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 I went through a personal transformation. I now show myself in the way that I have long felt: a non-binary person, orienting himself equally according to “feminine” and “masculine” gender roles. As external signs of this transformation I combine clothes intended for women and men, and have adopted Wiltrude as a middle name. This name includes the first syllables of the middle names my parents gave me (Willi and Rudolf) and means “strong-willed woman.”
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.