Abstract for: A Simple Sustainability Model: Simulating growth with just joules of energy and bits of data

The paper intends to help entangle the narrative about sustainability and growth. It seeks to describe the evolution of growth with the most minimalistic model possible. To this end, successive energy diagrams are made of the earth's most basic stocks & flows of energy, including the stock of greenhouse energy. A simulation model is then presented in which the energy dynamics are governed by the creation, storage and destruction of data in the DNA of living organisms, and by the ever increasing ‘bits of data’ created by humans. An example is given where the iPad based model can enable ad-hoc, one-on-one discussions about assumed trends and scenarios.