Tipping Points for Global Economic and Ecological Transformation

Nov 07, 2023  | 5 – 7pm (PT)

6th Bucerius Lecture at the David Brower Center, Berkeley | Speaker: Marcel Fratzscher (German Institute for Economic Research)

Cosponsered by the Institute of European Studies at UC Berkeley, Clausen Center for International Business and Policy at UC Berkeley, Haas Center for Responsible Business at UC Berkeley


Three fundamental transformations are currently occurring within the global community and within every nation that belongs to it. Across the globe, governments, organizations, and citizens are contending with a shift in global economic interdependencies, responding to new challenges brought about by rapid developments in digital technology, and grappling with the ecological transformations that are urgently needed to slow the pace of climate change. These transformations, unfortunately, often result in greater social polarization and increased division. Presently, the single biggest obstacle to meeting our current global challenges is the failure of societies to create widespread social consensus around certain necessary changes. This lecture addresses how social tipping points can create the self-enforcing dynamics needed to institute global economic and ecological transformation.

The lecture is funded by the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius, one of Germany’s leading private foundations. 

About the speaker

Marcel Fratzscher is a researcher, author, and columnist on economic and sociopolitical topics. He leads the German Institute for Economic Research and teaches macroeconomics at Humboldt University in Berlin. He is a member of various expert committees, including the United Nations High-Level Advisory Board on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Advisory Board of the German Federal Ministry of Economics, and the Board of Trustees of the Hertie School of Governance. His work focuses on macroeconomics and financial markets, inequality, and the globalization and integration of Europe. His opinion pieces frequently appear in German and international newspapers and media outlets such as the Financial Times and Project Syndicate. His 2022 book Geld oder Leben—Wie unser irrationales Verhältnis zum Geld unsere Gesellschaft spaltet (Money or Life—How Our Irrational Relationship to Money Divides Our Society) dispels long-standing myths about our dealings with money—with saving, debt, inflation, and interest—and analyzes what financial risk, provision, and wealth creation might look like in the future.