Newswise — Amory B. Lovins, co-founder and chief scientist at Rocky Mountain Institute and a world-renowned energy innovator and consultant, will be the featured speaker at Olin College’s fourteenth Commencement exercises on May 19.

“As one of the world’s leading experts on the sustainable and efficient use of energy resources, I believe Amory Lovins’s message will resonate extremely well with our graduates,” said Richard K. Miller, Olin’s president. “The Olin community is committed to finding solutions to the world’s most pressing problems, and sustainability in our use of energy and global resources is a challenge that touches almost every field our graduates may enter.”

Writer of 31 books, including Small is ProfitableNatural Capitalism and Reinventing Fire, Lovins has advised major firms and governments in more than 70 countries. He is especially known for pioneering work in energy efficiency and as a designer of superefficient buildings, factories and vehicles. 

Time Magazine named Lovins one of the world’s 100 most influential people in 2009, and Foreign Policy called him one of the top 100 global thinkers. He is the recipient of 12 honorary doctorates and numerous awards, including the MacArthur Fellowship, the National Design and World Technology Awards and Germany’s Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit.

Lovins recently helped China’s government shape and implement an ambitious efficiency-and-renewables agenda, and India’s government make personal mobility shared, connected, and electric. His main effort is making integrative design — optimizing whole systems, not isolated parts — the “new normal.” This would make the energy efficiency resource severalfold larger and cheaper, and give it “increasing returns” just like renewable energy sources — the more that are bought, the cheaper they get.