January 2022 Newsletter
Welcome back SCORAI members,
The preparations for the 2023 SCORAI-ERSCP conference are progressing very well. We received close to 350 abstracts, among them many sessions. The deadline for abstract submission has been extended to January 15, so we expect this number to grow. The majority of authors plan to attend in person, promising a great opportunity for interactions, creativity, networking, and meeting old friends. The review of submissions by the scientific committee is underway, and the registration process will open on January 30th. Thank you all for your continued input and feedback as we try and put together the best possible event for everyone. Please mark your calendars for July 5-8!

Next Key Date: January 15 for submission of abstracts and session proposals

Transforming Consumption-Production Systems Toward Just and Sustainable Futures 

This joint 5th SCORAI, 21st ERSCP, and Wageningen University conference will be held at Wageningen University in the Netherlands on July 5-8, 2023. This inter- and trans-disciplinary conference will provide a crucial opportunity to discuss recent advancements in sustainable consumption and production. It will provide a platform for building and enhancing connections between research, practice, and policy to increase understanding and action of how to move transformations to SCP forward.

Please see below key dates in preparation for the conference, and continue reading the newsletter to find our call for submissions.


Key Dates
January 15, 2023:   Last date for abstract submission
January 27, 2023:   Notification of decisions (proposals accepted/rejected)

End of January :     Early bird registration opens
March 20, 2023:      Preliminary program published
March 25, 2023:      Final date for presenters to register
April 10, 2023:        Updated program published
April 20, 2023:        Early bird registration ends
May 30, 2023:         Full conference paper submission ends (only for special issues track)
June 15, 2023:   Regular registration ends
July 5-8, 2023:   SCORAI-ERSCP-WUR 2023 Conference in Wageningen

This conference will provide a platform for exploring a wide range of practices, experiences and policy initiatives in the context of cutting-edge interdisciplinary sustainable consumption and production research. We invite scholars and practitioners, such as business representatives, innovators, policy makers, activists, and members of communities engaged in sustainable consumption initiatives, to participate with concrete ideas, methods and examples of how to inspire learning and change. We encourage discussion and reflection on the links and gaps between theory and practice. We seek to better connect research and action for sustainable consumption and production with strategies for transformative change.

As anticipated in our July Newsletter, the official conference website is now open !

More information on

Thank you!

Your Board: Ashley, Ginnie, Halina, Liz, Philip, Valerie, Kira

Wait a minute... there's an upcoming conference? I better follow  @SCORAI_net   on Twitter to stay up to date!

Sustainable Consumption in the News


Great Transition Initiative Forum: Which Future Are We Living In?

Great Transitions Initiative - Towards a transformative vision and praxis

Twenty years ago, the essay Great Transition: The Promise and Lure of the Times Ahead imagined alternative scenarios for the twenty-first century. Now, we stand partway into that unknown future, witnesses to the actual path of history (so far). Where are we? Where are we headed? Two panels weigh in, one focusing on the harbingers of dark times and the other on the glimmers of hope.


The science is clear.  To reduce human suffering from the climate crisis, humanity must implement a coordinated global plan to phase out fossil fuels.  Exploration of new fossil fuels must end, extraction of existing fossil fuel resources must be rapidly scaled back, and new transformative public investments are needed.  Despite the scientific clarity of this basic, practical need for climate justice, powerful corporate interests continue to exert their influence to resist change.  Unfortunately these corporate interests have also been wielding their power and influence in higher education by strategically investing to perpetuate fossil fuel reliance and to minimize the transformative climate justice potential of educational and research programs. 

What visions of the future do different circularity discourses have? What kind of society would that create by 2050? How would transport, energy, agriculture and industrial systems function? What would work be like, and what social practices and behaviours would we carry out? What political systems and democratic processes would they establish? And what ways of life would they foster? Our short communication paper seeks to answer those questions by visioning 4 different circular futures by 2050. We worked with artist and illustrator Anke Muijsers, who drew each of these circular economy and society discourses and graphically represented their vision of the future.

The research results are recently published in an article by Lund University based Professor Oksana Mont, among others. They have looked into the consumption category of textiles and electronics, where it is estimated that almost €22 billion worth of products will be destroyed in 2022. That is more than Cyprus’ GDP was in 2020.

For instance, the study indicates that a large proportion of goods are never sold, and that customers often choose to return their purchases. When profit margins and economic incentives speak against extending product-lives, it becomes logical to destroy them instead.

Conventional economic logic hinges on a core assumption: Bigger economies are better, and finding ways to maintain or boost growth is paramount to improving society.

But what if growth is at best doing little to fix the world’s problems, and at worst fostering the destruction of the planet and jeopardizing its future?

That’s the radical message from the “degrowth” movement, which has spent decades on the political fringes with its warning that limitless growth needs to end. Now, after the pandemic gave people in some parts of the world a chance to rethink what makes them happy, and as the scale of change necessary to address the climate crisis becomes clearer, its ideas are gaining more mainstream recognition — even as anxiety builds over what could be a painful global recession.

There’s a common intuition that says we can either have a healthy climate, or a growing economy, but not both.

Economic activity, so long as it’s powered by fossil fuels — which still provides about 80 percent of the world’s energy — creates greenhouse gas emissions. So it seems to follow that if we want to emit fewer greenhouse gasses, we’re going to have to sacrifice some economic growth, even though raising average income levels is a key part of reducing poverty.

From regenerative age to reformulation

From FOOD Navigator, a trade organization’s website
Since the launch of its strategic ‘end-to-end’ transformation agenda, dubbed Pep+, the company has hit a number of milestones on topics ranging from regenerative agriculture to reformulation. FoodNavigator catches up with Katharina Stenholm, Chief Sustainability Officer at PepsiCo Europe, to learn more about the work that has been done – and the journey ahead.

Against Localism In Food

From Noema Magazine
This article assumes that localizing food production is basically a matter of choice, that we'd localize mainly to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in a world of continuous fossil fuel (FF) use/supplies.  In short, it seems largely "business-as-usual" and takes food production out of real-world context. 


Feeling pessimistic about the climate crisis and want to hear about some of the people working to make positive change? Why not listen to, and watch, Doomer Optimism, a podcast about localized, actionable solutions to the climate crisis, and the wider crucible of our time, hosted by SCORAI Board Member Ashley Colby (@RizomaSchool) and Jason Snyder (@cognazor).

Episode 38 of Doomer Optimism is a chat with Peter Allen (@pclarkallen) of Mastodon Valley Farm about ecological and regenerative farming, homesteading, rebuilding oak savanna, factory farming, and a ton more!


