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Workshop 5

“Anthropogenic Climate Destabilization: A Worst-case Scenario”
Participant Biography

September 12–14, 2008 | Bellevue, Washington

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David Wasdell

David Wasdell is founding Director of the Unit for Research into Changing Institutions, and International Coordinator of the Meridian Programme, London.

Born in 1942, Wasdell developed as a precious all-rounder and budding polymath. He was awarded a Durham University Prize with his First Division Degree in mathematics and physics, followed by a second degree in theology. He pioneered transdisciplinary approaches to problem-solving with complex institutions facing rapid change under conditions of high stress and resource depletion, combining operational research and systems dynamics with psycho-dynamic analysis of anxiety defences and resistance to change. In 1981 he founded the Unit for Research into Changing Institutions. The position of Director of the Meridian Programme was added in 1987.

Consultancy and keynote presentations have taken Wasdell around the world. Since 2005 he has focussed on the dynamics of climate change, in particular the tipping point as the whole Earth system is triggered by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions into positive feedback and accelerated runaway global heating. In August 2006 he launched the Apollo-Gaia Project ( to focus on this outstanding agenda. He is a reviewer of the Workgroup I (Climate Science) section of the IPCC AR4. In 2007 he was lead author and co-editor of the Westminster Briefing “Feedback Dynamics and the Acceleration of Climate Change,” delivered to the All Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group. A comprehensive archive of his presentations and published work is available at: