“Not a day goes by that I do not think of Konrad and of our glory days at Dartmouth in pushing the envelope…”

Oran R. Young, Professor and Co-director of the Program on Governance for Sustainable Development, Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management University of California (Santa Barbara)

Konrad’s death—following the death several years back of Dana Meadows—is an occurrence that is somehow incomprehensible. Born in the same year, the three of us shared many things during our years at Dartmouth College. Not only were we committed to bringing scientific knowledge to bear on policy-making regarding large-scale environmental issues; we were also prepared cheerfully to take drastic steps, such as resigning tenured faculty positions, to gain the freedom needed to pursue this goal vigorously. We lived by our wits, an exhilarating albeit occasionally anxiety-producing situation that made it imperative to stay on the cutting edge far beyond the halls of academia.

The high point came during a period of years in the 1990s when we were able to take over some space in an old science building that no one else wanted and to create a vital centre of international environmental affairs. Konrad was making seminal contributions to the environment and trade debate and editing the journal, International Environmental Affairs. Dana was engaged in pioneering work on the idea of sustainable development. And I was in the thick of efforts to promote international cooperation in the Circumpolar Arctic as well as working out the analytic foundations of the study of governance in world affairs. In this,we were joined by Nick Flanders, Gail Osherenko and Lynn Noel along with assistants, secretaries and student helpers.

The result was magical.We developed a tradition of having tea together on Friday afternoons, not to merge our endeavours but rather to compare notes, to stimulate each other’s thinking and to share ideas about communicating our ideas to a broader audience. And it worked. The evidence of our collective influence on governance for sustainable development in the 21st century is apparent to all who are familiar with this field.

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