Hagens is a well-known speaker on global issues and teaches a honors seminar at the University of Minnesota called ‘Reality 101 – A Survey of the Human Predicament’. He is on the boards of the Post Carbon Institute, Bottleneck Foundation, Institute for Integrated Economic Research, and Institute for the Study of Energy and the Future. Previously, he was lead editor of The Oil Drum, one of the most popular websites for analysis and discussion of global energy economics. Hagens has appeared on PBS, BBC, ABC and NPR, and has lectured around the world.
Hagens holds a Masters Degree in Finance with Honors from the University of Chicago and a PhD in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont. He spent his early career in finance and was President of Sanctuary Asset Management and a Vice President at the investment firms Salomon Brothers and Lehman Brothers.
“I used to work on Wall Street. I made (and spent) a lot of money. Around 1999, I started to learn about energy and ‘limits’. I intuited that in my lifetime, and possibly quite soon, global energy production (and therefore consumption) would peak and decline. A big deal it seemed. Eventually I quit my job to study the topics involved in our human ecosystem: biology, ecology, energy, environment, human behavior and economics – full time.”