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Nate Hagens is the Director of The Institute for the Study of Energy & Our Future (ISEOF), an organization focused on educating and preparing society for the coming cultural transition.

Allied with leading ecologists, energy experts, politicians and systems thinkers ISEOF assembles road-maps and off-ramps for how human societies can adapt to lower throughput lifestyles.  

Nate holds a Masters Degree in Finance with Honors from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont.  He teaches an Honors course, Reality 101, at the University of Minnesota and hosts a weekly podcast, The Great Simplification with Nate Hagens.

Complex Systems

About Nate

Dr. Nate Hagens is the Executive Director of The Institute for the Study of Energy & Our Future (ISEOF), an organization focused on educating and preparing society for the coming cultural transition.

Formerly in the finance industry at Lehman Brothers and Salomon Brothers, since 2003 Nate has shifted his focus to understanding the interrelationships between energy, environment, and finance and the implication this synthesis has for human futures. Allied with leading ecologists, energy experts, politicians and systems thinkers, ISEOF assembles road-maps and off-ramps for how human societies can adapt to lower throughput lifestyles. 

Nate was the Managing Editor of the website The Oil Drum, one of the most popular and respected websites for analysis and discussion of global energy supplies and the future implications of the upcoming energy transition. He has co-authored the books Reality Blind – Integrating the Systems Science Underpinning Our Collective Futures – Vol 1 and The Bottlenecks of the 21st Century and continues to expand his educational materials and media around energy, the economy, and the environment. Nate has appeared on PBS, BBC, ABC and NPR and frequently lectures around the world. 

Nate hosts the podcast The Great Simplification, where he has conversations with experts in energy, ecology, government, technology, and the economy to provide a systemic view of the world around us.

Nate holds a Masters Degree in Finance with Honors from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont.  He teaches an Honors course, Reality 101, at the University of Minnesota. Nate lives on a small farm in the Mississippi River Valley with his pack of rescue dogs, taking care of horses, chickens, and an intermittently tended garden.

About Nate Hagens

Recent Projects

The Great Simplification with Nate Hagens Podcast

is a podcast that explores the systems science underpinning the human predicament. Conversation topics will span human behavior, monetary/economic systems, energy, ecology, geopolitics and the environment. The goal of the show is to inform more humans about the path ahead and inspire people to play a role in our collective future. Guests will be from a wide range of scientists, leaders, activists, thinkers, and doers.

The Great Simplification Animated Movie

The animation movie describes the backdrop for The Great Simplification – an economic/cultural transition beginning in the not-too-distant future. The movie describes how our species got to this point, the role of energy in our economies, and provides an overview of the relationship between energy, technology, money and the environment. Illustrating individual (and aggregate) human behavior tendencies in a novel modern environment and why these dynamics are relevant to our current challenges, The Great Simplification Movie describes how when people wear a ‘systems’ lens, it becomes clear that a Great Simplification is soon approaching.

Earth Day 2022 A Deck of Cards About the Future

2022’s contribution to Earth Day, taken in a slightly different direction. An art project and whirlwind science summary of our situation. Based on feedback from initial focus group, this presentation is best viewed once straight through to get the birds-eye view, without trying to grasp everything, and then watch a second time to absorb more details.

Advance Policy

‘Advance Policy’ is a series of solutions that the political and economic world are not yet ready to implement but will be critically important to plan. The analysis integrates human behavior, economics, energy, debt, climate change and the emergent interactions between them with a look to some of the macro interventions necessary in the coming decade.

Selected Publications & Presentations

Economics for the Future- Beyond the Superorganism – Nate’s foundational academic paper reflective of his research and work over the past 20 years.

The Oil Drum’ – An archive of essays on the topic of energy and our future from 2005 through 2013  

Energyandourfuture.org – Nate, as Executive Director of the nonprofit Institute for the Study of Energy and Our Future (ISEOF), leads the organization’s mission to inform and inspire the thinking and actions of early adopters relating to the ongoing transition to post-growth human societies, institutions, and values.

Earth Day 2021: Earth and Humanity: Myth and Reality [3 hours] – Nate’s 13th annual Earth Day presentation shared during the 2021 covid pandemic, covering thirty-three common myths underpinning conversations about the future, including fifteen categories of interventions.

Earth Day 2022: A Deck of Cards About the Future – [85 minutes] – Nate’s 14th annual Earth Day presentation using tarot-inspired original art to provide a science summary of our situation.

The Human Predicament  [57 minutes] – The Big Picture overview presented at the Resilience Gathering in 2019 hosted by the New School of Commonweal in CA.

Reality 101 Short Course [75 minutes] – Nate’s University of Minnesota Honors seminar “Reality 101 – A Survey of the Human Predicament” in short-course video format used by educators across the world to introduce high school and college students to this subject.   

Advance Policy  [42 minutes] – Outline of risk choreography and why a concept of “advance policy’ is relevant and urgent for policymakers and leaders.

“Reality Blind – Integrating the Systems Science Underpinning Our Collective Futures Vol 1” Flipping Book – Nate Hagens and DJ White’s 2021 publication reflecting material from the Reality 101 University of Minnesota Honors seminar, online as a free resource.

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