Calls for Contributions and Submissions

Call for Abstract in STS Conference
Deadline for submissions: January 31, 2023

Submit Manuscripts and Learn More
The 21th Annual STS Conference Graz 2023 „Critical Issues in Science, Technology and Society Studies“ is the joint Annual Conference of the Science Technology and Society Unit of the Institute of Interactive Systems and Data Science of Graz University of Technology, the Inter-University Research Centre for Technology, Work and Culture (IFZ) and the Institute for Advanced Studies of Science, Technology and Society (IAS-STS).
Call for Paper in Transforming Consumption-Production Systems Toward Just and Sustainable Futures
Deadline for submissions: January 15, 2023

Submit Manuscripts and Learn More

This inter-and transdisciplinary conference will provide a crucial opportunity to discuss recent advancements in sustainable consumption and production (SCP). It will provide a platform for building and enhancing connections between research, practice, and policy to increase understanding and action of how to move transformations to SCP forward.

Window of opportunity 

Just, equitable, and sustainable human development in the 21st century requires transforming systems of consumption and production. The window of opportunity to avert irreversible damage to key earth systems, such as climate and biodiversity, is closing fast. Resource-intensive consumption and production are key drivers of unsustainable development and require radical restructuring to accelerate transformations towards sustainable futures. The most recent IPCC report (April 2022) makes history in, for the first time, stressing the need to focus on the role of consumption in climate change, highlighting “...the potential of demand-side strategies across all sectors to reduce emissions is 40-70% by 2050”.

The timing of this call is auspicious. Once promising ideas, such as the sharing economy, transition towns, collaborative consumption, future visioning, or nudging, have not brought about change in consumption and production patterns at the scale and pace necessary. In response to the Covid pandemic, governments obtained an unprecedented mandate to establish ambitious recovery programs which could potentially lead to changing consumption patterns; however, it appears that responses have been largely aimed at economic rebounds and relative decoupling, while not initiating changes that can reduce demand and the dependency on fossil fuels.

Implementation and experimentation

Transformative social change is more likely at a confluence of a political window of opportunity, public receptiveness to change, and policy and research ideas ready for implementation and experimentation. We may be facing this confluence now. On the political front, the IPCC report provides a new framing for political and policy debate, and for explicitly making sustainable consumption key to progress towards sustainable futures. The Covid pandemic has demonstrated that lifestyle changes are not beyond the realm of possibility. On the research front, a growing body of interdisciplinary work has uncovered how various aspects of the social and material world impede or enable lifestyle changes, with important insights for modelling transformations toward just, equitable and sustainable systems of production and consumption.

Let's bridge the gap

This conference will provide a platform for exploring a wide range of practices, experiences, and policy initiatives in the context of cutting-edge interdisciplinary sustainable consumption and production research. We invite scholars and practitioners, such as business representatives, innovators, policymakers, activists, and members of communities engaged in sustainable consumption initiatives, to participate with concrete ideas, methods, and examples of how to inspire learning and change. We encourage discussion and reflection on the links and gaps between theory and practice. We seek to better connect research and action for sustainable consumption and production with strategies for transformative change.

Call for Papers in PLATE 2023!, 5th Product Lifetimes and the Environment 

Deadline for abstract: November, 2022
Submit Manuscripts and Learn More

The 5th international PLATE conference (Product Lifetimes and the Environment) addresses product lifetimes in the context of sustainability. The PLATE conference, which has been running since 2015, has successfully been able to establish a solid network of researchers around its core theme. The topic has come to the forefront of current (political, scientific & societal) debates due to its interconnectedness with a number of recent prominent movements, such as the circular economy, eco-design and collaborative consumption. For the 2023 edition of the conference, we have encouraged researchers to propose how to extend, widen or critically re-construct thematic sessions for the PLATE conference, and the call is constructed based on these proposals.

The 2023 conference will be organized by Aalto university. Aalto University is where science and art meet technology and business. Our campus is located in Espoo, Greater Helsinki, Finland. Sustainability is one of the core areas in Aalto university’s strategy, research and it is included in all our teaching. At Aalto, we create solutions that enable well-being within the planetary boundaries. With us, you get the opportunity to learn, research and do meaningful things in a unique environment: we combine the expertise in science, art, technology and economy to develop creative solutions to the world’s major challenges, such as the climate crisis. We are a community of thousands of students, researchers and experts with passion and expertise for both system-level solutions and rapidly implemented new innovations.

Call for Papers in 11th International Research Symposium in Service Management: The Role of Service in the Sustainability and Wellbeing of Society
Deadline for abstract: January 15th, 2023
Submit Manuscripts and Learn More
We cordially invite you to take part in the forthcoming 11th International Research Symposium in Service Management: The Role of Service in the Sustainability and Wellbeing of Society. This year the Symposium will be hosted by the University of Economics in Katowice and will be held in Katowice, Poland, on June 13th-16th, 2023.
The Symposium, originally initiated by prof. Jay Kandampully, aims to promote research and publications among service researchers by providing a unique platform through which they are able to network with researchers from both their own country and researchers internationally. One of the most important parts of the Symposium is the Research Workshop which will be held on June 13th. This workshop is a unique mentoring platform and environment that is devoted to supporting and guiding young researchers with the knowledge and strategies necessary to improve the quality of their research and academic publications.
All participants have the option of having their extended abstracts and accepted full papers published in the refereed conference proceedings. In addition, selected papers from the Symposium will receive developmental reviews from the scientific committee for submission to journals such as the Journal of Service Management (JOSM), Journal of Service Theory and Practice (JSTP), International Journal of Services, Economics, and Management (IJSEM), and European Business Review (EBR).

In case of additional inquiries, do not hesitate to contact symposium administrators at or Symposium Chair Prof. Jay Kandampully at
Call for Abstract in Fair Trade International Symposium 2023

Deadline for submissions: January 31, 2023
Submit Manuscripts and Learn More
The Fair Trade International Symposium is the leading global gathering for scholars, practitioners and policymakers working on Fair Trade.
The next Fair Trade International Symposium will be hosted from 19th to-21st June 2023 at the University of Leeds in the UK. Leeds is a vibrant city in the north of England that has great transport links to the rest of the UK. Both the University of Leeds and the city of Leeds have strong links to Fair Trade- we are both a Fair Trade city and university, and Yorkshire was the first Fair Trade county. Academics at the Sustainability Research Institute and the University’s Sustainability Service and have worked together with the Fair Trade International Symposium Steering Group and local campaigners to develop the programme for FTIS.

At the Leeds FTIS event there will be workshops and panels taking place in person, complemented by some online and hybrid sessions to enable the participation of people both locally and internationally. We will ensure that both the in person and online discussions are facilitated so that everyone gets a chance to participate. We are especially keen to create spaces for local campaigners and practitioners to interact.

There will be some fully online panels and sessions, with opportunities for participants to discuss papers and posters and importantly a space to interact with each other via the conference platform.

We have agreed with the editors of the Journal of Fair Trade to produce a special issue of the journal based on papers from the Symposium. There will be a special session about this during the event.

Call for Paper in 8th International Conference on New Business Models NBM2023

Deadline for submissions: February 1st, 2023
Submit Manuscripts and Learn More

The 8th International Conference on New Business Models continues to serve as a leading platform for spirited dialogue and debate in the field of sustainable business models. Embedding sustainability principles within the different components of business models remain essential for changing the way our society addresses the most pressing challenges. The beginning of this decade has transformed the way we used to live, work, interact, do business and co-exist. While the impact of the COVID 19 crisis is still ongoing, we gradually reflect on our collective preparedness to navigate through global challenges including epidemics and pandemics, wars, migration/refugee crises, climate change and various other social and environmental issues that we might face.

The role that partnerships play in the development and strengthening of businesses is undebatable: not only because businesses can hardly survive in isolation, but also because collaboration among different actors can help tackle environmental and societal issues that are outside company boundaries and expertise. NBM2023 will open a space to think and conceptualize, but also reflect, on the importance of such collaboration and partnerships to create a more resilient, regenerative, and sustainable economy and society. This, of course, includes businesses that are not only committed to addressing and respecting sustainability principles, but that are also conscious about their level of preparedness to face and react to more adverse and uncertain conditions.

M2023 aims to contribute to the ongoing academic debate on sustainable business modelling through different levels of analysis. At the system level, we invite scholars working on topics such as business, technology, or entrepreneurial ecosystems; circular business models (CBM), from theory to practice, including new forms of collaborations to enable CBM locally and internationally, including the global south; and the transformative capacities of business models through collaborations. At the sectoral and organizational level, we will address topics on data-driven business models for sustainability, collaborative business model experimentation, and the development of multi-actor collaborations and cross-sectoral partnerships.

We will also explore the organizational impact level. Topics within this dimension deal with challenges of assessing and managing the effects of business models, including their performance, outputs, outcomes, impacts, and, finally, value creation for stakeholders. This includes exploring the theoretical and methodological foundations of assessing and managing sustainable business models. The principles of resilience and regeneration are particularly challenging in this regard. Tracks under this category will focus on exploring the (im)possibilities of classifying business models and their effects, theoretical foundations of business models for sustainability, design thinking for business model innovation and one session dedicated to those working and bringing their own tools for studying, assessing, and developing new business models for sustainability.

Call for Paper in Industrial Ecology ISIE2023 Conference

Deadline for submissions: January 25th, 2023
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It is our great pleasure to invite you to attend the 11th International Conference on Industrial Ecology (ISIE2023) of the International Society for Industrial Ecology, to be held from July 2 to 5, 2023. Following a lengthy delay caused by Covid19, we’re excited that the conference makes its way back to Leiden, the Netherlands, where the first ISIE conference was held in 2001.

The theme of the conference is Transitions in a world in turmoil. The way we use energy and resources in our present system is not sustainable. Major changes are necessary in our energy system to make it climate-neutral. At the same time our use of land, water and material resources needs to change dramatically to become sustainable. To avoid further deterioration of nature and our environment and resource supply constraints we must move toward a circular economy, while at the same time ensuring equitable transitions. The Covid19 crisis and the Russian aggression in Ukraine have caused have changed the geopolitical context in which these transitions will have to take place. This offers both challenges and opportunities.
Call for abstract in 14th International Sustainability Transitions Conference (IST)
Learn More

We are pleased to announce that the 14th International Sustainability Transitions Conference (IST) will be hosted by the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University from Wednesday, August 30th until Friday, September 1st, 2023.

IST is organised by researchers from the Sustainability Transitions Research Network (STRN). This edition will be the first in-person IST conference in three years. On Tuesday, August 29th, the Network for Early career researchers in Sustainability Transitions (NEST) community will organize an early career researcher and newcomers session.

The location will allow for creative and innovative ways to interact and share knowledge and expertise. We are exploring hybrid options to facilitate participation from abroad.

Call for abstract in 2023 Radboud Conference on Earth System Governance
Deadline for submissions: February 15th, 2023
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We are delighted to invite you to the 2023 Radboud Conference on Earth System Governance, Nijmegen, the Netherlands (on-site, with optional virtual access and presentations). The conference is organized by the Radboud Centre for Sustainability Challenges (RCSC) and will be part of the University’s celebration of its 100th anniversary.

The 2023 Conference is hosted by Radboud University and Earth System Governance Project and stands in a long tradition of global conferences on earth system governance, from Amsterdam (2007 and 2009) to Colorado (2011), Lund (2012), Tokyo (2013), Norwich (2014), Canberra (2015), Nairobi (2016), Lund (2017), Utrecht (2018), Oaxaca (2019), Virtual Forum (2020), Bratislava (2021), and Toronto (2022).

In addition to five analytical lenses of the earth system governance research agenda, the 2023 Radboud Conference will feature a programmatic focus on bridging sciences and societies for sustainability transformations – in other words inter- and transdiscplinarity. The conference organizers therefore particularly invite inter- and transdisciplinary research teams and researchers, based in the global North and South, from different scientific disciplines, including the humanities, natural sciences and social sciences, as well as practitioners (e.g., policy makers, civil society, business actors, citizens groups) working on specific sustainability challenges related to e.g., water, energy, food, biodiversity, forests, climate change, oceans and pollution (see stream 6 below). We also invite proposals for innovative sessions joining scholars from different disciplines and/or scholars and practitioners. Together with panels featuring inter- and transdisciplinary research these innovative sessions can inform the further operationalization of inter- and transdisciplinarity in the context of the Earth System Governance 2018 Science Plan and Community. With this the conference is designed to have impact also beyond the event itself.

Call for paper Special Issue on Sustainability: Science, Practice, and Policy

Deadline for submissions: January 1st, 2023
Submit Manuscripts and Learn More

Sustainability: Science, Practice, and Policy invites submissions for a special issue devoted to the theme of “Sustainability and the Post-2030 Agenda.” With the convening of Stockholm+50 in June 2022 the global community had an opportunity to take stock and reflect on progress over the past half century advancing a global understanding of sustainability. The coming months and years will now see attention shift to how to build upon the current Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to formulate strategies with which to chart a course for the next decade and beyond.
Stockholm+50 reiterated the urgency for meaningful action to address climate change, to reduce threats of declining biodiversity, and to curtail environmental pollution. Yet despite vocal expressions for bold and deliberate initiatives, progress continues to be held back by weaknesses in the multilateral system, wavering resolve by national governments, and inadequate financial resources. In many respects, progress over the past five decades has been fraught, difficult, and, above all, slow and insufficient.
At the same time, new awareness is developing that ambitions must be elevated and established conceptual frameworks need to be dramatically enhanced. These transformations will require new measures of human and societal well-being, infrastructures that support unfolding processes of digitalization, re-envisioned arrangements for provisioning goods and services, and elimination of fossil fuels from current and future energy portfolios. Moreover, these objectives will need to be pursued through strategies that prioritize global equity, honor commitments to just transition, and consider new realities triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
SSPP welcomes contributions that seek to clarify and advance the post-2030 agenda. Priority will be given to papers that aim to foster dialogue between scientists, policy makers, and practitioners and a range of formats is encouraged: research articles, brief reports, commentaries, and reflective essays.

Call for Publication Drivers of behavioral change and non change in a time of transition

Learn More

Aware of the importance of the human factor in all transitions, researchers and experts from over 30 behavioral disciplines created in 2018 the International Panel on Behavior Change (IPBC). The IPBC’s twofold missions are:

• Scientific mission: Integrate all knowledge acquired and emerging, fundamental and applied, relative to individual, collective and organizational behaviours so as to better understand all drivers of human behavioral change and non change (DBCNC).

• Eco-social mission (engaged/committed open science): Share key knowledge and drivers of in/action, universal and contextualized, to facilitate the evolution of human behaviours in favour of a more sustainable and equitable future.

Call for Abstract in  International Conference on Environmental Psychology

Deadline for submissions: January 15th, 2023
Submit Manuscripts and Learn More

It is our pleasure to announce that the International Conference on Environmental Psychology – ICEP 2023 will take place from June 20 to 23, 2023, in the beautiful city of Aarhus, Denmark. The conference will be held under the auspices of the Division of Environmental Psychology of the International Association of Applied Psychology.

The ICEP 2023 will be an international benchmark for experienced scholars, junior researchers and professionals working in the field of Environmental Psychology across the world. The ICEP 2023 will also welcome the participation of experts from other fields interested in environmental issues and human behaviour, to strengthen the dialogue and the multidisciplinary collaboration between psychological science and other disciplines, such as architecture, economics, geography and natural science, and to foster the links between environmental research and policy. 

The aim of the conference is to promote the scientific debate over the most recent empirical findings and theoretical advances in environmental psychological science, and to stimulate peer-to-peer discussions in qualified networks on the relationship between humans and their environment.

Do you want to be part of the numerous authors that will present their contributions in Aarhus at the next International Conference on Environmental Psychology? Relevant topics include, but are not limited to:

Climate emergency and global issues
Climate change
Ecological behaviour and pro-environmental attitudes
Land management, farming and resource conservation
Plastic pollution
Water resource management and oceans
The UN Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 

Environmental psychology and social issues
People-environment relations under pandemics and crises 
Environmental education
Citizen participation and environmental policies
Place identity and place attachment 
Social ecology 

Energy, carbon emissions and human behaviour

Sustainable Energy Transition
Life Cycle Assessment and sustainable consumption 
Transportation, mobility and travel behaviour 
Nearly Zero Energy Building
Energy poverty

Environment, nature and human health & well-being 
Restorative environments
Nature-based solutions
Urban and peri-urban forestry and human wellbeing 
Environment and health
Ecological design
Natural disasters and coping with environmental risks and hazards 

Architecture, design and human behaviour
Urban planning and human behaviour 
Environmental design
Inclusive design
Housing and social housing 
Urban regeneration 
Extreme environments T US

Call for paper for Special Issue on Politics and Governance

Deadline for submissions: June, 2023
Submit Manuscripts and Learn More


Inter-generational matters are relevant in many societal issues, many of which require consideration from an equity or justice perspective. For instance, climate change requires current generations to invest in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, lessening the financial burden on future generations, and minimizing adverse impacts of climate change that are likely to affect the latter. The financial debt of countries today to cover governmental expenditures also affects the financial conditions of future generations. Nevertheless, democratic governance as seen in many countries today suffers from political “short-termism” as a structural problem of electoral democracy, because voters tend to vote for those who contribute to maximizing the well-being of the “generation of today,” ignoring that also the “decisions of today” will greatly impact the future (read more at this link).

Call for chapters -  Sufficiency in Businesses

Deadline for submissions: January 31th, 2023

The book aims to contribute to the conceptualization of sufficiency in businesses as well as the empirical investigation of practical examples. This can extend to research on companies devoted to related concepts such as degrowth or non-growing companies, other organizational forms such as non-governmental organizations, energy cooperatives, purpose organizations, or common good economy, and studies from different sectors such as housing, mobility, food, or consumer goods. Another possible focal topic can be sufficiency-oriented businesses in the circular economy. We invite contributions that suggest practical paths for companies and other organizations to adopt sufficiency-oriented efforts, as well as contributions that highlight policy approaches to effectively support those efforts. The consumer perspective on sufficiency-oriented businesses, e.g. the perception and acceptance of sufficiency-promoting initiatives, also lies within the scope of the book.

For any queries related to the call for chapters, please contact Maike Gossen at

Two 3-year Postdoc Positions in Ecological Macroeconomics at the University of Barcelona

Deadline for submissions: January 16th, 2023


We are looking for two postdoctoral researchers to work on an exciting new Horizon Europe project entitled “Towards a Sustainable Well-being Economy: Integrated Policies and Transformative Indicators”.
The two postdoctoral researchers will help develop a novel ecological macroeconomic model that will include a wide range of indicators of human well-being and environmental sustainability, in addition to conventional macroeconomic variables. The indicators to be modelled will draw upon the “Doughnut” of social and planetary boundaries. The model will be used to assess different policy packages aimed at achieving a sustainable post-growth economy.
We anticipate that one position will focus on a well-being module for the model, and the other a sustainability module, although the exact arrangement will depend on the qualifications of the successful candidates.
Person Specification:
Successful candidates must have:

  • A PhD in an area such as ecological economics, environmental studies, natural/social sciences, or engineering. (Note: PhD must be completed before start date.)
  • Expertise in one or more of the following quantitative methods: numerical simulation models, input–output analysis, or statistical methods.
  • Knowledge of one or more computer programming languages.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Good time management.
Other desirable skills include:
  • Knowledge of post-growth research topics (e.g. human well-being, planetary boundaries, provisioning systems).
  • Experience with existing ecological macroeconomic models (e.g. EuroGreen, LowGrow SFC, PyMedeas).

The two positions will be in the Faculty of Economics, at the University of Barcelona (Spain), under the supervision of Dan O’Neill, Federico Demaria, and Jordi Solé. The gross salary will be 30,000 to 35,000 euros per year, depending on the experience of the candidate.

The project will start on 1 March 2023, and run for three years. Successful candidates are expected to start between 1 March and 1 June 2023.
Please send applications directly to Dan O’Neill ( and Federico Demaria ( Please include your CV and a cover letter that explains your motivation for applying and how your skills match the Person Specification. Note that candidates who previously submitted an expression of interest must still submit an application.

Interviews with shortlisted candidates are anticipated to be held online during the week of 23–27 January.

Assistant professor position with tenure track on environnemental issues -  Sciences Po (Paris - France)

Deadline for submissions: February 15th, 2023
Learn more


The ecological transition involves the transformation of public, private and non-governmental organizations. These transformations affect their objectives, their means of action, their interactions and their modes of regulation. However, they are still poorly understood and often constitute a blind spot in transition policies. The recruitment of an assistant professor in sociology will strengthen the laboratory's research on the environment and ecological transition, at the crossroads of economic, organizational, public policy, social movement, labor, law and science and expertise sociologies.

Thank You for Your Continued Support!

As the year has now reached its midpoint and the clock starts ticking for our 2023 conference, we wanted to extend our deepest thanks to everyone who has made a recent contribution to support our work. 

Many thanks to: Frieder Rubik, John Stutz, Julia Steinberger, Tom Abeles, Ashwani Vasishth, Benyamin Lichtenstein, Carol Holst, Kira Jen Matus, Richard Wilk, James Speth, Tom R. Bowerman, Peter Victor, John Cross, Vanessa Timmer, Angelina Korsunova, Kuishuang Feng, Monica Guillen Royo, John de Graaf, Anders Hayden, Michael Maniates, Inge Røpke, Goretty Dias, Wendy Wuyts, Jaclyn Fierro, and Jacob Halcomb.

Please, if you are able, consider donating to directly impact SCORAI's capacity to continue to bring you high quality blogs, newsletters, listserv discussions, and, of course, conferences. We are so close to meeting our fundraising goals, and your help in bringing us to that means the world to us. To donate, please go to:


Upcoming Events

Listed in chronological order, from coming-soon to farthest out on the horizon.

Publications by Members

Contested transition? Exploring the politics and process of regional energy planning in Indonesia
Energy Policy
Setyowati, A, Quist, J

Transitioning to low carbon energy involves policies, institutions, and actors across different scales of governance. Indonesia's aspiration for a transition to low carbon energy is occurring in the dynamics of the re-scaling of environmental governance through decentralization processes. This article examines the interplays of actors at the national and provincial levels in negotiating energy futures as the energy planning processes unfold on the ground and identifies context specific factors that shape the outcomes. Further, it investigates how the regulatory framework and institutional arrangements for energy transition planning could not only generate obstacles for renewable energy transition but also open opportunities for actions. It is based on interviews with stakeholders at national and subnational levels, combined with the analysis of policy documents, studies, and relevant reports. The findings reveal emerging spaces for local actions amid constraining regulatory and institutional fields through the process of regional energy plan development. However, the ability of sub-national actors to seize these spaces is influenced by several factors, most notably political leadership, civil society engagement, political economic structure and power relations. These in-depth insights from Indonesia have wider implications for understanding the multi-scalar dynamics of energy transitions and provide useful policy recommendations for engaging subnational actors in the transition process.

Sustainable Lifestyles after Covid-19
Echegaray, F., Brachya, V.; Vergragt, Philip J.;  and Zhang, L.

This book 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.

Contested transition? Exploring the politics and process of regional energy planning in Indonesia
Sustainable Production and Consumption
Niessen, L., Bocker, Nancy M.P., and Dijk, M

This paper looks at bicycle subscription service Swapfiets and tries to understand if the service can change user practices towards sufficiency (i.e., modal shift to cycling, better product care). Results: Using the subscription, many users experience a modal shift towards cycling, mostly replacing public transport, walking and car journeys. Around half of the respondents also cycle longer distances and more frequently than before the subscription. Yet, users might stop cycling after the subscription, often due to moving to areas with a poor cycling infrastructure. Concerning product longevity, subscribers differ, with some taking good care of the vehicle and others being less careful. The research shows some advances towards sufficiency but also highlights the limits of one company's actions and the importance of structural changes to promote sufficient consumption.

A Companion to Spanish Environmental Cultural Studies
Pradanos, Luis I.

From the scars left by Franco's dams and mines to the toxic waste dumped in Equatorial Guinea, from the cruelty of the modern pork industry to the ravages of mass tourism in the Balearic Islands, this book delves into the power relations, material practices and social imaginaries underpinning the global economic system to uncover its unaffordable human and non-human costs. Guiding the reader through the rapidly emerging field of Spanish environmental cultural studies, with chapters on such topics as extractivism, animal studies, food studies, ecofeminism, decoloniality, critical race studies, tourism, and waste studies, an international team of US and European scholars show how Spanish writers, artists, and filmmakers have illuminated and contested the growth-oriented and neo-colonialist assumptions of the current Capitalocene era. Focussed on Spain, the volume also provides models for exploring the socioecological implications of cultural manifestations in other parts of the world.

Reframing Relationships Between Humans and the Earth: An Ecosystem Approach
One Planet Network
Pilon, A. F.

To restore the broken bonds between environment, governance, politics, economics, culture and ethics, a set of values, norms and policies prioritize socio-ecological objectives, human well-being, the quality of natural and built environments, the aesthetic, ethical and cultural meaning of existence. Considering that the regeneration of Earth and the regeneration of humanity are sides of the same coin (and must be tackled simultaneously, in space and time, for their mutual support), a multidisciplinary and holistic approach encompasses all dimensions of being in the world (intimate, interactive, social and biophysical), as they interact to elicit, withstand or transform the events. In the social-cultural learning niches, spaces are opened for allocation of new meanings; heuristic-hermeneutic processes develop a capacity to ask wider questions, reframing the problems, unveiling their dynamic and complex configurations, altering definitions and ways to deal with the issues, in view of public policies, advocacy, communication, research and teaching programs. Development of institutional capacity, judicial neutrality, transparency of information, social spaces for enlightened civic participation are considered to counteract the effect of today’s paradigms of development, growth, power, wealth and freedom, encompassing education, culture, politics, economics and environmental issues. The focus is on the general phenomenon, on the configurations deep inside the “boiling pot” where the problems emerge, not on the “bubbles” of the surface (consequences, fragmented issues, object of reduced academic formats, media headlines and segmented public policies), implying public scrutiny, accountability and the development of new forms of being in the world.

Grand Challenges of Planetary Governance: Global Order in Turbulent Times
Edward Elgar
Young, Oran R.

In this timely book, leading scholar Oran Young reflects on the future of the global order. Developing new lenses through which to consider needs for governance arising on a global scale, Young investigates the grand challenges of the 21st century requiring the most urgent and sustained planetary responses: protecting the Earth’s climate system; controlling the eruption of pandemics; suppressing disruptive uses of cyberspace; and guiding the biotechnology revolution.

Making and breaking links: the transformative   potential of shared mobility from a practice theories perspective

  Mock, M.

Shared mobility has the potential to contribute to the transition to a more sustainable mobility system. However, the environmental impacts and the extent of proliferation of the various shared mobility practices differ considerably. It is problematic that the most widespread practice—free-floating carsharing—shows the least environmental potential. Thus, the question arises as to why some shared mobility practices proliferate more readily than others. This paper studies this question from a practice theoretical perspective, focusing on how practices link or do not link with one another. It analyses how various shared mobility practices, as well as the practice of private car travel, connect to other practices via spatial-material and temporal links. The analysis explains why private car travel and, to a lesser degree, free-floating carsharing integrate relatively easily into everyday life, while other forms of shared mobility struggle to do so. This observation leads to the need for far-reaching interventions, both in the making of links of sustainable practices but also in the breaking of links of unsustainable practices. This paper scrutinizes this issue in an anticipatory and theory-based manner and offers suggestions on how to refine practice theoretical concepts regarding inter-practice connections.

Predictions of household water affordability under conditions of climate change, demographic growth, and fresh groundwater  depletion in a southwest US city indicate increasing burdens on the poor

                                                                PLOS ONE
                                                                Josiah, M., Mayer, A. and  Alger, J.

Reduced river flows and groundwater depletion as a result of climate change and population growth have increased the effort and difficulty accessing and processing water. In turn, residential water costs from municipal utilities are predicted to rise to unaffordable rates for poor residential water customers. Building on a regional conjunctive use model with future climate scenarios and 50-year future water supply plans, our study communicates the effects of climate change on poor people in El Paso, Texas, as water becomes more difficult and expensive to obtain in future years. Four scenarios for future water supply and future water costs were delineated based on expected impacts of climate change and groundwater depletion. Residential water use was calculated by census tract in El Paso, using basic needs indoor water use and evaporative cooling use as determinants of household water consumption. Based on household size and income data from the US Census, fraction of household income spent on water was determined. Results reveal that in the future, basic water supply will be a significant burden for 40% of all households in El Paso. Impacts are geographically concentrated in poor census tracts. Our study revealed that negative impacts from water resource depletion and increasing populations in El Paso will lead to costly and difficult water for El Paso water users. We provide an example of how to connect future resource scenarios, including those affected by climate change, to challenges of affordability for vulnerable consumers.

Impacts of meeting minimum access on critical earth systems amidst the Great Inequality
Nature Sustenibility
                                            Rammelt, Crelis F. et al.

The Sustainable Development Goals aim to improve access to resources and services, reduce environmental degradation, eradicate poverty and reduce inequality. However, the magnitude of the environmental burden that would arise from meeting the needs of the poorest is under debate—especially when compared to much larger burdens from the rich. We show that the ‘Great Acceleration’ of human impacts was characterized by a ‘Great Inequality’ in using and damaging the environment. We then operationalize ‘just access’ to minimum energy, water, food and infrastructure. We show that achieving just access in 2018, with existing inequalities, technologies and behaviours, would have produced 2–26% additional impacts on the Earth’s natural systems of climate, water, land and nutrients—thus further crossing planetary boundaries. These hypothetical impacts, caused by about a third of humanity, equalled those caused by the wealthiest 1–4%. Technological and behavioural changes thus far, while important, did not deliver just access within a stable Earth system. Achieving these goals therefore calls for a radical redistribution of resources.

Too much consumption or too high emissions intensities? Explaining the high consumption-based carbon footprints in the Nordic countries, Environmental Research Communications

                                           Environmental Research Communications
                                           Heinonen et al.

Consumption-based carbon footprints have been widely used to examine how different demand-side solutions can reduce the emissions from personal consumption. This study not only utilized consumption-based carbon footprints to examine how people living in affluent nations like the Nordic countries can live 1.5 degree warming compatible lifestyles, but it also expanded on this analysis by focusing on which level of GHG intensity per monetary unit of expenditure it is possible to remain below a 1.5-degree compatible target level at different levels of consumption expenditure. To analyze the GHG intensity per monetary unit of consumption, first, the consumption-based carbon footprints from around 8,000 survey responses from the Nordic countries were calculated. Then the average carbon intensity per unit of monetary spending was calculated across the income deciles in each country and compared to target levels that align with the 1.5-degree compatible reduction pathways by 2030. Finally, the intensities for selected low-carbon consumption choices (vegan/vegetarian diet, driving an EV, renewable electricity for the home, not owning a car, and no air travel) were calculated and compared to the same baseline targets. Our results showed that all of the average carbon footprints and GHG intensities were above the target levels in all of the countries. However, when comparing respondents having adopted two or more low-carbon consumption choices, there were examples of average intensities that met the target levels. The adoption rates of these low-carbon consumption choices were low though, which illustrates the necessity for high adoption rates of multiple low-carbon consumption choices in order to materialize the potential of demand-side climate change mitigation options. Our findings highlight the importance of examining the GHG intensity of per monetary unit expenditure to inform future policies on demand-side solutions and to improve the climate-literacy of consumers, so they can make more informed decisions on consumption choices.

Smaller human populations are neither anecessary nor sufficient condition for biodiversity conservation

  Biological Conservation

  Hughes, Alice S. et al.

 Human population (often treated as overpopulation) has long been blamed as the main cause of biodiversity loss. Whilst this simplistic explanation may seem convenient, understanding the accuracy of the statement is crucial to develop effective priorities and targets to manage and reverse ongoing biodiversity loss. If untrue, the assertion may undermine practical and effective measures currently underway to counter biodiversity loss by distracting from true drivers, alienating some of the most diverse countries in the world, and failing to tackle the structural inequalities which may be behind global biodiversity declines. Through examining the drivers of biodiversity loss in highly biodiverse countries, we show that it is not population driving the loss of habitats, but rather the growth of commodities for export, particularly soybean and oil-palm, primarily for livestock feed or biofuel consumption in higher income economies. Thus, inequitable consumption drives global biodiversity loss, whilst population is used to scapegoat responsibility. Instead, the responsibilities are clear and have recently been summarized by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services IPBES: Leverage points for biodiversity conservation lie in reducing unsustainable consumption through diet shifts, tracking supply chains, and technological innovation as well as ensuring sustainable production to reduce biodiversity losses associated with industrial agriculture.

Decoupling debunked – Evidence and arguments against green growth as a sole strategy for sustainability
European Environment  Bureau

Is it possible to enjoy both economic growth and environmental sustainability?

This question is a matter of fierce political debate between green growth and post-growth advocates. Considering what is at stake, a careful assessment to determine whether the scientific foundations behind this decoupling hypothesis are robust or not is needed.

This report reviews the empirical and theoretical literature to assess the validity of this hypothesis. The conclusion is both overwhelmingly clear and sobering: not only is there no empirical evidence supporting the existence of a decoupling of economic growth from environmental pressures on anywhere near the scale needed to deal with environmental breakdown, but also, and perhaps more importantly, such decoupling appears unlikely to happen in the future.

‘Decoupling debunked’ highlights the need for the rethinking of green growth policies and to complement efficiency with sufficiency.

Degrowth can work — here’s how science can help

                                                    Kallis, G. et al.

The global economy is structured around growth — the idea that firms, industries and nations must increase production every year, regardless of whether it is needed. This dynamic is driving climate change and ecological breakdown. High-income economies, and the corporations and wealthy classes that dominate them, are mainly responsible for this problem and consume energy and materials at unsustainable rates.

Yet many industrialized countries are now struggling to grow their economies, given economic convulsions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, resource scarcities and stagnating productivity improvements. Governments face a difficult situation. Their attempts to stimulate growth clash with objectives to improve human well-being and reduce environmental damage.

Making waves in resilience: Drawing lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic for advancing sustainable development

Current Research in Environmental Sustainability
van der Voorn, T., van der Berg, C., Quist, J.  and  

The current COVID-19 pandemic has affected societies across the world while its economic impact has cut deeper than any recession since the Second World War. Climate change is potentially an even more disruptive and complex global challenge. Climate change could cause social and economic damage far larger than that caused by COVID-19. The current pandemic has highlighted the extent to which societies need to prepare for disruptive global environmental crises. Although the dynamics of combating COVID-19 and climate change are different, the priorities for action are the same: behavioral change, international cooperation to manage shared challenges, and technology's role in advancing solutions. For a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 crisis to be durable and resilient, a return to ‘business as usual’ and the subsequent often environmentally destructive economic activities must be avoided as they have significantly contributed to climate change. To avoid this, we draw lessons from the experiences of the waves of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond to advance sustainable development.

How offshore wind could become economically attractive in low-resource regions like Indonesia

Langer, J. et al

The current focus of offshore wind industry and academia lies on regions with strong winds, neglecting areas with mild resources. Photovoltaics' cost reductions have shown that even mild resources can be harnessed economically, especially where electricity prices are high. Here, we study the technical and economic potential of offshore wind power in Indonesia as an example of mild-resource areas, using bias-corrected ERA5 data, turbine-specific power curves, and a detailed cost model. We show that low-wind-speed turbines could produce up to 6,816 TWh/year, which is 25 times Indonesia’s electricity generation in 2018 and 3 times the projected 2050 generation, and up to 166 PWh/year globally. Although not yet competitive against current offshore turbines, low-wind turbines could become a crucial piece of the global climate mitigation effort in regions with vast marine areas and high electricity prices. As low-wind-speed turbines are not yet on the market, we recommend prioritizing their development.

Is bigger always better? Designing economically feasible ocean thermal energy conversion systems using spatiotemporal resource data

Applied Energy
Langer, J.,  Infante Ferreira, C. and Quist, J.

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) produces electricity using the temperature difference between warm surface and cold deep-sea water. OTEC systems in literature only limitedly consider seasonal seawater temperature variations and thus might not be adequately sized for off-design conditions. This potentially leads to techno-economically sub-optimal design choices. This paper sheds light on which design approach yields the most economically feasible OTEC system considering off-design conditions with 19 years of seawater temperature data in 3-h time steps. We find that systems sized for worst-case thermal resources yield the highest and steadiest electricity production. If seawater temperature variations are moderate, these systems also perform best economically in terms of Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE). We demonstrate our model for a 136 MWgross plant in Ende, Indonesia, with an LCOE of 15.12 US¢(2021)/kWh against a local electricity tariff of 15.77 US¢(2021)/kWh. The model is validated for different cost assumptions, system sizes, and temperature profiles to be useful globally. We give recommendations to curb costs and to move large-scale OTEC closer to today’s state of the art, e.g. by using multiple smaller seawater pipes instead of few large pipes. The model is useful to prove OTEC’s global economic feasibility and to promote the technology’s commercialisation.

Upscaling scenarios for ocean thermal energy conversion with technological learning in Indonesia and their global relevance

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Review
Langer, J., Quist, J. and Blok, K.

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) is a promising renewable energy technology that is the most economical at large scale. But contemporary literature does not address how OTEC could reach such scale with current technology, and what the techno-economic impact of location-dependent factors and technological learning are. This paper tackles these issues by simulating OTEC's upscaling with a model that implements OTEC to meet local electricity demand and extrapolates to the global relevance of OTEC. The model uses a learning rate for investment costs and cost of finance. This study shows that up to 45 GW of OTEC capacity can be installed in Indonesia with national demand coverage of 22% in 2050. Even with small cost reduction rates, OTEC could be profitable and cost-competitive against other power generation technologies with an aggregated Net Present Value (NPV) of up to US$ 23 billion. OTEC's upscaling could be funded via state budget reallocation or international financial institutions, e.g. via the feed-in tariff suggested in the paper. However, large-scale OTEC is only feasible in regions with high electricity demand and until that size is reached, upscaling must be coordinated globally, e.g. with the proposed upscaling strategy. To contribute to the global energy transition, OTEC needs to grow by 28% per year, a rate similar to wind power and solar PV. This paper provides good reasons to fight for the attention of global decision makers and future research could focus on refining the concepts of this study.

New Publications


Public acceptance of post-growth: Factors and implications for post-growth strategy


Paulson, L. and Buchs, M.

Growing evidence supports the need to re-evaluate the nature and function of our economies in favour of post-growth principles if we are to have a socially and environmentally viable future. This study contributes to the discussion on how to achieve such a future by addressing a remaining gap in the literature about the public acceptance of post-growth, since a viable transition requires public support to validate political actions. Taking a mixed-methods approach, we ask which values and socio-economic characteristics are associated with support for post-growth and why. On average among 34 European countries, 60.5 % of people are in favour of post-growth. Values such as environmentalism, collectivism and post-materialism were found to support post-growth visions of the future, but support for post-growth and these values is lower among disadvantaged people. We conclude that greater emphasis on redistribution and improving opportunities and livelihoods for disadvantaged people in a post-growth economy is key to making such a future more acceptable to them. However, this conflicts with policy preferences and values such as hierarchy, meritocracy, and individualism that tend to be more prominent among people who are well-off.

Global Multi-Regional Input-Output methodology reveals lower energy footprint in an alternative community project

Suistanable Production and Consumption

Villamore, E.; Akizu-Gardoki, O.; Taneli Heinonen, J.; and Bueno, G.

Identifying the energy needs of citizens and taking into account different lifestyles and patterns of consumption is a first step for a global transformation towards renewable, fair and democratic energy systems. Currently, Total Primary Energy Supply (TPES) is the most widely used metric of energy consumption, which only includes the energy consumed within a country. This research addresses an alternative indicator, Total Primary Energy Footprint (TPEF), which also includes the energy embedded in imported goods and services. The research is innovative in its pioneering combination of a Global Multi-Regional Input-Output (GMRIO) methodology with household budget surveys (HBS) and consumption to production sectorial bridge matrices to calculate TPEF at a small community level. Errekaleor, the largest off-grid alternative intentional community located in Basque Country, Spain, was taken as a case study.

Comprehensive evidence implies a higher social cost of CO2


                                                        Rennert, K. et al.

Policies to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions are often evaluated in terms of their net benefits to society. The net benefit of a climate policy is the difference between the economic cost of the emission reduction (the mitigation costs), and the value of the damages that are prevented by that emission reduction (climate benefits, among others). In regulatory impact analysis the climate benefits of CO2 emission reductions are typically computed by multiplying the change in CO2 emissions caused by the policy with an estimate of the SC-CO2. This makes the SC-CO2 a highly influential metric, informing analysis of a wide range of climate policies worldwide.

Impacts of meeting minimum access on critical earth systems amidst the Great Inequality

                                                      Nature in Sustainability

                                                      Rammelt, Crelis F. et al.

The Sustainable Development Goals aim to improve access to resources and services, reduce environmental degradation, eradicate poverty and reduce inequality. However, the magnitude of the environmental burden that would arise from meeting the needs of the poorest is under debate—especially when compared to much larger burdens from the rich. We show that the ‘Great Acceleration’ of human impacts was characterized by a ‘Great Inequality’ in using and damaging the environment. We then operationalize ‘just access’ to minimum energy, water, food and infrastructure. We show that achieving just access in 2018, with existing inequalities, technologies and behaviours, would have produced 2–26% additional impacts on the Earth’s natural systems of climate, water, land and nutrients—thus further crossing planetary boundaries. These hypothetical impacts, caused by about a third of humanity, equalled those caused by the wealthiest 1–4%. Technological and behavioural changes thus far, while important, did not deliver just access within a stable Earth system. Achieving these goals therefore calls for a radical redistribution of resources.

From an Ethic of Sufficiency to its Policy and Practice in Late Capitalism

Frontiers in Sustainability                           

Hayden, A. et al.

That the notion of “sufficiency” is essential for a good life is an idea that enjoys support across many ethical, philosophical, religious and cultural persuasions. This notion reasserted itself in the study of sustainability once modern society reluctantly took cognizance of the limited low entropy energy and matter available for human appropriation. There is today therefore a general recognition of (i.e. not necessarily wide agreement on the merits of or needs for) notions of sufficiency as a species of environmentalism within secular communities. In this context, a critical question that invites our attention is how to effect sufficiency, and in particular of dealing with the daunting challenge of injustice as well as questions of distribution within and between countries that it brings to attention. Given sufficiency’s original home, as it were, in tradition, the modern world has tended to dismiss it or to plead to individual voluntary simplicity when faced with evidence asserting its necessity. Sufficiency is also often written away as a spiritual problem. The domain of ascetics and the religious. How to habilitate sufficiency in a political economy for the secular modern facing its biggest existential challenge yet, in the form of the environmental crisis?

Toward Sustainable Wellbeing: Advances in Contemporary Concepts

                                                        Frontiers in Sustainability                           

                                                       O'Mahony, T.

Sustainability and wellbeing are two key global policy priorities, which despite considerable overlap, are invariably isolated. In wellbeing, the importance of social dimensions is an emergent conclusion, but recognition of the environment and nature is embryonic. In sustainability, wellbeing remains poorly characterized. Despite some procedural advantages, in practice, a continued ambiguity risks compromising both goals, and improved conceptual integration is therefore necessary. In this review article, key contemporary wellbeing accounts are considered, including preferences, needs, capabilities, happiness, psychological wellbeing, and physical wellness. Wellbeing literature suggests that a holistic multidimensional account is strongly supported, that is context- and value-dependent, with a prominent role for social and relational dimensions. A transdisciplinary systems thinking approach is appropriate to integrate from the individualism characteristic of wellbeing, to the interdependent human and environmental systems of sustainability. It is recognized that both wellbeing and sustainability are complex and value-laden, requiring the surfacing of values and ethics. A synthesis of the two branches of literature asserts four fundamental lenses: the framing of growth and change; social justice; the ethics of freedom; and the value of nature. The conceptual synthesis both platforms the relational approach of “care,” and underlines the imperative to reconsider the place of consumption. An integrated “sustainable wellbeing” offers the potential for win-win outcomes, in transformation to a flourishing of human wellbeing and the natural world.

What social contract for a finite world?


Saujot, M.

At a time when sufficiency has come to the forefront of the political agenda in connection with the energy crisis, this Issue Brief proposes to mobilize the social contract notion to better understand the current crises in our societies, and the counterparts that must be mobilized for a new prosperity, starting from today’s society and the findings of human and social sciences.

National responsibility for ecological breakdown: a fair-shares assessment of resource use, 1970–2017

 The Lancet - Planetary Health                          

                                                         Hickel, J.

Human impacts on earth-system processes are overshooting several planetary boundaries, driving a crisis of ecological breakdown. This crisis is being caused in large part by global resource extraction, which has increased dramatically over the past half century. We propose a novel method for quantifying national responsibility for ecological breakdown by assessing nations’ cumulative material use in excess of equitable and sustainable boundaries.

We're very pleased to welcome 21 new SCORAI members who joined the network since our last newsletter, bringing our organization's total membership to 1,459 individuals. New members include:
  • Amelia Luk, UNEP, Paris, France
  • Sourav Choudhary, IIT Roorkee, Roorkee, India
  • Asa Callmer, Orebro University, Orebro, Sweden
  • Gareth Gransaull, University of Victoria, Toronto, Canada
  • Martin Sokol, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
  • