Nate Hagens

Nate Hagens

Nate is a well-known speaker on the big picture issues facing human society and currently teaches a systems synthesis Honors seminar at the University of Minnesota ‘Reality 101 – A Survey of the Human Predicament’   Nate is on the Boards of Post Carbon Institute, Bottleneck Foundation, IIER and Institute for the Study of Energy and the Future.  Previously, he was lead editor of The Oil Drum, one of the most popular and respected websites for analysis and discussion of global energy supplies and the future implications of the upcoming energy transition.

Nate’s presentations address the opportunities and constraints we face after the coming peak of global economic growth. On the supply side, Nate focuses on the interrelationship between debt-based financial markets and natural resources, particularly energy with and the unique (and so far unplanned for) risks from the coming ‘Great Simplification’.  On the demand side, Nate addresses the evolutionarily-derived underpinnings to status, addiction, and our aversion to acting about the future and offers suggestions on how individuals and society might better adapt to the coming decades.  Ultimately, Nate’s talks attempt to provide a framework for people who would like to participate in shaping the future.

Nate has appeared on PBS, BBC, ABC and NPR, and has lectured around the world. He holds a Masters Degree in Finance with Honors from the University of Chicago and a PhD in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont. Previously Nate was President of Sanctuary Asset Management and a Vice President at the investment firms Salomon Brothers and Lehman Brothers.


Nick Haddad: “Insects – A Silent Extinction”

Professor Nick Haddad is co-lead of the Long Term Ecological Research site at Kellogg Biological Station at Michigan State University. He leads decades-long, landscape-scale experiments that bring scientific principles to conservation actions.

September 27, 2023

plastic pollution

Sian Sutherland: “Innovating the Business of Plastics”

Sian Sutherland is Co-founder of A Plastic Planet, one of the most recognised and respected organizations tackling the plastic crisis.

September 21, 2023


Robert Sapolsky: “The Brain, Determinism, and Cultural Implications”

On this episode, neuroscientist and author Robert Sapolsky joins Nate to discuss the structure of the human brain and its implication on behavior and our ability to change.

September 13, 2023

Orca single breaching

Reality Roundtable #04: “Titanic Oceans”: Daniel Pauly, Antonio Turiel, Peter Ward

On this Reality Roundtable, marine biologist Daniel Pauly, ocean physicist Antonio Turiel, and paleobiologist Peter Ward join Nate to discuss the numerous oft-overlooked threats to the Earth’s great oceans.

September 12, 2023


The Many Shapes of the Carbon Pulse

In this Frankly, Nate describes the Carbon Pulse – a one time massive consumption of fossil hydrocarbons at a pace millions of times faster than they were created.

September 11, 2023

burning charcoal

Graham Palmer: “Energy Storage and Civilization: A History”

On this episode, Nate is joined by Graham Palmer, a scholar and engineer in the field of energy. While this show frequently covers the importance of energy itself, this discussion focuses on how the ability to store and access energy has critically shaped societies.

September 6, 2023

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