June 2021 Newsletter
Welcome from the Newsletter Editors
We hope this month's newsletter finds you well. Since beginning a new tradition earlier this year of sharing a work of art with each newsletter that relates to the ongoing academic and activist dialogue about sustainable consumption it's been an interesting exercise for us to keep our eyes open for inspiration and thought provoking ideas in all kinds of places.

Recently I stumbled across a list of "16 things I know for sure" attributed to conceptual artist Adrea Zittel, and ever since I've been very intrigued by her work. Here's an interview with Zittel published in Apartamento Magazine and a link to the artist's website with describes projects including A-Z West, "an evolving testing grounds for living—a place in which spaces, objects, and acts of living all intertwine into a single ongoing investigation into what it means to exist and participate in our culture today."
Photo from the website of Andrea Zittel's Institute of Investigative Living, which "takes participants beyond the range of typical everyday experience as a means through which to reevaluate common assumptions about needs, values and social norms."
Webinar: SCORAI Global Book Project
 Join us for this month's Sustainable Consumption and Lifestyles Webinar

Monday, June 14, 10am Eastern Time
Presented by Fabián Echegaray, Valerie Brachya, Philip J. Vergragt, Lei Zhang

This webinar presents findings from our latest book. It takes an in-depth look at Covid-19-generated societal trends and develops scenarios for possible future directions of urban lifestyles. Drawing on examples from Brazil, China, and Israel, and with a particular focus on cities, this book explores the short and long-term changes in individual consumers and citizen behavior as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. On the basis of extensive market and opinion research data, aggregate data, observational evidence, and news reports, the authors provide a detailed account of the transformations that have occurred as a result of a triple shock of public health emergency, economic shutdown, and social isolation. They also examine which of these behavioral changes are likely to become permanent and consider whether this may ultimately promote or restrain sustainable lifestyle choices. Innovative and timely, this book will be of great interest to students, scholars, and professionals researching and working in the areas of sustainable consumption, urban and land use planning, and public health.

This is the final webinar fo the summer. The series will resume in October 2021.

Watch previous webinars from this series, including Karl Theidemann's' webinar on "Restoring Soil to Reverse Global Warming" at
Register to Attend Here
Spotlight on The Great Transition Initiative

The Great Transition Initiative is an online forum of ideas and an international network for the critical exploration of concepts, strategies, and visions for a transition to a future of enriched lives, human solidarity, and a resilient biosphere. By enhancing scholarly discourse and public awareness of possibilities arising from converging social, economic, and environmental crises, and by fostering a broad network of thinkers and doers, it aims to contribute to a new praxis for global transformation.

Correspondingly, GTI maintains a cosmopolitan outlook that is attuned to critical questions of scale and the ways nested systems operate across global, regional, and local levels. It gives voice to diverse contributors motivated by both ethical and pragmatic concerns about the need for revised ways of thinking, learning, acting, and being. It aims to deepen understanding of values and cultural dimensions of global change, along with social, economic, political, and scientific aspects of a Great Transition. Learn more about GTI (and read our latest publications) at

One of SCORAI's goals is to strengthen relationships with other networks and organizations working on the connection between sustainability and consumption. Each month we are highlighting one such organization or network in our newsletter. If you would like to to introduce your network to SCORAI members we invite suggestions for next month's "Spotlight" organization.

New Great Transition Initiative Forum:

With the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development imminent, many educators are asking a key question: are we educating for the world we want?

Despite many valuable on-the-ground initiatives, the answer is a clear “no” in the wide-ranging forum The Pedagogy of Transition: Educating for the Future We Want, published today by the Great Transition Initiative (GTI).

Following an opening paper by Stephen Sterling, Emeritus Professor at the University of Plymouth, twenty-eight panellists - including David Orr, Arjen Wals, Vandana Singh, Guy Dauncey, Rajesh Tandon, Isabel Rimanoczy, Iveta Silova and Richard Falk - critique the dominant education models in practice today and reflect on what a “pedagogy of transition” aligned with the long transition to a just, ecological, and fulfilling civilization would look like—and what it already looks like in the classroom/lecture hall and beyond.

The forum contributes to growing international debate on the purposes and role of education by offering a powerful and challenging critique of conventional assumptions about education and learning. More importantly, it posits inspiring alternative visions and practicable steps to transformative change that point the way forward.

You can find the forum at
This quarter in Play (Q2): SCORAI Blog Post from Ginnie Guillen-Hanson
The (not so) secret language of playfulness

Urban gamification can be defined as an action of playfully and systemically shifting the meaning of
urban spaces, resemantisizing them (Thibault, 2018). This ability to change the meaning of our
surroundings without modifying them is highly influenced by our perception and behaviors within the city. In many ways, these urban spaces also impose levels of control on our playfulness. For example, the proliferation of shopping centers is turning inhabitants into consumers (Ladiana, 2017), inhibiting playfulness and normalizing the act of consumerism as part of our interactions with the city. On the other side of the spectrum, we have Do It Yourself urbanism. DIY urbanism is often defined as a group of spatial, cultural practices that make informal physical alterations to the urban built environment (Orum and Douglas, 2021). Sometimes, these demonstrations are considered illegal and even a type of civil disobedience (Sibbald et al. 2017). This disobedience can be regarded as a form of re-appropriation and repurposing of public spaces to transform our surroundings into something meaningful that conveys a message to others. From subtle flower patches on sidewalks to loud flashmobs and other artistic demonstrations, these actions connect people with the city and with others in a different way than before, even if it’s only for an instant.
Read the Full Blog Post Here
New Nonprofit Organization
The Rizoma Foundation

Dr. Ashley Colby, a member of SCORAI's Executive Board, is thrilled to announce the launch of her new nonprofit organization The Rizoma Foundation ( The goal of the Rizoma Foundation is to accelerate action-oriented programs to usher in a sustainable future, fast. We do this through developing a decentralized international network of individuals, organizations and businesses that will help to create resilient local communities around the world. We have been sponsored by the Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere (MAHB), founded by Paul Ehrlich at Stanford University. Please visit our site for more details.  
New Project Launch
Exploring energy citizenship across Europe

A new three-year project, EnergyPROSPECTS, was launched in May 2021 to explore the various and challenging aspects of energy citizenship across Europe. Researchers from nine European countries; Ireland, Germany, France, Spain, Belgium, The Netherlands, Latvia, Hungary and Bulgaria will work with citizens, communities, businesses and decision-makers to explore ways of involving citizens in the transition towards a clean-energy future.  

The EnergyPROSPECTS research team, which is led by Prof Frances Fahy from the National University of Ireland, Galway and is comprised of a large number of SCORAI EU members, aims to reach beyond the technological and natural-scientific challenges that are at the heart of the clean-energy transition process. The project will examine the potential contribution of different forms of energy citizenship to furthering the goals of the Energy Union, which aims to give EU consumers, households and businesses secure, sustainable, competitive and affordable energy, and the Green Deal, which aims to make the EU's economy more sustainable.
Calls for Contributions and Submissions
Special issue in Sustainability: Biosociality from a consumer culture perspective

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2021

An acknowledgement of the problematic human role in the contemporary anthropocene era rests on the dethroning of humanity as a species outside and beyond the biological. On a more situated level, an understanding of the bio-social anthropos is a precondition for understanding the modes of human desires, seductions and aberrations. The complexity of life and the complexity of the human condition is the starting point for a consumer research agenda and an approach to consumer culture, that can cope with the obvious global challenges to sustainability we are facing.

As noted by Descola in his book The Ecology of Others, foreshadowed by Guattari in The Three Ecologies, and explored by Harraway in When Species Meet, the relationship between humans and the global biome is paradigmatic of the challenges of, and the challenges imposing themselves on humanity in this century. For Descola, a non-exhaustive list of these challenges would include “climate change, the erosion of biodiversity, the multiplication of transgenic organisms, the exhaustion of fossil fuels, the pollution of fragile environments and of large urban centers, the accelerating disappearance of tropical forests and coral reefs, all have become issues of public debate at the global scale and fuel the disquiet of numerous inhabitants.” In this special issue of Sustainability, we invite reflections on the relationship between consumer culture and biosociality in the face of  these and related challenges.

Biosociality as ontology and epistemology addresses the challenges imposed on the vision of sustainable consumption by the current tendency to reduce the cultural, psychic and biological consequences of consumer culture to predominantly if not exclusive a human affair. Furthermore, it reformulates the enduring attitude-behavior gap between consumers’ oft-stated desire for more sustainable consumption and the reality of their behavior in a new way, as a problem related to the systemic misconstrual of the relationship between human economic behavior and the biome. Finally, a biosocial perspective offers an alternative that recognizes the necessity of resource circulation in any imaginable economic system.

This special issue of Sustainability calls for an exploration of a simultaneous acknowledgement of the sociality of the biological and the biologicality of the social without recourse to flawed, universalizing genetic reductionisms. We invite investigations and conversations addressing the possibility of a biosocial renewal of thought in consumer culture theory and ensuing reflections on a more sustainable consumption system against the ecological precarity which consumer capitalism produces. As indicated, biosocial renewal is defined by the contingent extension of the principle of sociality to other living beings, and the recognition that all living beings are in communicative relations with significant others in their environment and between whom resources circulate in value co-creation processes.

Guest Editors
Søren Askegaard
Eric Arnould
Dominique Roux

Full submission guidelines:
Upcoming Events
Listed in chronological order, from coming-soon to farthest out on the horizon.

Global Sustainable Futures: Progress through Partnership Network ‘Half yearly celebration’

12 June 2021 13:00 – 15:00 PM UK time | virtual event

If you are a Coordinator of this Network, please reserve this Saturday afternoon (UK) time for the online celebration. The dress code for this celebration is 'Colour Palette 02 bright'. You will receive further information nearer to the event time. If you are not a Coordinator, you are invited to join the Network.

The network, established in 2020, materialised out of the need to connect Global South with Global North and to co-address the challenges of sustainable futures through constructive partnerships. Currently, our network comprises of 321 coordinators from 80 countries. The group is inclusive and accessible for academics from any discipline who want to enable sustainable transitions for future generations in line with Sustainable Development Goals and we aim to forge connections outside of academia with other stakeholders such as government, community groups, and business. 

Our network aims to:
•    Develop an innovative research platform
•    Bring early career researchers interests along with senior/experienced researchers
•    Deepen connections between Early Career and Senior researcher perspectives
•    Improve interlinkages and synergies between 17 SDGs within academia and in sustainability practice. 

Please fill this form if you are interested in joining the Global Sustainable Futures: Progress through Partnership Network: 

It is free to attend this event and free to join the Network. Please contact Dr Renuka Thakore, for further information. 
Sustainability Research & Innovation Congress 2021
12-15 June 2021  | Brisbane, Australia & Virtual Event

The Sustainability Research & Innovation Congress 2021 (SRI2021) is the world’s first transdisciplinary gathering in sustainability – it will be a space of fierce advocacy for sustainability scholarship, innovation, collaboration and action.

This annual event unites global sustainability leaders, experts, industry and innovators to inspire action and promote a sustainability transformation. For the first time, the Congress will launch as a hybrid event with a diverse and innovative online program alongside onsite participation. In addition to the 100+ sessions available throughout the day and night, thanks to the global reach of SRI and partners, the SRI2021 Online Package includes exclusive events and services, starting as soon as February 2021.

SRI is a joint initiative of Future Earth and the Belmont Forum. Australia, who hosts the Congress in 2021, has a unique role to play in the global community as a conduit between the Global North and the Global South, indigenous peoples and traditional sustainability practices. The local hosting consortium, led by Future Earth Australia and CSIRO, features academia and government partners from Brisbane and the State of Queensland to meet the breadth of the SRI2021 agenda.

Full conference information here:
International Sustainable Development Research Society (ISDRS) 27th Conference
13-15 July 2021  | Mid Sweden University Virtual Conference

This online conference covers sustainability in relation to all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the virtue of the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. It aims to investigate the most current trends and implications for the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainable development in the Global North and Global South.

The ISDRS2021 conference will therefore explore transformative challenges and necessary systemic changes towards sustainable development in the light of the SDGs and COVID-19 including, but not limited to general ideas and specific approaches related to:
  • environmental, social and economic drivers, state and perspectives and their interrelations with stakeholders, population, products, processes, innovation and technologies;
  • protection and use of the environment, to social resilience, education and equality, and to economic production and consumption pattern, and
  • the fitness for purpose of and integration among SDGs, also in the light of a post 2030 agenda and the UN 2050 Vision of “Living in harmony with nature”.
The latest UN SDG Progress Report 2020 from July 2020 indicates that before the COVID-19 pandemic, progress remained uneven and that the world was not on track to meet the Goals by 2030. It further shows that this crisis did not sparse any of the SDGs, but effected particularly social ones by reversing several positive trends and even increasing several inequalities within and between countries. The report’s progress summary for the 21 SDG targets with a 2020 deadline indicates that only three of them are fully achieved or fully on track to being achieved, and emphasis the wide lack of these achievements regarding biodiversity (p. 60f).

To this end, we invite a wide range of contributions from those taking a critical stance of the SDGs,  those identifying positive impacts of the SDGs and those providing additional solutions to incremental or holistic sustainability challenges. Discussions will be organised along the traditional tracks of the conference based on the topic groups of ISDRS and special tracks with local perspectives, all related to the overall conference theme. Additionally, prominent keynote and plenary speakers from all around the world will address challenges in science and practice related the overall theme of the conference.
20th European Roundtable on Sustainable Consumption and Production 
8-10 September 2021  | Graz, Austria

With the 20th Roundtable, the conference returns home to its birthplace. In 1994, the 1st Roundtable was held in Graz with the support of the City of Graz and the Ministries of Innovation & Technology and Environment, and already had 300 visitors. In the meantime, numerous countries have hosted the other 18 events.

The goal of reducing global warming to +1.5°C requires us to reduce not only the greenhouse gas emissions caused by our direct activities (heating, cooling, mobility, electricity production, etc.), but also the emissions that have already been generated outside the usual limits of consideration through our consumption – as it were, stuck in the products. This “emission backpack” contained in the products is almost as large as the direct emissions.

While many countries, regions and cities have developed strategies to reduce local emissions, there is often no plan to reduce the emissions contained in the purchased products. erscp21 will consider both aspects: the possibilities to reduce the emission of climate-relevant gases during production as well as to reduce upstream emissions by changing consumer behavior. It will be essential that cities – where already more than half of the world’s population lives – and economic sectors reduce emissions, adapt to climate change, and take resilience measures. Changing consumption behavior will be an important issue in building a closed cycle economy, especially urban closed cycles including the forced utilization of local resources.

The 2021 conference is organized by “StadtLABOR” a SME working on Innovations for Urban Quality of Life (, in cooperation with the ERSCP Society ( ERSCP stands for the European Roundtable for Sustainable Consumption and Production, a society that organizes and promotes activities in the field of Sustainable Consumption and Production. Part of this are a series of conferences in the field of Sustainable Consumption and Production and Cleaner Production since 1994.

Full details:
Energy and Climate Transformations: 3rd International Conference on Energy Research & Social Science
13-16 September 2021  | University of Manchester, United Kingdom (Renold Building)

The International Conference on Energy Research and Social Science is the premier global forum for exploring the nexus of energy and society.

The conference will highlight and explore the grand societal challenges arising at the interface of global energy transformations on the one hand, and ongoing climate mitigation and adaptation efforts on the other. It will offer a vibrant and innovative forum for presenting and discussing cutting edge research on the movement towards a low carbon future as it relates to reconfigurations in energy policies, infrastructural landscapes, socio-technical systems, and social practices.

Full conference information here:
26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26)
1-12 November 2021  | Glasgow, Scotland

The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The UK is committed to working with all countries and joining forces with civil society, companies and people on the frontline of climate change to inspire climate action ahead of COP26.

In 2015, in Paris, world leaders committed to a historic agreement to tackle climate change. They agreed to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 ℃ above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the rise to 1.5 ℃. 

They also agreed to step up efforts to adapt to the impacts of climate change and to make finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development. By completing and implementing the Paris Agreement we can show that the world is able to work together to tackle this crucial challenge. 

And by uniting behind a green recovery from coronavirus, which creates sustainable jobs and addresses the urgent and linked challenges of public health, climate change, and biodiversity loss, we can safeguard the environment for future generations.

Almost 400 young people aged between 18 and 29 from the 197 member-countries of the UNFCCC will meet in Milan from 28 – 30 September 2021, to elaborate concrete proposals on topics that affect the negotiation process of Pre-COP26 in Milan and COP26 in Glasgow.

Articles by Members

Climate change concern and the desire to travel: How do I justify my flights?

Áróra Árnadóttir, Michał Czepkiewicz, Jukka Heinonen

Travel Behaviour and Society

There is an urgent need to reduce emissions from the aviation sector. Although awareness of climate change is growing, few are willing to alter their flight behaviour. Through a qualitative analysis of interview materials collected from Reykjavik Capital Region residents, this study explores how globally affluent, highly mobile young urbanites justify their international travel by plane, despite their climate change awareness, and if they are willing to change their behaviour. Six themes of justifications to continue air travel were identified; shifting responsibility, compensatory behaviours, lack of knowledge or awareness, lack of other options, benefits outweighing impacts, and carbon offsetting. Their use differed depending on respondents’ level of climate change awareness and willingness to reduce air travel, but willingness to reduce travel did not differ between awareness level scores. None were willing to quit flying regardless of their level of awareness. Compared with previous literature, we found a greater emphasis placed on the benefits of air travel. We suggest policy uptake for both individual and collective realms, such as kerosene tax and mandatory carbon offsetting, as shifting responsibility can delay action regardless of the way in which it is shifted, and reductions in these realms can only happen in concert. Other sources of well-being should be emphasized and the social norm around frequent travel actively challenged. Knowledge on the specific climate impacts of flights should be better communicated to the public and put into perspective with the global fair share of emissions and steep mitigation curves to keep warming below 1.5°.

Challenging practices: experiences from community and individual living lab approaches

Kaisa Matschoss, Frances Fahy, Henrike Rau, Julia Backhaus, Gary Goggins, Eoin Grealis, Eva Heiskanen, Tuija Kajoskoski, Senja Laakso, Eeva-Lotta Apajalahti, Audley Genus, Laurence Godin, Marfuga Iskandarova, Annika-Kathrin Musch, Marlyne Sahakian, ChristianScholl, Edina Vadovics & Veronique Vasseur

Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy

In this article, we examine a change initiative designed to involve households in testing ways to transform two everyday practices ‒ heating and doing laundry. The research design included an examination of the challenges of changing practices either in a setting that fosters collective engagement or with individual households. Two different types of living labs were carried out simultaneously in eight European countries in Autumn–Winter 2018. We reflect on differences in results in terms of both changes in practices and the experiences of participating households that we argue can be at least partially attributed to householders’ engagement in different types of living labs. We discuss the implications of an individual-focused vs. community-oriented approach for change initiatives seeking to challenge social norms for sustainability transitions, concentrating in particular on differences in the nature of participants’ engagement and their willingness and ability to challenge routine practices. This is complemented by analytical reflections on the differences in design, interaction, and performance between the two types of living labs. We show that an explicit focus on collaborative engagement in living labs can produce results that reflect shared experiences, community support, challenging established norms, and collective commitment toward change.

To keep or not to keep? Sorting out leftovers from a refrigerator

Séverine Gojard, Marine Masson, David Blumenthal, Bérangère Véronc


Most literature on food waste shows that food that ends up in the garbage can is often no longer considered as enjoyable, or even as edible. In this paper, we decided to focus on assessments of whether leftover food is still considered as worth eating, to provide a better understanding of the production of domestic food waste. We constructed a pluridisciplinary approach, combining sensory analysis and sociology. The first part was conducted in a test kitchen under controlled conditions: 50 participants had to sort out and decide to keep or to throw away different types of refrigerated leftovers. The second part used in-depth interviews with half of these participants (N = 25) to explore their food habits and perceptions and handling of leftovers at home. The first section of the paper presents the theoretical framework of the study, which is grounded in practice theory. Then we detail the methodology and the results. We show that sorting out leftovers is a process mobilizing embodied knowledge and resulting from domestic practices implemented to avoid waste, such as storing or reusing leftovers. In the discussion, we analyze the sorting of refrigerated food products as a compound practice, situated at the intersection of provisioning, cooking, meal organization, and judgment of taste (Warde, 2013). Using this theoretical framework enables us to understand the heterogeneity observed in the outcome of the sorting process as the result of its weak degree of regulation. The sorting out practice is thus consistent with different modes of engagement such as food waste prevention, health maintenance, or providing enjoyable family meals. We conclude by providing suggestions of policy recommendations regarding domestic refrigeration, food storage, and assessment practices.
We're very pleased to welcome 11 new SCORAI members who joined the network since our last newsletter, bringing our organization's total membership to 1345 individuals.
  • Debra Lilley, Loughborough University, United Kingdom
  • Kelen Meregali, ICTJ, New York, United States of America
  • Viviane Rocha, Banco Central do Brasil, Quarteira, Algarve, Portugal
  • Sage Gibbons, This View of Life / Prosocial World, Boston, United States of America
  • Alex, Basaraba, Fort Collins, United States of America
  • Grettel Navas, ICTA- Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain
  • Vincent Moreau, EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Josh Heling, Hidden Savanna Farm, Verona, United States of America
  • Liang, Yang, LMU Munich, Germany
  • Susan Legere, West Newton, United States of America
  • Justine Langlois, Universite Laval, Quebec, Canada


SCORAI (Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative) is an international knowledge network of researchers and practitioners committed to building a flourishing and ecologically-sound society by changing the way we consume. We advance research, disseminate knowledge, impact policies and support campaigns. SCORAI recognizes that technological innovation alone is insufficient to address climate change and environmental threats. Therefore we support transformative changes in the economy, institutions and culture.

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
SCORAI · 2440 N Lakeview, #15A · Chicago, Illinois 60614 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp