Antarctica on 22 January 2007 in the company of our patron former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark**and principal philanthropic investor Jan Cameron.

The Institute's work is focused globally, selecting one Laureate annually, a leading social entrepreneur who also embodies the humanitarian commitment of Sir Ed. The premiere award of the Hillary Step (valued currently at NZD100,000) was given in 2012 after our first four years of work. Named after the final, almost vertical 40-foot cliff-face that Hillary and Tenzing Norgay scaled in reaching the summit of Everest, the Hillary Step is a metaphor for the challenges innovative leaders face.

For more information about the University and its work, visit

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