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Felix Dodds

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Felix Dodds

Felix Dodds
Dodds in 2002
Born Derby, England
Occupation Executive Director, Author
Nationality  United Kingdom
Notable work(s) One Only Earth: The Long Road via Rio to Sustainable Development, How to Lobby at Intergovernmental Meetings: Mine is a Café Latte, Human and Environmental Security, Climate Change and Energy Insecurity, Earth Summit 2002 and Into the Twenty First Century

Felix Dodds is an author, futurist and activist. He has been instrumental in developing new modes of stakeholder engagement with the United Nations, particularly within the field of sustainable development. Mr. Dodds was the Executive Director of Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future from 1992-2012. He is probably best known as the author of How to Lobby at Intergovernmental Meetings: Mine is a Café Latte, written with co-author Michael Strauss.

Dodds' most recent book, is Only One Earth - The Long Road via Rio to Sustainable Development written with Michael Strauss and Maurice Strong outlines the last forty years and the challenges for the future. His previous books include Biodiversity and Ecosystem Insecurity edited with Dr. Ahmed Djoghlaf UN Convention on Biological Diversity Executive Secretary this is a companion book to Climate Change and Energy Insecurity edited volume with Andrew Higham and Richard Sherman and Human and Environmental Security: An Agenda for Change they argue that the new paradigm facing the world is the interface between environmental, human, economic security considerations. Dodds argues that this is due to the failure of developed countries to deliver on promises made during the 1992 Rio Earth Summit and the 2002 World Summit in Johannesburg.

Human and Environmental Security: An Agenda for Change was nominated for the International Studies Association Sprout Award in 2006 for the most significant publication in the field of [1] and World Heritage Encyclopedia list him in their list of 49 Green thinkers.

He has two children Robin Dodds and Merri Dodds.

Early years

Felix Dodds was influenced at an early age by the visions of [2].

Political work (1980–1990)

Early in his career, Felix Dodds was active in UK politics and involved himself with the Anti-Apartheid Movement and the Anti-Nazi League. Dodds simultaneously began to engage with environmental issues such as acid rain, nuclear power and ozone depletion. He held numerous positions in the Liberal Party between 1983 and 1987, and became chair of the party's "young wing" - the National League of Young Liberals (NLYL) - in 1985.

Dodds was a key instigator in the rebellion against the SDP-Liberal Alliance leadership of David Steel and David Owen over the issue of an independent nuclear deterrence. The rebel alliance produced the publication Across the Divide: Liberal Values on Defence and Disarmament, which outlined the Liberal Party’s historic opposition to the UK having an independent nuclear deterrent. This resulted in a major defeat to the leadership in 1986, by twenty-three votes at the Liberal Party Conference defence debate in Eastbourne.[2]

After serving the NLYL, Dodds published his first book, Into the Twenty-First Century: An Agenda for Political Realignment. His work called for closer cooperation between Green members on the left in British politics. Contributors to the book included: Jonathon Porritt, Jean Lambert MEP, Peter Hain MP, Simon Hughes MP, Michael Meadowcroft MP, Sara Parkin, Petra Kelly Green MP in Germany, Jeremy Seabrook, Peter Tatchell and Hilary Wainwright. In 1988, Dodds co-founded Green Voice, which worked for two years to create a dialogue between Green members on the left of UK politics.

Leadership at the UN (1990–present)

Since 1990, Felix Dodds has been active within the United Nations network, originally as Director of the United Nations Environment and Development, UK Committee (UNED-UK). This organization evolved into the UNED-Forum, eventually leading to its successor organization, Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future. These organizations played a critical role in mobilizing support for the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002. In the months leading up to the highly publicized meeting, Stakeholder Forum’s Earth Summit web site[3] was used by stakeholders as the primary non-UN online resource. For the Rio+20 conference Stakeholder Forum played a role as a major partner to the UN to engage stakeholders in the conference. It again had the major non UN web site Earth Summit web site[4] for stakeholders.

In 2000, Dodds' book, Earth Summit 2002: A New Deal, outlined many of the key issues for the Summit two years before it occurred.

Dodds has co-founded global Non-governmental organization coalitions for a number of United Nations processes, including the annual United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (UN CSD), the 1996 UN-HABITAT II Conference, and the 1999 World Health Organization Health and Environment Conference in London.

Dodds co-chaired the NGO coalition at the UN CSD from 1997 to 2001, and is credited with proposing to the UN General Assembly in 1996 the introduction of Stakeholder Dialogues at the United Nations. Dodds has played a pivotal role in their development since that time, and is a keen advocate for the involvement of stakeholders in the decision making process and implementation of global agreements. He has argued that we are in a process of transition from representative democracy - Madison democracy[5] to a participatory democracy - Jeffersonian Democracy. Dodds contends that at present we are in a period of stakeholder democracy, and trying, at various levels within society, to develop the structures, vocabulary and institutions to embed this phase. He firmly believes that such developments will strengthen world democracy.

Since 2004, Dodds has been actively working on the emerging agenda of human and environmental security. His book, Human and Environmental Security: An Agenda for Change, produced with Tim Pippard of Jane's Information Group, outlines the critical issues of this new agenda. Dodds argues that, due to the failure of donor governments to fund the agendas stemming from summits at Rio and Johannesburg, many environmental issues are now becoming security dilemmas.

He has held a number of positions including: Member of the Green Globe Task Group to advice the Foreign Secretary on issues of sustainable development; Member of International Advisory Board for 'Down to Earth - Sustainable Consumption in the 21st Century; Member of the Board of the Montreal International Forum;The Co-Chair International Steering Committee for Rio+8; Member of the International Advisory Board for the 2001 Bonn Freshwater Conference; A Commissioner of the Commission on Globalisation; A Member of the International Steering Committee for the Conference Hilltops to Oceans; A Bremen Partnership Award Judge; Member of the Advisory Group for the 2006 Basque Sustainable Development Conference; Member of the G8 (Russian Government) International Advisory Council of Non-governmental Organizations;

He has a regular column, 'Food for Thought' in the Stakeholder Forum newsletter Outreach which is published daily at UN meetings such as the UN Commission on Sustainable Development and UNFCCC.

Current positions

Felix Dodds is a fellow of the Global Research Institute at the University of North Carolina and an Associate fellow at the Tellus Institute. He is co-director of the Nexus 2014: Water, Energy, Food and Climate Conference. He is a writer and was for twenty years Executive Director of Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future (1992-2012). Since 2007, he has been an instrumental leader of Race for Tomorrow, a public campaign to reach the UN Millennium Development Goals by 2015. He is a member of the UN Habitat World Urban Campaign Steering Committee.

Dodds has, in the past, advised the European Union,the governments of Denmark and the UK at intergovernmental events. Dodds also served as an advisor on civil society to the Russian Government for the 2006 G8 Summit. From 2006 to 2007, he was a member of the UNEP Global Environmental Outlook 4 Outreach Advisory Committee and is a former board member of the Montreal International Forum.

He was selected by the NGOs and the film festivals and twittering.


  • "The United Nations offers us a place to be touched by the better angles of our nature. Rio, Beijing+20, the SIDs review, the MDG review and Habitat 3 offer a coherent opportunity for the development of a new global narrative on how we might live together on this small planet - after all its 'Only One Earth' we have." Speech to the UN General Assembly 22nd May 2012
  • "The environment movement is a civil society volunteer movement at its heart. Volunteerism has been one of the driving forces behind the birth of the modern environment movement. The success of environmental activism in conveying the importance of a healthy environment for both development objectives and overall well-being of local communities has progressively contributed to affirm a new way of looking at our relationship with the planet." Speech to final plenary of UN DPI NGO 2011 Conference
  • "The foundation for a green economy and a strong institutional framework for sustainable development is people. As people are consumers, activists, volunteers, and (responsive) citizens. People actively engaged in their communities and societies will ensure action to effectively tackle pressing sustainable development issues." Speech to the UN DPI NGO 2011 Conference
  • "The current economic model, which has brought unprecedented prosperity to the more developed countries and to particular people in those countries, has only deepened the disparity between them and most developing countries. The parallels of the ecological problems with the financial crisis are clear. The banks and financial institutions privatised the gains and socialised the losses. We are doing the same with the planet’s natural capital. Our present lifestyles are drawing down the ecological capital from other parts of the world and from future generations. We are increasingly becoming the most irresponsible generation our planet has seen. The past 30 years have been characterised by irresponsible capitalism, pursuing limitless economic growth at the expense of both society and environment, with little or no regard for the natural resource base upon which such wealth is built." Speech to UN General Assembly November 2010
  • "Our present lifestyles are drawing down the ecological capital from other parts of the world and from future generations. We are increasingly becoming the most irresponsible generation our planet has seen." Speech to Rio+20 Conference May 2010
  • “The future is in our hands rather than those of the party leaders, and the crisis of peace versus war, development versus despair, sustainability versus annihilation, are ours to solve.”[6]
  • “These changes [we call for] demand an opening up, not a closing down, of our societies. The creation of a strong democracy is one that needs an ever vigilant and vibrant civil society. The world will always have different visions of the societies we want to create, as the human imagination has immense capability. The involvement of all stakeholders is one way of harnessing this capability.”[7]
  • “The work of NGOs around the UN Commission on Sustainable Development over the last decade has become a beacon of hope for changing the intergovernmental negotiating process from a talking shop approach to a democratic space for global problem solving.”[8]
  • “He (Dr. Hunter Thompson) represented a set of political writers who captured a generation with Norman Mailer and Gore Vidal who felt they had lost their heroes Bobby and John Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. and were left with Richard Nixon, Spiro Agnew and now President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. The contrast for Thompson was huge on Nixon he said: 'America's answer to the monstrous Mr. Hyde. He speaks for the werewolf in us.'”[9]
  • “We are now seeing the emergence of this new paradigm because developed governments have not delivered on their Rio and Johannesburg commitments. Not because the conversation was wrong about what needed to be done - it just wasn't delivered. By 2012, 20 years from Rio, we need another Earth Summit this time on human and environmental security. If we don't, then the agenda of sustainable development will be dictated by the security concerns bringing major impacts on our lives and our democracies.”[10]
  • “The next generation need not become a generation of crisis, it need not be a generation of fear - it could be a generation of hope and solidarity.”[11]


  • Dodds, F., MP Hughes, S. MP Kirkwood, A., MP Meadowcroft, M.,et al. 1986, Across the Divide: Liberal Values on Defence and Disarmament Hebden Bridge
  • Dodds, F., (Ed.), 1988. Into the 21st Century - An Agenda for Political Realignment. London: Green Print
  • Dodds, F., & Haskin, M., 1988. The Politics of Realignment. In: F. Dodds (Ed.), Into the 21st Century - An Agenda for Political Realignment, London: Green Print
  • Dodds, F., & Roddick, J. 1993. Agenda 21's Political Strategy. In: C. Thomas (Ed.): Rio: Unravelling the Consequences. London: Frank Cass
  • Grimshaw, C., Hussain, I., Dodds, F. & Stringer, S., 1995. Connections Earth. London: Two Can & Watts Books
  • Dodds, F., 1996 Sustainable Communities - the Broader Agenda. In Millennium Partnerships for Sustainable Regeneration, Greenwich: Docklands Forum & Greenwich Waterfront Community Forum
  • Dodds, F., (Ed.), 1997. The Way Forward - Beyond Agenda 21. London: Earthscan
  • Dodds, F., 1997. The Adventures of Change. In: F. Dodds (Ed.), The Way Forward - Beyond Agenda 21. London: Earthscan
  • Bigg, T. & Dodds, F., 1997. The UN Commission on Sustainable Development. In: F. Dodds (Ed.). The Way Forward - Beyond Agenda 21. London: Earthscan
  • Dodds, F., 1997. Indicators for Citizens. In: Kirdar, Uner. (Ed.), Cities Are for People. New York: United Nations
  • Dodds, F. & Bigg, T., 1997. NGOs and the UN System Since the Rio Summit: The NGO Steering Committee for the Commission on Sustainable Development. In Implementing Agenda 21: NGO Experiences from around the World, [3] UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service. Geneva: UN NGLS
  • Dodds, F., 1999. Introduction In Strauss, M., The Dialogue Records. New York. CSD NGO Steering Committee Northern Clearing House
  • Dodds, F., 1999. Foreword, In: Girardet, H., Creating Sustainable Cities. Totnes: Green Books
  • Dodds, F., (Ed) 2000 & 2002. Earth Summit 2002 - A New Deal. London. Earthscan
  • Dodds, F., 2000 and 2002. Reforming the International Institutions. In F. Dodds (Ed.). Earth Summit 2002 - A New Deal. . London: Earthscan
  • Dodds, F., 2000. CSD NGO Steering Committee, In Kunugi, T. and Schweitz, M., Codes of Conduct for Partnership in Governance. Japan: The United Nations University
  • Dodds, F. & Narain, S., 2000. Challenges for the Future: Co-Chairs perspectives of the Rio+8 Copenhagen NGO Roundtable Forum. In We Have One Earth. [4] Copenhagen: The Danish 92 Group
  • Dodds, F., 2001. From The Corridors To The Table - The Evolution Of The CSD NGO Steering Committee. In M. Edwards (Ed.): Global Citizen Action. New York: Reinner
  • Dodds, F., 2001, Preface to the Revised Edition, In Earth Summit 2002 A New Deal, London Earthscan
  • Dodds, F., From Rio to Johannesburg. In The Road to Earth Summit 2002 Heinrich Boell Foundation
  • Dodds, F., 2002, Multi-stakeholder Process in Context of Global Governance Reform, In M. Hemmati, (Ed.), Multi-stakeholder Processes for Governance and Sustainability Beyond Deadlock and Conflict, London. Earthscan
  • Dodds, F., 2002, From Rio to Johannesburg, Cooperation South, New York, United Nations Development Programme
  • Dodds, F., 2002, From Rio via The Hague to Johannesburg: the role of multi-stakeholder dialogues, In Water Science and Technology - Balancing Competing Water Uses Present Status and New Prospects, [6]. Stockholm, IWA Publishing
  • Dodds, F., with Strauss M., March 2004 and 2006, How to Lobby at Intergovernmental Meetings or Mine is a Café Latte, London, Earthscan
  • Dodds, F., 2004 and 2006, Preface, in Plain Language Guide to the World Summit on Sustainable Development, London Earthscan
  • Dodds, F and Pippard, T., (Ed.), March 2005, Environment and Human Security – An Agenda for Change. London: Earthscan
  • Dodds, F. and Pippard, T., 2005, An Agenda for Change, In Environment and Human Security – An Agenda for Change. London Earthscan
  • Sherman, R., Peer, J., Dodds, F., and Figueroa Kupcu, M., 2006, Strengthening The Johannesburg Implementation Track Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future
  • Dodds, F., Peer, J., Sherman, R., 2006. Some Way, But Not All Way on UN Reform, [8], on the BBC web site.
  • Dodds, F., 2007, Emerging Stakeholder Democracy: A New Style of Diplomacy, In Cooper, A. and Hocking B., Worlds Apart? Exploring the Interface between Governance and Diplomacy. Japan, United Nations University
  • Dodds, F., Strauss, M., Howell, M., & Onestini, M., 2007, Negotiating and Implementing MEAs: A Manual for NGOs, Nairobi UNEP
  • Dodds F., Sherman, R., 2007, Climate and the UN: A new bid for control?, [9], on the BBC web site
  • Dodds, F., 2007, Foreword, In NGO Diplomacy: The Influence of Nongovernmental Organizations in International Environmental Negotiations, Edited by Michele M. Betsill and Elisabeth Corell, MIT Press
  • Dodds, F., Strauss, M., 2008, Sacrificing the Millennium Goals would be a real crisis [10] on the BBC web site
  • Dodds, F., Osborn, D., Stoddart, H., Strandenaes, J.G., 2008, Donostia Declaration on Rio+20 Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future
  • Dodds, F., Higham, A., and Sherman, R., (Ed.) 2009, Climate and Energy Insecurity. London, Earthscan
  • Dodds, F., Sherman, R., 2009, A multilateral system for climate and energy security: what roles for existing institutions? In Climate Change and energy Insecurity. London, Earthscan
  • Dodds, F., Strauss M., 2009, Dreaming of a green Christmas [11] on the BBC web site
  • Dodds, F., Strong, M., 2010, Reviving the Spirit of Rio [12] on the BBC web site
  • Dodds, F., Strandenas, J.G., 2010, Input to the Consultative Group on International Environmental Governance London Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future
  • Djoghlaf, A., Dodds, F., (Ed.) 2011, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Insecurity: A Planet in Peril. London Earthscan
  • Djoghlaf, A., Dodds, F., 2011, A Panet in Peril In Djoghlaf, A., Dodds, F., (Ed) Biodiversity and Ecosystem Insecurity: A Planet in Peril. London Earthscan
  • Dodds, F., Sherman, R., 2011, Governing Biodiversity, In Djoghlaf, A., Dodds, F., (Ed.) Biodiversity and Ecosystem Insecurity: A Planet in Peril. London Earthscan
  • Dodds, F., 2012, Foreword, In The Tierra Solution: Resolving Climate Change Through Monetary Transformation, by Frans C. Verhagen, Cosimo Inc
  • Dodds, F., Strauss, M., with Strong, M., 2012, Only One Earth: The Long Road via Rio to Sustainable Development. London Earthscan
  • Dodds, F., 2012, Travelling to tomorrow - stakeholders on the same planet, In G.Lipman, T.Delacy, R. Hawkins and M. Jiang(Ed.), Green Growth and Travelism - Letters from Leaders, London. Goodfellow Publishers Ltd
  • Dodds, F. and Nayar, A., 2012, Rio+20 - A New Beginning. Perspectives Issue 8, Nairobi, UNEP
  • Dodds, F. Peach, R. and Strauss, M. 2013, "Acting to Address the Ocean-Related Impacts of Climate Change on Human and National Security, with Recommendations for Priority Actions drawn from the discussions of the Global Conference on Oceans, Climate and Security at the University of Massachusetts Boston", Boston Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate and Security, University of Massachusetts Boston
  • Dodds, F., Thompson, E. and Laguna Celis, J. January 2014 "From Rio+20 to a New Development Agenda: Building a Bridge to a Sustainable Future", London. Routledge


External links

  • Official website

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