I grew up as a German in Thailand, South Korea and Greece, where I became concerned about ecological and social issues from an early age. I then studied biology, environmental science and geography in the United States. My doctoral dissertation in geography at the Pennsylvania State University focused on social aspects of land degradation in Kerala (South India).
After completing my doctorate I worked for 16 years (1998-2014) as a geography professor at Truman State University in Missouri. Recognizing that we cannnot solve our social and ecological problems without resolving to change some fundamental economic structures, I devoted my research to the question how a transformation to a sustainable economy might be achieved. I wrote many of my publications during this time, but of greatest importance is my book The Economics of Abundance that provided the direction for my current work.
In 2014 I moved to Heidelberg, Germany, with the aim of introducing my thoughts about economic transformation into the political discourse in Germany and to implement them in practical projects. I am working on systemic strategies to create an economy of abundance of life: socially equitable, ecologically sustainable and free.
In 2019 I moved to Mannheim, while continuing to be actively engaged in Heidelberg. In the same year a personal transformation began. I had long felt that I was not really a man and partially a woman. Now, I finally began to follow an inner call, initially to make my external appearance more womanly through my choice of clothing. This friendly but persistent call has since then taken me ever further on the path to womanhood – and each step on this way brought more joy into my life! I thank the many women, who have supported me on this path, and without whom I would never have progressed so far so rapidly – Ishita, Jane, Isabell, Lara, Laura, Maren, Franziska, Cornelia, Conny, Almut, Sibylle, Dagmar, Ariane, Andrea and many more, including many whose names I do not know! Today it fills me with joy to be addressed as a woman and as Wiltrude, and I give my heartfelt thanks to anyone who does!
Less is More, 3/10/19, interview at the Greenpreneur Show, Chicago.
Vorstellung des Konzeptes eines selbstbestimmten Gemeinwohldienstes (in German), 3/13/18, Urban Innovation Open House, Heidelberg (presentation begins at 1:08:49).
Interview zum Thema Refeudalisierung der Gesellschaft (in German), 6/7/18, just before a presentation on “Poor & Rich”, part of a series of events “Wie reden wir miteinander?” organised by the StudierendenRat der Universität Heidelberg, the Deutsch Amerikanische Institut Heidelberg and Real World Economics.