Bart Verspagen

Professor, United Nations University and Maastricht University - Maastricht, Netherlands
Maastricht, Netherlands
Bart Verspagen

We are tempted with many interesting meetings in far-away places, and for much too long I have simply accepted the temptation without critical thinking. It is the same mechanism in which we as consumers care about sustainable development, but we do not change the consumption patterns that lock us into unsustainable development. I have now come to ask myself whether I really need that extra conference, and I have made it a habit to ask organizers of meetings whether they really think this cannot be done in a more sustainable way.

This is not much, but it has reduced my own traveling at least somewhat, and I hope other people will follow. I hope that soon we will be able to combine this with some firmer commitments by our institutions, e.g., real CO2 compensation at institutional level, and real efforts to develop and apply the means for proper “virtual” meetings.

I am an economist working on the economics of technological change and innovation. I am mostly interested in issues of economic growth and development, and international trade.