Hazel Henderson is a well-known futurist, writer and sustainable development expert who has been a leader in efforts to move the global economy away from relying on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and other monetary measures as the primary indicators of countries’ perceived progress. A self-educated economist, she is an outspoken critic of traditional economic systems and has focused her work on advocating alternative systems that incorporate social and environmental factors into overall quality of life assessments. She is co-founder and co-sponsor of the Calvert-Henderson Quality-of-Life Indicators.
A native of Great Britain, she was a young mother and housewife in New York in the early 1960s when air pollution issues motivated her to become an activist and she founded a group called “Citizens for Clean Air.” She subsequently decided to study economics when she found that much of the opposition to her activist work was coming from economists and she wanted to understand why this was. She has written a number of books challenging traditional economic thinking, including Creating Alternative Futures: The End of Economics (1978); Politics of the Solar Age: Alternatives to Economics (1981); Paradigms in Progress: Life Beyond Economics (1991); Beyond Globalization: Shaping a Sustainable Global Economy (1999); and Ethical Markets, Growing the Green Economy (2006).
Henderson lectures widely and is also a prolific writer of editorials, newspaper columns, and journal articles. Her work has appeared in hundreds of newspapers and journals around the world. She has held academic appointments at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of California at Santa Barbara and served as an adviser to the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment and the National Science Foundation. She has been a board member for many organizations including the Worldwatch Institute and the Calvert Social Investment Fund. She is a member of the World Future Society, the Association for Evolutionary Economics, a Fellow of the World Futures Studies Federation, and a Fellow of Britain’s Royal Society of Arts. She has received several honorary degrees and numerous other awards, including the 1996 Global Citizen Award, which she shared with A. Perez Esquivel of Argentina, winner of the 1980 Nobel Peace Prize.
She founded Ethical Markets Media and is the creator and co-executive producer of Ethical Markets TV.