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Paul-Marie Boulanger graduated in sociology from the universities of Strasbourg and Leuven. He became interested in demographic, social security and labor market issues in developed countries (mainly within the Demography Department of the Catholic University of Leuven); to food security and famine prevention in Africa (within the European Agency for Development and Health, for which he was responsible for information systems) and finally since 1996 to sustainable development and transition in the framework of the Institute for Sustainable Development (Belgium) of which he is one of the founders and president from 1999 to 2016.
His current research in sustainable development focuses on the theory of sustainable development, methods and models of decision support and assessment, social indicators (including the development of indicators of human well-being ) and sustainable consumption.