Elizabeth Dirth

Managing Director

As Managing Director, Elizabeth leads ZOE Institute’s strategic and organisational development. Elizabeth joined ZOE in 2021 with over a decade of experience building and leading impact-driven organisations. Elizabeth is a seasoned expert in crafting ways that governance and policy can think and act in the long term. She is passionate about developing policy solutions for building an economy that puts people and planet at the centre. 

Elizabeth began her career working on climate change and sustainable development for a variety of different non-profits, universities and think tanks across Europe. During this time she supported the public sector in Scotland to be prepared for their first mandatory commitments to climate action. In addition, she founded and built-up the 2050 Climate Group in Scotland in 2013. The 2050 Climate Group held intergenerational equity as a core goal, and connected youth participation, climate action and long-term policymaking long before Fridays for Future brought the issue to headlines around the world. 

Elizabeth then pivoted into research at Utrecht University and Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (now RIFS), and published one of first comprehensive review of all of the governance institutions around the world which work to protect the interests of future generations, as well as a guide to practical implementation of governance for future generations in her Futuring Tool

Leaving research in search of a more tangible, solutions-oriented focus, Elizabeth then led education and capacity building work at EIT Climate-KIC as part of the Management Team, before joining ZOE Institute for Future-fit Economies. Joining ZOE has allowed for a focus on developing impact-driven solutions to some of our biggest challenges, from climate change to inequality. In this work, Elizabeth maintains an emphasis on the way that economic policy and the policy design process can be key drivers for change when used well: with long-term thinking as one of many tools in the toolbox to emphasize. 

She has been a key advisor to policymakers throughout her career, with Sustainable Scotland Network, Research Institute for Sustainability and many others, and now with ZOE. Elizabeth is also a skilled moderator, facilitator and speaker. 

ZOE Institute for Future-fit Economies

At ZOE Institute for Future-fit Economies , we apply new economic thinking to public policy. We take a systemic perspective to research and develop new ideas and feasible solutions that put the needs of people and the health of the planet at the core of economic policy.

Listening with empathy to key decision-makers, we co-create, explore, and seek to understand long-term solutions for the transformation of our economies.

Working collaboratively with EU, national and regional governments, thought-leaders and pioneers of new economic thinking, civil society and other stakeholders, we seek to expand the toolbox of economic policymaking.

We embark on this work because we believe in thriving economies that can provide a good life for all within our ecological limits.

Logo of the ZOE Institute for Future-fit Economies