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“Partnering” by Jean Oelwang

Tangible lessons from 65+ of the world's most remarkable partnerships.


Friends, Earth System scientists, and cocreators of the Planetary Boundaries

Katherine Richardson, Johan Rockström, and Will Steffen


Johan Rockström, cofounder of the esteemed Stockholm Resilience Centre, Will Steffen, a professor at the Australian National University, and Katherine Richardson, a professor at the University of Copenhagen, are at the epicenter of a global movement. Since they published their Planetary Boundaries framework in 2009, it has been widely cited and used in sustainable development across the globe, hoping to urge humans to change their relationship with nature to be positive Earth stewards. 

Deep trust, scientific rigor, and respect inform every aspect of their work together, allowing them to be completely frank with one another. There’s no competition for prestige among them, no displays of ego or jealousy.

“It’s just a seamless, respectful partnership that makes it so easy.”

Johan Rockström

“I don’t like to work on my own because it’s much more fun to get multiple ideas, try to synthesize them. That’s how you generate new knowledge.”

Will Steffen

“Natural science has always been about describing objects and things. We’re beginning to realize, in many contexts, it’s interactions that life is really all about.”

Katherine Richardson

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