About Alan


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Alan AtKisson is an internationally recognized author, speaker, and consultant in the field of sustainable development, corporate responsibility, and transformational change. He works with governments, companies, cities, NGOs, and the United Nations. Alan has been working at the forefront of sustainability since 1988, generating innovative tools and methods, providing expert insight, and inspiring people with a combination of solid technical knowledge and creative approaches to communication and change. His books on sustainability have sold many thousands of copies and been translated into several languages. Alan is also a musician and songwriter, whose music was recently featured by the United Nations as part of the run-up to the climate summit in Paris in 2015. In 2013, Alan was selected to serve on the President’s Science and Technology Advisory Council of the European Commission (advising Pres. José Manuel Barroso); and he was inducted into the international Sustainability Hall of Fame.


Alan’s books include the sustainability bestseller Believing Cassandra: How to be an optimist in a pessimist’s world (1999, 2010); The Sustainability Transformation: How to accelerate positive change in challenging times (2010); Life Beyond Growth (with Junko Edahiro, Random House Japan, 2012), and most recently Sustainability is for Everyone (2013). Altogether his books have sold over 40,000 copies and have been adopted by university classes, government agencies, and international training programs.

Alan is also a singer-songwriter. His sixth studio album, American Troubadourincluding the single “Set the World Right Again,” featured by UNFCCC as “Climate Song of the Week” — was released in 2014. (Listen to it free on YouTube, find it on iTunes, listen on Spotify. Available on most major streaming services.)

AtKisson_logo_with_taglineAs founder and president of the AtKisson Group, Alan has developed a professional network of sustainability-dedicated Affiliates and Associates in 15 countries. Members of the AtKisson Group include leading university centers of expertise in their regions, as well as non-profit foundations and private consultancies. AtKisson Group members advise companies, governments, cities, and educational institutions on sustainability strategy, policy, research, and initiative design.

Alan TEDx Uppsala Nov 2014

Click to view Alan’s TEDx talk on how to be an effective change agent for sustainability

Alan is the lead developer of the VISIS Method, the Sustainability Compass, the Pyramid workshop for sustainable development planning, and other tools and methods now used around the world. His work has influenced thousands of people who use these tools to manage CSR programs, learn the principles of systems thinking, convene stakeholders, and to facilitate other aspects of modern sustainability practice.

In 2013, Alan was inducted into the Sustainability Hall of Fame by the International Society of Sustainability Professionals in recognition for his pioneering work in establishing sustainability consulting as a profession, and for the inspiration he has provided to thousands of other professionals around the world. He joined a list of luminaries in the field that includes John Elkington, Hunter Lovins, Karl-Henrik Robèrt, Mathis Wackernagel, Hazel Henderson, and Ray Anderson, among others.

Also in 2013, Alan was named a member of the President’s Science and Technology Advisory Council, by President José Manuel Barroso of the European Commission, and served until the end of Pres. Barroso’s mandate in October 2014.

A dual citizen of both Sweden and the United States, Alan lives in Stockholm with his wife, Kristina AtKisson (also a highly experienced sustainability professional and member of AtKisson Group).



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