Alex Steffen

Alex Steffen bigraphy, stories - American writer

Alex Steffen : biography

1968 –

Alex Steffen (* 1968) is an American writer, editor, public speaker and futurist.

Public speaking

Steffen has spoken at TED, Poptech, Design Indaba, Amsterdam’s PicNic, The Royal Geographical Society and New Delhi’s Doors of Perception. As well as keynote addresses at industry events like the AIGA and IDSA national conferences, O’Reilly’s Emerging Technologies (eTech), FOO Camp and the Business Expo Bright Green held during the Copenhagen Climate Summit. Steffen has keynoted three different South by Southwest conferences (SxSW). Steffen has also spoken at universities including Harvard, Yale, Oxford, Stanford and the London School of Economics.

He is represented by the Lavin Agency.


Alex Steffen attended Oberlin College before earning his B.A. from Allegheny College in 1990 and pursued graduate studies at University of Washington’s Jackson School of International Studies.

In the 1990s, he was president of Allied Arts, started Steelhead magazine, and founded the Fuse Foundation.

Steffen guest-edited the final, unreleased issue of the Whole Earth Review.

In 2012, he released Carbon Zero: Imagining Cities That Can Save the Planet.

Media Coverage

In a cover story, WIE Magazine called Steffen "a pioneering thinker on global sustainability." Rotman magazine (the alumni magazine of Rotman School of Management) described him as "an award-winning writer… engaged in innovative, future-forward sustainability work",Rotman magazine, Spring, 2008 issue, page 79 while local newspaper Seattle Weekly called him one "of the world’s leading green futurists".

He was chosen by The New York Times Magazine as one of six leading innovators in its "Ecotecture" issue.

In 2009, he was named one of the GOOD 100.

Worldchanging was a non-profit sustainability and social innovation website.

The site won or was nominated for a number of awards and prizes, including:

  • 2005, won the Utne Independent Press Award.
  • 2006, finalist for a Webby for Best Blog.
  • 2007, finalist for a Webby for Best Magazine, as well as for Bloggie awards for Best Group Weblog and Best Writing for a Weblog; won the Green Prize for Sustainable Literature for its book; won Organic Design Award. Prix Ars Electronica nominee.
  • 2008, named a Webby Official Honoree.

On November 29, 2010, Worldchanging announced on its blog that it would be closing its doors due to a lack of funding.


In November 2006, Steffen published a survey of global innovation, Worldchanging: A User’s Guide for the 21st century (ISBN 978-0810930957) with a foreword by Al Gore, design by Stefan Sagmeister and an introduction by Bruce Sterling.