Our Mission

Center for Industrial Progress (CIP) is a for-profit think-tank seeking to bring about a new industrial revolution. We believe that human beings have the untapped potential to radically improve our lives by using technology to improve the planet across a multitude of industries: mining, manufacturing, agriculture, chemistry, and energy. Every individual has the potential for a longer, happier, healthier, safer, more comfortable, more meaningful, more opportunity-filled life. The keys to a new industrial revolution are a new industrial philosophy, a new industrial policy, and a new approach to communication.

To learn more about what we stand for see our Issues page. To learn more about what we offer see our Speaking and Store pages.


Alex Epstein, President and Founder

Alex Epstein is a philosopher who argues that “human flourishing” should be the guiding principle of industrial and environmental progress.

He founded Center for Industrial Progress (CIP) in 2011 to offer a positive, pro-human alternative to the Green movement.

Epstein is the author of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels (Penguin, 2014), a New York Times bestseller arguing that if we look at the whole picture, human flourishing requires that humanity use more fossil fuels not less. (WSJ review here.) The book has been widely praised as the most persuasive argument ever made for our continuing use of fossil fuels, winning Epstein the “Most Original Thinker of 2014” award from The McLaughlin Group.

Epstein, known for his willingness to debate anyone, anytime, has publicly debated leading environmentalist organizations such Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, and 350.org over the morality of fossil fuel use.

He has made his moral case for fossil fuels at dozens of campuses, including Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and Duke (his alma mater). He has also spoken to employees and leaders at dozens of Fortune 500 energy companies, including ExxonMobil, Chevron, Phillips 66, Valero, Enbridge, and TransCanada.

In his speeches and consulting work he helps companies take his pro-human messaging and use it to neutralize attackers, turn non-supporters into supporters, and turn supporters into champions. One of his major goals is to teach millions of employees in the fossil fuel industry to understand the value of what they do and how to communicate it.

If you’re interested in having Alex Epstein speak to your audiences, you can learn more here.

Don Watkins, Director of Education

Don Watkins is the Director of Education at the Center for Industrial Progress, where he works with industry and the public to promote the ideal of human flourishing through industrial progress.

A bestselling author on business and economic issues, Don helped edit 
The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels before joining CIP’s staff full-time in 2017. He co-hosts Alex's weekly energy podcast, Power Hour.

Steffen Henne, Head of Research

Steffen Henne is the head of research at the Center for Industrial Progress. An autodidact on a wide range of energy, industrial, and environmental issues, Henne is often “the man behind the scenes” of CIP’s published work. Alex Epstein wrote of Steffen in The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, “Steffen Henne, our lead researcher at the Center for Industrial Progress, helped me find the high-quality and wide-ranging data I was looking for. Steffen’s breadth of knowledge about practically every topic in this book is incredible, as is his ability to catch errors.”

He is a native of Germany, where he currently resides.

Eric Dennis, PhD, Senior Fellow

Eric Dennis, Ph.D., Physics, studied at Caltech, Princeton, and University of California Santa Barbara. His graduate work involved the theory of quantum computers and simulating quantum systems. Transitioning to quantitative finance, he has built derivatives models on trading desks at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Swiss Reinsurance, where he pioneered a unified, state-of-the-art modeling framework for portfolio credit derivatives. He currently works in asset management at a major insurance company. His experience in finance, complemented by independent study of monetary economics, provides a unique combination of hands-on knowledge and theoretical insight to assess current macroeconomic issues. His interests include questions of central planning, free banking, the use and abuse of mathematical models, and the scientific fundamentals of energy.

Pierre Desrochers, PhD, Senior Fellow

Pierre Desrochers is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Industrial Progress and Associate Professor of geography at the University of Toronto. His main research interests are economic development, technical innovation, business-environment interactions, and energy policy and food policy.