Mathis Wackernagel

Founder & President of Global Footprint Network

Mathis Wackernagel is co-creator of the Ecological Footprint and President of Global Footprint Network. He completed a Ph.D. in community and regional planning with Professor William Rees at the University of British Columbia, where his doctoral dissertation developed the Ecological Footprint concept. Mathis also earned a mechanical engineering degree from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.



  • Wackernagel, Mathis and Bert Beyers, 2019. Ecological Footprint: Managing the Biocapacity Budget, New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island. (Italian translation 2020, different German version earlier 2011/2016)
  • Bradshaw, Corey J. A. Paul R. Ehrlich, Andrew Beattie, Gerardo Ceballos, Eileen Crist, Joan Diamond, Rodolfo Dirzo, Anne H. Ehrlich, John Harte, Mary Ellen Harte, Graham Pyke, Peter H. Raven, William J. Ripple, Frédérik Saltré, Christine Turnbull, Mathis Wackernagel, Daniel T. Blumstein, 2021, “Underestimating the challenges of avoiding a ghastly future”, Frontiers in Conservation Science / Front. Conserv. Sci.  doi: 10.3389/fcosc.2020.615419.
  • Wackernagel, Mathis; Laurel Hanscom, Priyangi Jayasinghe, David Lin, Adeline Murthy, Evan Neill, Peter Raven. 2021. “The Significance of Resource Security for Poverty Eradication.” Nature Sustainability (accepted)
  • Raven, Peter and Mathis Wackernagel, 2020, Defining Biodiversity will define our long-term success. Plant Diversity.
  • Wackernagel, Mathis; Lin, David; Evans, Mikel; Hanscom, Laurel; Raven, Peter. 2019. « Defying the Footprint Oracle: Implications of Country Resource Trends. » Sustainability 11, no. 7: 2164.
  • Wackernagel, Mathis, Laurel Hanscom and David Lin (2017) Making the Sustainable Development Goals Consistent with Sustainability. Front. Energy Res. 5:18. doi: 10.3389/fenrg.2017.00018

Key Websites

  • — offers, as Global Footprint Network’s main site, all the background on the Ecological Footprint and its applications
  • — provides all key results for the National Footprint and Biocapacity Accounts on an open data platform
  • — allows individuals to estimate their own Footprint and their personal Overshoot Date. Entry point to the #MoveTheDate map
  • — hosts Earth Overshoot Day and features solutions to #MoveTheDate
  • — highlights the relevance of Ecological Footprint and re­lated results for the finance industry
  • — applies the Ecological Footprint logic to Switzerland’s competitiveness
  • and — provide information about the Ecologi­cal Footprint in English and Chinese
  • – Footprint Data Foundation is the newly established, independent organization to host the National Footprint and Biocapacity Accounts. The intent is also to have this data organization be embraced by an alliance of international institutions, as explained at

Has participated to: