Thorkil Kristensen

Last updated
Thorkil Kristensen
1st Secretary-General of the OECD
In office
September 1961 September 1969
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Emiel van Lennep
3rd Secretary-General of the OEEC
In office
1960 September 1961
Preceded by René Sergent
Succeeded by Position abolished
Personal details
Born(1899-10-09)9 October 1899
Fløjstrup, Denmark
Died 26 June 1989(1989-06-26) (aged 89)
Birkerød, Denmark
Nationality Danish

Thorkil Kristensen (9 October 1899 – 26 June 1989) was a Danish politician, finance minister, professor in national economy, and futurist. [1]

Futurists or futurologists are scientists and social scientists whose specialty is futurology or the attempt to systematically explore predictions and possibilities about the future and how they can emerge from the present, whether that of human society in particular or of life on Earth in general.

Contents

Life and work

Kristensen was born a son of a farmer in Fløjstrup close to Vejle, Denmark. Between 1938–1945 he was professor at the University of Aarhus and between 1947–1960 at the Copenhagen Business School.

Vejle Town in Southern Denmark, Denmark

Vejle is a town in Denmark, in the southeast of the Jutland Peninsula at the head of Vejle Fjord, where the Vejle River and Grejs River and their valleys converge. It is the site of the councils of Vejle Municipality (kommune) and the Region of Southern Denmark. The city has a population of 54,862, making it the ninth largest city in Denmark. Vejle Municipality has a population of 111,743. The city is part of the Triangle Region, which includes the neighbouring cities of Kolding and Fredericia.

Denmark constitutional monarchy in Europe

Denmark, officially the Kingdom of Denmark, is a Nordic country and the southernmost of the Scandinavian nations. Denmark lies southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and is bordered to the south by Germany. The Kingdom of Denmark also comprises two autonomous constituent countries in the North Atlantic Ocean: the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Denmark proper consists of a peninsula, Jutland, and an archipelago of 443 named islands, with the largest being Zealand, Funen and the North Jutlandic Island. The islands are characterised by flat, arable land and sandy coasts, low elevation and a temperate climate. Denmark has a total area of 42,924 km2 (16,573 sq mi), land area of 42,394 km2 (16,368 sq mi), and the total area including Greenland and the Faroe Islands is 2,210,579 km2 (853,509 sq mi), and a population of 5.8 million.

Copenhagen Business School business school

Copenhagen Business School often abbreviated and referred to as CBS, is a public university situated in Copenhagen, Denmark and is considered one of the most prestigious business schools in Western Europe and the world. CBS was established in 1917 by the Danish Society for the Advancement of Business Education and Research (FUHU), however, it was not until 1920 that accounting became the first full study programme at CBS. Today CBS has more than 20,000 students, 2,000 employees and offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programmes within business, typically with an interdisciplinary and international focus. CBS is accredited by EQUIS, AMBA, as well as AACSB, thus making it one of the few schools worldwide to hold the "triple-crown" accreditation, and along with Aarhus BSS, the only two in Denmark.

Thorkil Kristensen was elected to the Danish Parliament 1945 and became finance minister under Knud Kristiansen (1945–1947) and Erik Eriksen (1950–1953). Throughout his life he worked with difficult economic problems. Among people of his own party and opposing parties, he enjoyed great respect because of his broad knowledge of economics.

He came to disagree on economic policy with his party, Venstre, and left the party in 1960.

After his exit from politics, he was secretary general of the OECD from 1960-1969. He was the founder of the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies (CIFS), making it one of the first futures research institutes on the European continent. He was managing director at CIFS from 1970–1988.

OECD international economic organisation

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is an intergovernmental economic organisation with 36 member countries, founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade. It is a forum of countries describing themselves as committed to democracy and the market economy, providing a platform to compare policy experiences, seeking answers to common problems, identify good practices and coordinate domestic and international policies of its members. Most OECD members are high-income economies with a very high Human Development Index (HDI) and are regarded as developed countries. As of 2017, the OECD member states collectively comprised 62.2% of global nominal GDP and 42.8% of global GDP at purchasing power parity. OECD is an official United Nations observer.

The Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies is Denmark's and one of Scandinavia's largest Futures Studies think tanks. It was founded in 1970 by Professor Thorkil Kristensen, former OECD Secretary-General, Danish Minister of Finance and member of the Club of Rome. It is a non-profit think tank and its mission was from the outset to help Danish organizations understand and plan for the trends that are shaping their long-term future. Today it is an international think tank.

He participated in the Club of Rome which attracted considerable public attention with its report, Limits to Growth, which has sold 30 million copies in more than 30 translations, making it the best selling environmental book in world history.

Club of Rome An organisation of individuals who claim to share a common concern for the future of humanity and strive to make a difference.

Founded in 1968 at Accademia dei Lincei in Rome, Italy, the Club of Rome consists of current and former heads of state, UN bureaucrats, high-level politicians and government officials, diplomats, scientists, economists, and business leaders from around the globe. It stimulated considerable public attention in 1972 with the first report to the Club of Rome, The Limits to Growth. Since 1 July 2008 the organization has been based in Winterthur, Switzerland.

Selected publications

Articles, a selection

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References

  1. Andersen, Poul Nyboe (1996). "Thorkil Kristensen. En ener i dansk politik". Historisk Tidsskrift. Odense Universitetsforlag. 16 (5): 241.