Tim Jackson




Tim Jackson is the Director of CUSP. He is also Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey and ESRC Professorial Fellow in Prosperity and Sustainability. Tim’s vision for CUSP builds on thirty years of multi-disciplinary research on sustainability and decades of policy experience, in particular his work as Economics Commissioner on the UK Sustainable Development Commission.

Tim Jackson is Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey and Director of the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP). He currently holds a Professorial Fellowship on Prosperity and Sustainability in the Green Economy (PASSAGE) funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). He is also an award-winning playwright with numerous radio-writing credits for the BBC.


Tim has been at the forefront of international debates about sustainable development for over two decades and has worked closely with the UK Government, the United Nations, and numerous private companies and NGOs to bring social science research into sustainability. His research interests focus on the economic and social aspects of the relationship between people’s lifestyles and the environment.

From 2010 to 2014 Tim was Director of the Sustainable Lifestyles Research Group, a multi-institution research group funded by the Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The aim of SLRG was to develop a robust understanding of the links between lifestyle, societal values and the environment, and to provide evidence-based advice to policy-makers seeking to influence people’s lifestyles and practices. From 2006 to 2011 he was founding Director of RESOLVE – the research group on Lifestyles, Values and Environment funded by the ESRC.

Tim has written extensively on the complex relationship between economic growth, wellbeing and sustainability. Between 2004 and 2011, he was Economics Commissioner on the UK Sustainable Development Commission, where his work culminated in the publication of his controversial best-seller Prosperity without Growth (Routledge 2009/2016).

Since 2010, Tim has been engaged in an ambitious collaborative project to build a new ecological macroeconomics. He and Prof Peter Victor from York University, Canada are developing the conceptual basis for an economy in which stability no longer depends on relentless consumption growth.


Tim’s first love was playwriting and he sold his first radio play to the BBC while he was still a student. Since then he has achieved numerous radio writing credits for the Radio 4, Radio 3 and BBC World and won several prizes and awards for his work. His plays includes love stories, historical dramas, and a 30 episode environmental thriller. Through drama Tim has helped bring scientific controversies to a wider audience. He has also explored the life and work of scientists, artists, musicians and writers.

Speaking engagements

Tim has given more than 200 international keynote presentations and appears regularly in the UK and international media. Video and audio recordings from his talks and interviews may be found here.