Johan Rockström leads the Stockholm Resilience Centre, focusing on a new approach to sustainability: the capacity to use change and crisis to spur renewal and innovative thinking. In 2009, working with an international team of scientists, he identified and quantified a set of nine planetary boundaries within which humanity can continue to develop and thrive for generations to come -- while crossing them could generate abrupt or irreversible environmental changes.
Since then, the boundaries research has spread among international organizations, governments, NGOs and companies and has been adopted as a new framework to guide the discussion about "sustainable growth". It is currently debated as a core part of setting the criteria that will follow the UN's Millennium Development Goals. Rockström also chairs Future Earth, an initiative to advance integrated science for global sustainability.