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February 2019

Dear SCORAI Community,

We are feeling inspired by this ever-growing community of researchers, thinkers and activists who are challenging "business as usual" assumptions and asking bold questions about the true nature of progress and wellbeing. Please read on for information about recent publications and projects, as well as opportunities around the world to participate in conferences and events. Don't forget to mark next year's calendar with the 4th International SCORAI conference, to be held June 10-12, 2020, hosted by Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts! 

-Liz and Halina

Noteworthy Perspectives

Another reason to question the precepts of circular economy and green products
In an attempt to appear or be environmentally responsible, consumers and procurement managers alike are increasingly demanding products that are made from recycled or bio-based materials, or are recyclable or compostable. The circular economy advocates have gladly took up this cause and a large industry has evolved around these attributes. But how well do these descriptors actually predict lower impacts across the entire packaging life cycle? According to the recent report from Materials Management Group at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (https://www.oregon.gov/deq/mm/production/Pages/Materials-Attributes.aspx) the answer is: not well. While in some cases and for some environmental impacts products with these attributes may have lower impacts, overall there is no correlation between these attributes and reduced environmental impacts. In fact, the environmental impacts of, for example, compostable products are greater than for non-compostable products. These ideas about green consumption have been decades in the making. Now, the consumers need to unlearn them. And the conclusion is, as usual, that reducing the volume of stuff is the only sure way to reduce its environmental impacts.
Upcoming Conferences
Listed in chronological order, from coming-soon to farthest out on the horizon.

Leverage Points 2019
International Conference on Sustainability Research and Transformation
Luneburg, Germany
February 6-8, 2019

Humanity sits at a crossroad between tragedy and transformation, with seemingly little idea of where we wish to go, or how we intend to get there. Similarly, now is a crucial time for sustainability research. Is it to be a passive chronicler of the challenges of our times? Or an active facilitator of transformative change towards sustainability?

This conference is inspired by the seminal essay by Donnella Meadows “Leverage Points Places to intervene in a system”. In this work, born of frustration and a deep desire for a more effective change, Meadows highlighted a series of leverage points—places in complex systems where a small shift may lead to fundamental changes in the system as a whole— for sustainability transformations. In particular, she noted the tendency to focus on highly tangible, but essentially weak leverage points (i.e., interventions that are easy to make, but have limited potential for transformative change).

Instead, she urged a focus on perhaps less obvious, but potentially far more powerful areas of intervention. Donnella Meadows’ notion of leverage points can be seen as a boundary object, a model, a metaphor and a fundamental challenge to the status quo, dominate mindsets and paradigms. We firmly believe that such radical approaches are needed in sustainability research and praxis if they are to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Inspired by Meadows’ work we seek to explore (in theory, methods and praxis) the deep leverage points that can lead to sustainability transformations. This conference will ask: how do we transform ourselves, our science, our institutions, our interventions and our societies for a better future? The conference is premised on three principles:

  1. The importance of searching for places where interventions can lead to transformative change.
  2. Open inquiry, exchange and co-learning across multiple theoretical, methodological and empirical research approaches focused on sustainability science and transformative change.
  3. The need to reflection on modes of research and processes of change in leverage point and sustainability transformation related research.
More information here: https://leveragepoints.org/conference/

 

Sharing Economy: Research on Access, Technology, Equity and Applications
Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts
March 21-22, 2019

Multiple aspects of our 21st century lives are touched by sharing economy platforms, which enable customer-to customer matching and transactions, more efficient infrastructure utilization, and actively lower market friction. These electronic platforms span a broad spectrum of sectors, practices and organizational structures. There are inherent tensions and contradictions related to the objectives, boundaries and environmental and societal impacts of the sharing economy.This conference brings together leaders from the private sector and researchers from disciplines including engineering, law, computing, business, and public policy to: (A)Identify and compare regulatory and data sharing practices that influence the real-world implementation of sharing economy platforms, (B) Consider emerging technologies and algorithms for optimizing design, operation, incentives, and security, and (C) Address the role of sharing economy platforms in working toward socially desirable outcomes, including sustainable growth, social equity and improved resilience.

