The Worldwatch Institute was a globally focused environmental research organization based in Washington, D.C., founded by Lester R. Brown. Worldwatch was named as one of the top ten sustainable development research organizations by Globescan Survey of Sustainability Experts.
Brown left to found the Earth Policy Institute in 2000. The Institute was wound up in 2017, after publication of its last State of the World Report. Worldwatch.org was unreachable from mid 2019. A Twitter feed remains as of 2021.
The mission of the Institute read: "Through research and outreach that inspire action, the Worldwatch Institute works to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world that meets human needs. The Institute's top mission objectives are universal access to renewable energy and nutritious food, expansion of environmentally sound jobs and development, transformation of cultures from consumerism to sustainability, and an early end to population growth through healthy and intentional childbearing."
The Worldwatch Institute aimed to inform policymakers and the public about the links between the world economy and its environmental support systems. Research conducted by the institute was integrative or interdisciplinary and global in scope.
Worldwatch's priority programs included:
Worldwatch also monitors human health, population, water resources, biodiversity, governance, and environmental security.
- 1974—The institute was founded by Lester Brown.
- 1975—The first Worldwatch Paper was published.
- 1984—First State of the World published.
- 1988—World Watch Magazine was launched.
- 1992—Vital Signs, Worldwatch's third annual series, was premiered.
- 2000—Christopher Flavin became President of Worldwatch in October.
- 2000 Lester R. Brown left, to found the Earth Policy Institute in 2001.
- 2008—Worldwatch hosted the 20th Anniversary of the James E. Hansen hearings.
- 2010. July/August edition of World Watch magazine was the last.
- 2011—Robert Engelman became President of Worldwatch in October.
- 2014—Ed Groark became Acting Interim President of Worldwatch.
- 2017 Ceased operations after its last State of the World report was published.
Worldwatch Institute publications have been published in more than three dozen languages by its global partners in 40 countries. Worldwatch publications include:
- The State of the World report is an annual assessment of urgent global environmental problems and the innovative ideas proposed and applied across the globe to address them.
- Vital Signs tracks social, environmental and economic trends and publishes data and analysis.