Economic and social theorist Jeremy Rifkin, the author of 20 books on the impact of scientific and technological changes on the global economy and the environment, will visit Virginia Tech Feb. 6-7.

During his two-day visit, Rifkin will give a public lecture Feb. 6 on the global economic crisis, energy security, and climate change, and how the Roanoke and New River Valley region could navigate those challenges in the future through a regional strategic plan.

The lecture, to be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Moss Arts Center’s Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, located within the Street and Davis Performance Hall at 190 Alumni Mall, will be hosted by Richard Blythe, dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies. Virginia Tech President Tim Sands will join Rifkin to share his vision of Virginia Tech and the role it plays in the region. The event is free and open to the public.

“We are excited to host a global thought leader the stature of Jeremy Rifkin at Virginia Tech,” said Blythe. “At a time when the university is working to develop its Destination Areas and identify 'big sticky projects' that seek to solve the world’s most complex problems, combined with deep community engagement, the effort to encourage strategic regional planning could unlock opportunities to transform our university and this region significantly.

“The opportunity to discuss these possibilities with the university and broader community is very exciting, and engaging a person of Jeremy Rifkin’s stature in this process is an incredible occasion for Virginia Tech and the region.”

Rifkin is an American economic and social theorist, writer, public speaker, political advisor, and activist. The author of 20 books, his most recent works include "The Zero Marginal Cost Society" (2014), "The Third Industrial Revolution" (2011), "The Empathic Civilization" (2010), and "The European Dream" (2004).

Rifkin has been an advisor to the European Union since 2000 and has counseled the three most recent presidents of the European Commission. In addition, he has served as an advisor to the leadership of the European Parliament and prominent European heads of state on issues related to the economy, climate change, and energy security. Most recently, he has advised the leadership of the People’s Republic of China on similar topics.

Since 1995, Rifkin has taught at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where he instructs corporate CEOs and senior business managers on how to transition business operations into sustainable economies.

In 2015, Rifkin was listed among the top 10 most influential economic thinkers in the WorldPost/HuffingtonPost survey of “the world’s most influential voices.”

On Feb. 7, Rifkin will engage with students, faculty, and community leaders in three workshops focused on strategic planning and the new industrial age. Participation in these workshops, to be held on the Virginia Tech campus, are by invitation only.

Rifkin’s visit to Virginia Tech was facilitated by the university’s Global Forum for Urban and Regional Resilience.

Share this story