Amory Lovins

Physicist Amory B. Lovins is the Co-Founder, former CEO and Chairman, and current Chief Scientist of Rocky Mountain Institute.

Physicist Amory B. Lovins is the Chief Scientist of Rocky Mountain Institute—an independent, entrepreneurial, nonprofit, 200-person think-do-and-scale-tank that transforms global energy use to create a clean, secure, prosperous, low-carbon future.

He has been an advisor to major firms and governments in 70+ countries for 40+ years; author of 31 books and over 600 papers; and an integrative designer of super-efficient buildings, vehicles, factories, and the larger systems built around them. He received the Blue Planet, Volvo, Zayed, Onassis, Nissan, Shingo, and Mitchell Prizes, the MacArthur and Ashoka Fellowships, the Happold, Benjamin Franklin, and Spencer Hutchens Medals, 12 honorary doctorates, and the Heinz, Lindbergh, Right Livelihood (“alternative Nobel”), National Design (for “Design Mind”), and World Technology Awards. In 2016, the President of Germany awarded him that nation’s highest civilian award, the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit (Bundesverdienstkreuz 1. Klasse).

A Harvard and Oxford dropout, former Oxford don, honorary US architect, and Swedish engineering academician, he has taught at ten universities, most recently Stanford’s School of Engineering and the Naval Postgraduate School (but only on topics he’s never studied, so as to retain beginner’s mind). He has served on the U.S. National Petroleum Council, the U.S. Chief of Naval Operations’ Advisory Board, and two Defense Science Board task forces on military energy strategy. He is perhaps best known for reframing the energy problem in 1976 around end-use and least-cost, permitting the first successful post-1973 energy foresight. Time has named him one of the world’s 100 most influential people, and Foreign Policy, one of the 100 top global thinkers.

His latest books include Natural Capitalism (1999), Small Is Profitable (2002), Winning the Oil Endgame (2004), The Essential Amory Lovins (2011), and Reinventing Fire (2011). His main recent efforts include starting and supporting RMI’s collaborative synthesis, for China’s National Development and Reform Commission, of an ambitious efficiency-and-renewables strategy that strongly informed the 13th Five Year Plan; co-leading an intensive workshop (engaging five Cabinet members) on transforming India’s personal mobility to be shared, connected, and electric, then supporting its implementation effort with NITI Aayog, the strategic planning agency chaired by Prime Minister Modi; and seeking to make integrative design the new normal, so investments to energy efficiency can yield expanding rather than diminishing returns. His avocations include landscape photography, poetry, music (piano and composition), Taoism, and great-ape language and conservation.