Specific application areas to be explored at the conference include transportation, cloud computing, energy and healthcare. We aim to engage researchers, policy makers, and industry thinkers in thoughtful discussions about the social, economic and political context in which sharing economy platforms are emerging, approaches to collecting data and evaluating outcomes, and designing recommendations that that influence the real-world implementation of sharing economy platforms.

Call for paper and poster submissions now open, Full directions here: https://web.northeastern.edu/rcshare/people/presenters/invitation/
Deadline for Submissions: January 31, 2019

 

NESI Global Forum 2019
April 24-26, 2019
Malaga, Spain

This event will focus on achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations and the Climate Change Agenda through local action. The Forum will be set in the year 2030 to create a special atmosphere. Participants will be invited to DISCOVER solutions that already exist in different key sectors (food, housing-urban, sustainable fashion,energy, work and finance)  during the Pre-Forum (Feb.-Mar.). During the NESI Forum (24-26 April) they will DREAM the perfect City 2030 and will DESIGN how to move from today to that vision through collaborative action for each key sector. Finally, there will be a Call to Action so we will start to DO the change both during the Forum and the Post-Forum phase.

STS Conference Graz 2019, "Critical Issues in Science, Technology and Society Studies"
Graz, Austria
May 6-7, 2019

The STS Conference Graz 2019 is the joint Annual Conference of the Science Technology and Society Unit of the Institute of Interactive Systems and Data Science of the Technical University of Graz, the Inter-University Research Centre for Technology, Work and Culture (IFZ) and the Institute for Advanced Studies of Science, Technology and Society (IAS-STS).

For submitting your abstract, please follow these directions: https://sts-conference.isds.tugraz.at/event/5/abstracts/
Submission Deadline:  January 21, 2019 
Notification of selected abstracts: February 2019
For further details please visit: http://sts-conference-graz.tugraz.at

 

EUGEO Congress 2019 in Conjunction with the 51st Conference of Irish Geographers
National University of Ireland Galway
May 15-18, 2019

The theme for the 2019 EUGEO Congress is ‘Re-Imagining Europe’s Future Society and Landscapes’ and we invite sessions on this theme (and beyond) from all areas of the Discipline.

The conference will take place at the National University of Ireland Galway from May 15th – 18th (inclusive) and will include a series of keynotes, networking and social events throughout the four-day period. Some highlights include a Welcome Reception on May 15th and conference dinner on May 17th. Galway is an ideal location for the Congress; a vibrant city, full of rich cultural heritage and a gateway to many sites of geographical significance (e.g. Connemara and the Burren). Further details are available on the conference website: https://www.eugeo2019.eu/
 
The conference will be chaired by Dr Frances Fahy and Dr Kathy Reilly (Geography, NUI Galway) and the theme reflects on the centrality of the concepts of society and landscape within the Discipline of Geography. EUGEO 2019 in conjunction with the 51st Conference of Irish Geographers will offer participants the opportunity to reflect on and re-imagine futures within the geographical boundary of Europe and beyond. We invite session proposals reflective of the over-arching theme with a view to attracting a wide variety of geographers with a range of interest and expertise representative of Geography’s diversity.

Informal queries relating to the submission of proposed sessions can be sent to frances.fahy@nuigalway.ie and kathy.reilly@nuigalway.ie before Friday November 30th. We look forward to welcoming you all to Galway.


 
Business Opportunities in Advancing Sustainable Lifestyles in Greater Boston
University of Massachusetts, Boston
May 16, 2019

 
Join progressive companies, policy makers, NGOs and academics to identify key actions and indicators for promoting sustainable lifestyles in Greater Boston as key to reducing GHG emissions. This workshop organized by UMass Boston and SCORAI will focus on the business opportunities in advancing sustainable lifestyles in Greater Boston area as key to reducing GHG emissions. The aim is to develop a toolkit with actions and indicators for measuring and advancing sustainable lifestyles. It will bring together large and small companies, policy makers and NGOs. For more information see https://www.umb.edu/serc/upcoming_events  or contact Vesela.Veleva@umb.edu. 
 
International Conference on Enhancing Consumer Awareness
Prospects for Advancing Consumer Rights Protection on Traditional and Digital Markets
Katowice, Poland
June 16-18, 2019

On June 6-18, 2019, University of Economics in Katowice, Poland, will host an International Conference on Enhancing Consumer Awareness. Sustainable Consumption is one of the topics in the call for abstracts. The conference organizers are extremely interested in including Sustainable Consumption as a session or a track in the conference program. SCORAI members are strongly encouraged to submit abstracts.

Halina Brown, SCORAI co-founder and board member will give a keynote address. The topic of sustainable consumption is rapidly emerging among researchers in Poland, and this conference is an opportunity to give it a stronger foundation.  

https://www.ue.katowice.pl/en/events/international-conference-on-enhancing-consumer-awareness.html

Important deadlines:
March 10, 2019       –   registration 
March 10, 2019      –   abstract/special session proposal submission
March 15, 2019       –   confirmation of abstract/special session proposal acceptance
April 15, 2019         –   submission of full papers via conference website

THE 2019 CONFERENCE ON COMMUNICATION AND ENVIRONMENT IN VANCOUVER
Waterlines: Confluence and Hope through Environmental Communication
The 15th biennial Conference on Communication and Environment (COCE) University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
June 17-21, 2019

We are excited to have you join us in Vancouver, Canada for the 15th biennial Conference on Communication and Environment (COCE 2019). The conference will be held at the University of British Columbia (UBC) campus on the Point Grey headland, surrounded by forest and ocean, with views of the Coast Mountains and just 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver, all of which is part of the traditional unceded territory of the Musqueam people.

We have chosen communicating water - Waterlines - as the theme of the conference. Water connects with many environmental issues in the Pacific Northwest relating to energy production and distribution, land use, climate change, forestry, mining, development, and recreation. We think water is an under-researched area in the field of environmental communication and we are hoping to change that a bit.

The conference will bring together scholars, practitioners, artists, students and concerned citizens from around the world to share research, good practices, experience, and stories in order to help foster more effective, inspiring, ethical, and hopeful environmental and sustainability communication.

 

IST 2019: Accelerating Sustainability Transitions
Building visions, unlocking pathways, navigating conflicts
Ottawa, Canada
June 23-26, 2019

Over the past few decades the damage being done to global ecosystems by established development trajectories has become increasingly evident. In many sectors and regions sustainability transitions are gathering pace as new technologies, business models and social practices begin to transform existing systems of social provisioning. Yet the current political context is difficult. And in some areas there is increasing resistance to transformative change that promotes sustainability. Above all, progress remains slow when compared to the scale of damage being done to ecosystems and the climate.
 
The theme of IST 2019 – Accelerating sustainability transitions – seeks to address this challenging context by encouraging researchers and practitioners to examine obstacles to transitions processes and strategies to speed up the transformation of systems of production and consumption. It points to the importance of visions — of improved mobility systems, agricultural and food systems, buildings, cities and rural communities – to coordinate efforts and mobilize change. Raises the challenge of mapping out concrete pathways that can link the present with desirable futures. And emphasises navigation of the inevitable conflicts that accompany any serious efforts at societal change.

This 10th Anniversary event will mark the first time the IST conference has been held outside Europe. It will provide an occasion to highlight the achievements of international transition studies, to introduce researchers who are not yet familiar with transitions literatures to this vibrant community, and to explore complementarities with related research perspectives and approaches.

Call for Papers, Deadline extended until January-22, 2019
Conference website

 
4th international Global Research Forum on Sustainable Production and Consumption on “Transforming Production and Consumption: Bridging Sustainability Research with Policy and Practice.”
Hong Kong
June 26-29, 2019 
 
We welcome Paper, Poster, Workstudio and Session proposals. Deadline: 21 January 2018 https://grf-spc.weebly.com/hong-kong-call-for-contributions.html
 
This conference actively explores the following four themes for research and practice:
Theme #1: Asian Perspectives and Priorities in SCP
Theme #2: Imagining Sustainable Futures and Transforming Cultures
Theme #3: Sustainable Lifestyles and Livelihoods
Theme #4: Smart, Circular, Sustainable Urbanization

We are also exploring these themes through a number of cross-cutting topics: politics and democracy, civic engagement and knowledge transfer, gender, and social justice. A full description of the conference can be found here: https://grf-spc.weebly.com/hong-kong-2019.html. The GRF conference is also an opportunity to interact with policymakers and practitioners including the SWITCH to Green Initiative. We warmly welcome you to Hong Kong to strengthen the community of researchers and practitioners engaged in research on the worldwide transition to sustainable production and consumption systems. 


 

Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE) Annual Meeting
2019 Conference Theme 
“Fathomless Futures: Algorithmic and Imagined”

At the New School for Social Research, New York City, NY, USA
June 27-29, 2019

Join our vibrant and interdisciplinary SASE research network “Alternatives to Capitalism” by submitting a paper abstract (max. 1000 words) or a session proposal (up to four presenters + 1 discussant). 

Deadline for SASE submissions: January 14th, 2019.  If accepted, full papers due May 15, 2019.
Please submit your proposals using the online system at this link: https://sase.org/events/conference-submission-and-award-guidelines/

Early career scholars are eligible to apply for the Early Career Workshop. If selected, the conference fee cost, the full conference accommodation and the additional night of accommodation for the Workshop will be covered. More info here: https://sase.org/events/conference-submission-and-award-guidelines/

As income and wealth inequality have intensified within capitalist societies, people’s sense of voice or control over longstanding societal institutions has also diminished.  In response, many people across the globe have joined together to create new futures through alternative systems, institutions, organizations and other collectives, and relationships. Our network encourages research and scholarship on such collective efforts to create more transformative, egalitarian, horizontal or non-hierarchical practices, relations, social movements, groups, organizations, and societies.  Moreover, our network provides an engaging forum for discussing and envisioning alternatives.

The broad aim of this research network is to advance the international, comparative and interdisciplinary study of alternatives to capitalism and its associated institutions. More specifically, the research network has three goals: (1) To bridge the disparate interpretative frameworks that exist by engaging in a theoretical systematization of the literature; (2) To map existing alternatives embedded within various socio-economic and geographic contexts; (3) To encourage the use of innovative research methods that can provide new insights and reach broader audiences.

Contributors are invited to investigate and analyse the practices, strategies and discourses being used by different social groups to enhance and exercise social power rooted in the voluntary association of people and based on the capacity to engage in collective action of various sorts.

 Topics of interest include, but are not limited to: cooperatives (worker/producer/consumer) and cooperativism; political and ethical consumerism; eco-villages and sustainable communities; community and practice-based initiatives; the future of work; radical lifestyles; utopias and alternative futures; prefigurative initiatives and prefigurative politics; direct democracy and municipalism; commons and commoning; alternative forms of organisation and governance; anti-capitalist trade unions and political parties; transformative social innovation; alternative media and other forms of alternative social reproduction. We are particularly interested in the ways in which the State and the market interact with these alternatives through mechanisms of facilitation, co-optation, or repression.
 

6th International Workshop on the Sharing Economy (IWSE)
Utrecht University, Netherlands
28-29 June, 2019

After successful editions in Utrecht (2015), Paris (2016), Southampton (2016), Lund (2017) and Mannheim (2018), the International Workshop on the Sharing Economy will return to Utrecht for its sixth edition. Martijn Arets, Rense Corten, Joyce Delnoij and Koen Frenken will act as the local organizing committee. For updates, see: https://6thiwse.sites.uu.nl/

EcoCity World Summit 2019
Vancouver, Canada
October 7-11, 2019

This is a biennial event that happens on a different continent and represents one of the world’s longest running and most influential conferences on building sustainable cities. The theme of the upcoming Summit is “Socially Just and Ecologically Sustainable Cities” based on the International Ecocity Standards (www.ecocitystandards.org) that address many issues pertinent to sustainable modes of production and consumption. Specifically, the program committee would like to ensure that the conference provides a forum for conversations on sustainable lifestyles and behaviours.
 
This conference represents an opportunity to bring together a dynamic group of stakeholders, beyond the usual subjects. It links city building professionals (architects, planners, engineering) with ecologists and social scientists who are interested in tracking and managing the urban metabolism of cities to enable people to live within global ecological carrying capacity.
 
The call for papers and proposals will be open until April, providing groups plenty of time to put together thoughtful papers, workshops, fieldtrips, training activities, posters or presentations. All accepted proposals will be confirmed by June. The Ecocity World Summit appeals to a mix of academics and practitioners.

The 19th ERSCP-- Circular Europe for Sustainability: Design, Production and Consumption
Barcelona, Spain
October 14-19, 2019
Deadline for abstracts for the ERSCP conference extended to Feb 18

 
The European Roundtable for Sustainable Consumption and Production (ERSCP) is one of Europe's most remarkable conferences in its field and has taken place periodically since 1994. ERSCPs favour discussions about the key issues in sustainable consumption and production; the exchange of thoughts, knowledge, experiences and SCP proposals; and the creation of a European (also worldwide) community of research and practice in sustainable consumption and production. The main goal of the ERSCPs is to encourage discussion amongst stakeholders involved in sustainable consumption and production: businesses, public institutions, universities, institutes and research centres, NGOs, SMEs, professional associations, decision-makers, etc.

ERSCP 2019 will explore innovative and transformational conference formats. Along with traditional presentation sessions, the conference will offer spaces for discussions and debates, as well as for collaborative workshops and other non-traditional conference sessions. Next to regular paper and poster abstracts, proposals for dialogue sessions are welcomed. Each participant can do a maximum of two paper presentations.

Prospective authors are invited to submit up to two abstracts of maximum 500 words no later than January 31st 2019 through the conference website. The abstract must include a comprehensive title, the name of all authors, their complete affiliation (address, e-mail), and clear structure, methods and (expected) conclusions, to allow the scientific committee to judge on the quality of the work. Prior to abstract preparation and submission it is recommended reading carefully the specific requirements and consulting the template for abstract preparation in a standard format . The members of the scientific committee will review the abstracts. Authors of accepted abstracts will be invited to submit a full paper by August 1st, 2019.

SIDE EVENTS: http://erscp2019.eu/side-event.php

  • CIRCULAR DESIGN CONFERENCE – OCTOBER 14th
  • ENERGISE FINAL CONFERENCE – OCTOBER 15th
  • SCORAI EUROPE SESSION: WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION AND WHERE IS IT HEADED? – date to be confirmed
  • PHD DAY – OCTOBER 15th
COMMUNICATING RESEARCH ON SUSTAINABILITY AND GLOBAL CHANGE
The Potsdam Summer School 2019 is calling for applications now!
Potsdam, Germany
August 20-29, 2019
The 2019 Potsdam Summer School (PSS) will explore the importance of science communication in order to find effective ways of communicating highly relevant topics in the field of sustainability and global change. With its ten-day program, the PSS 2019 will enable participants to create individual as well as organizational communication strategies to various audiences. This includes both the reactive elements of press and media relations as well as the proactive communication via traditional and new media outlets. Since the sharing of interdisciplinary knowledge and expertise is highly relevant, the following questions will also guide the ten-day program:
  • How can scientists address audiences from other societal areas?
  • Can all sustainability topics be communicated equally?
  • Should scientists become advocates rather than taking neutral positions only?
  • How to deal with incomplete or wrongly presented scientific information?
  • How to reduce complexity, without losing the scientific character?
  • How to strengthen the credibility of scientific findings?
With its overarching theme – “Connecting Science & Society – Communicating Research on Sustainability and Global Change – this year’s Potsdam Summer School will continue the transdisciplinary and interactive event series that has been held annually in Potsdam, Germany since 2014. The summer school will provide its participants with a comprehensive look into theories and methods of science communication. They will be engaged in discussions and group works and will be provided with tools to develop effective communication strategies.

The aim is to bring together talented early-career scientists and young professionals operating in the private sector, governmental agencies and non-governmental organisations from many different parts of the world to discuss frontier (research) questions on future sustainable development. We also aim to train science communication ambassadors eager to engage with various sectors of the public back in their home countries. Our goal is to improve science awareness and help to develop informed opinions and enhance the transferable skills of current researchers.
from Alexander von Humboldt’s KOSMOS to today’s Global Challenges:
Navigating the Sustainability Transformation in the 21st Century
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
August 28-30, 2019
This conference will provide a landmark for today’s great challenges towards sustainability. A critical and constructive debate on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be the focal point. The IRI THESys and the Geography Department are delighted to announce the opening of the Call for Contributions and kindly invite you to submit your contributions from all disciplines. Please hand in an abstract (max. 250 words) and register for the conference online at https://www.kosmos.hu-berlin.de/de/conference-contributions/registration-abstract-submission/ until 28th February 2019.
Sustainable Consumption & Social Justice in an Urbanizing World
 
4th International SCORAI Conference
Northeastern University, Boston MA, USA
June 10-12, 2020
This international conference will convene scholars and practitioners to focus on sustainable consumption as it relates to urban issues and social equity.
  • 3 day event in the heart of Boston
  • High-profile keynote speakers
  • Diverse transdisciplinary research presentations
  • Practitioner workshops
  • Local field trips
  • Convenient and affordable on-campus accommodation available

Recent Publications

Victor, Peter A. (2018). Managing Without Growth: Slower By Design, Not Disaster. Advances in Ecological Economics.

`At last, Managing without Growth, a book that puts economics in its proper place within the real world and points the direction we must go in confronting the ecological crisis of the planet. As an economist, environmental studies professor Peter Victor is eminently qualified for the task. He examines some of our most fundamental assumptions and beliefs about the market, pricing, free trade and growth, prosperity and happiness that too often preclude a serious consideration of the environment and economy. His book couldn't be a more timely and important analysis of the destructive consequences of aspiring to endless growth and downloading the costs onto nature itself. He makes a powerful case for the need to work deliberately towards a steady state economy where the real world of the biosphere should set the limits to our activity. Victor's book should be at the basis for our discussion of these critical issues today.'
- David Suzuki, broadcaster and activist

`Peter Victor analyses the critical policy question of our time, how to manage our economy equitably and efficiently without growing beyond biophysical limits. He reasons carefully and rigorously, yet pulls no punches in drawing conclusions that some will consider radical. A superb book!'
- Herman E. Daly, University of Maryland, US

`Overcoming our addiction to economic growth is one of the most important challenges for the 21st century. Peter Victor's masterful summary of the history and fallacies of this particularly pervasive and increasingly dangerous addiction will be a great help in getting over it. A sustainable and desirable future requires clearly differentiating between "bigger" and "better" and a recognition that in the overdeveloped West these two have parted ways. Peter Victor's book will help us slow down by design, not disaster, and understand how that slowing down will in fact increase our quality of life.'
- Robert Costanza, The University of Vermont, US

'This book is a must read for academics and policymakers concerned with environmental integrity and human wellbeing.'
- John Gowdy, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, US

United Nations Environment Programme, One Earth (2018). Sustainable Lifestyles: Options and Opportunities. Paris: UN Environment.

This publication offers proven actions for creating and inspiring more sustainable lifestyles. It provides the rationale, resources and ideas for developing initiatives across areas of food, mobility, housing, goods and leisure as well as in general sustainable lifestyle areas. Informed by international advisors including in Bogota and Marrakech, it’s a tool for groups with limited resources who want maximum impact.

Globally, people are weaving sustainability into their daily lives — meeting needs and pursuing wellbeing and aspirations through building community; reducing meat and dairy consumption; wasting less food and using leftovers; reusing, repairing, recycling, sharing and borrowing goods; and enjoying the things that matter most, such as friends, experiences and nature. This is impressive since aspirations of ‘the good life’ continue to be strongly influenced by pro-consumption messaging and because people who are aware may not have more sustainable options available. Yet, taken together these actions are piecemeal and do not capture the full potential that holistic sustainable living initiatives can offer. This publication addresses this gap. It provides a sample of proven lifestyles options and opportunities including in the areas of food, mobility, housing, consumer goods, and leisure and general sustainable lifestyles. The audience is people running campaigns and initiatives with limited resources who want maximum impact. Explore these opportunities and create initiatives that work in your context — because what works in Brazil is different from what works in Morocco. Join us in advancing sustainable living in more effective ways.

http://www.oneearthweb.org/options-and-opportunities-reports.html
Veleva, V., & Weber, N. (2019). AEC computer: Adopting a circular business model for used electronics. SAGE Publishing, http://sk.sagepub.com/cases/aec-computer-adopting-circular-business-model-for-used-electronics

This case focuses on AEC Computer, a large computer manufacturer based in the United States which has implemented an innovative strategy for reusing old electronics. As AEC was preparing to launch ambitious sustainability goals for the year 2030, the company had to overcome a range of technical, supplier-related, regulatory, and consumer-related challenges in order to scale up their closed-loop manufacturing. How should AEC ensure a reliable supply of used plastics? What can they do to minimize the greenhouse gas emissions of take-back and remanufacturing? How should they measure and communicate the benefits of their circular products to customers to increase demand? How can they get the entire industry on board to increase demand and reduce the cost of recycled material? Is it possible to extend their products’ useful life while remaining profitable? The case introduces students to the problem of e-waste, the concept of a circular economy, and how companies can design and implement successful business models for product reuse and remanufacturing.
England, Russell. (2018). Gross Deceptive Product: An Ecological Perspective on the Economy. Covenant Books.

Continuous economic growth is not sustainable because such growth depends on depletion of finite natural resources, ever-increasing debt, continuous population growth, and land use conversion--none of which is sustainable long term. Measuring economic health in gross terms (gross domestic product) is deceptive because it says nothing about the net benefits or costs of economic activity or the impact of economic growth on ecosystems. Yet growth is worshiped like a religion and politicians go to great lengths to lure industry (and people) from other states or countries without any attempt to determine optimum population density. Debt is unethically passed on to future generations.

It is time for governments at all levels to begin planning for a sustainable future that works toward achieving a stable economy and a stable population that is within the long term carrying capacity of supporting ecosystems. The economy is a subset of the ecosystem--not the other way around. The concept of optimum as it applies to human populations needs to be recognized. More is not always better.

Readers can find the book (Gross Deceptive Product) at amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com or you can use the following link: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_3_13?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=russell+england+gross+deceptive+product&sprefix=russell+engla%2Caps%2C185&crid=24JS73QEK9ZGU

Special issue on Reuse and Repair in Worldwide Waste in the Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies. 
Papers include:
  • On Materiality and Meaning: Ethnographic Engagements with Reuse, Repair & Care
  • Building Castles out of Debris: Reuse Interior Design as a ‘Design of the Concrete’
  • ‘It will Keep Circulating’: Loving and Letting Go of Things in Swedish Second-hand Markets
  • Reminiscence and Recompense: Reuse and the Garage Sale
  • Electronic Life Histories: At Home with E-waste Waste Materialities and Meaning
  • Rummaging through the Attic of New England
Wild Hope Film (wildhopefilm.com) will be premiering at the Colordao Environmental Film Festival (ceff.net) in Golden, Colorado on Saturday, February 23rd.

Wild Hope tells the story of our deep spiritual connection to the natural world, a connection that has the power to rewire our brains, take us back to our deepest roots, and change how we think and act in a world needing our care. This short documentary combines personal story, science, and passion in a unique mix to inspire viewers to protect wild ecosystems against an unrelenting materialistic culture that’s producing social malaise and an uninhabitable planet. Our economic system fails us, but our tie to the natural world is elemental. Scientific studies document the power of nature to induce pro-social behavior, reduce stress, shorten healing times, and ameliorate trauma. Psychological research verifies that the awe of the natural world turns our attention away from ourselves, inviting us to transcend our day-to-day agendas, to un-self and to care. We don’t have decades to change course. Wild Hope dares to challenge the economic underpinnings driving climate change, and awaken us to the possibility of a more meaningful life—a life defined not by consumption, but by compassion.
Remembering Erik Olin Wright


We are sorry to share the news of Dr. Erik Olin Wright's passing. Dr. Wright was the Vilas distinguished research professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin, and is remembered as an inspiring thinker, author and teacher. His work has been an important influence on research in the field of sustainable consumption, especially with respect to questions of social change and alternatives to capitalist-impelled consumerism. In 2015 Dr. Wright delivered an influential talk at a SCORAI colloquium held at the Tellus Institute-- a video of that event is accessible here.

New SCORAI Affiliates

A warm welcome to the following new SCORAI affiliates joining us during the past month, bringing our total membership to 1129 individuals.
  • Neal Gorenflo, co-founder of Shareable, publisher and activist exploring sharing as an aspect of sustainable production and consumption, CA
  • Robert Sroufe, Murrin Chair of Global Competitiveness at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh PA
  • Morgane Fritz, Assistant Professor in Supply Chain Management at La Rochelle Business School, Excelia Group, France
  • Maria Kirrane, Sustainability Officer, University College Cork, Ireland
  • Naren K., MA student of Public Policy and Governance, Azim Premji University, India






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