Erik Orsenna – Keynote Speaker

Economist & expert on durable growth, environment, agriculture & emerging economies

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Erik Orsenna Profile Picture

Specialist Subjects

  • Sustainability and Growth
  • Future
  • Agriculture
  • Globalisation
  • Environment
  • Water


  • French


Erik Orsenna is an economist, writer and expert on sustainable growth, globalisation, the environment, and agriculture. He is a member of the prestigious Académie Française, and advises several French companies on economic and environmental strategies.

Orsenna sits on a special committee of the French Ministry of Agriculture, on the future of European agriculture. For more than fifteen years he has travelled the world, gathering materials for his essays about the hidden logic of globalisation and the management of natural resources, such as cotton. He also works intensively on the subject of water management, and chairs a special French think tank, Le Forum des Idées Neuves sur l’Eau.

Orsenna appears regularly on TV and participates in a number of debates in France, where he delivers an inspired vision of the future challenges of our planet. He addresses a significant number of topics, especially the balance between growth and the sustainability of natural resources, the necessity of a new approach in water management, the future of agriculture and the necessity for new agricultural models in both the developed world and the emerging world, and the new balance of power between Europe, United States, China and India.

He was a close collaborator of François Mitterrand and held several government positions in the 1980s and 1990s. Erik Orsenna has written more than thirty books, novels and essays, including several best sellers such as ‘L’Exposition Coloniale’ (1988), ‘Madame Bâ’ (2003), ‘Portrait du Gulf Stream’ (2005), ‘Voyage au pays du Coton’ (2006), ‘L’Avenir de l’Eau’ (2008) and ‘L’Entreprise des Indes’ (2010). For ‘Voyage au pays du coton’ he received the second prize of the Lettre Ulysses Award in 2006.

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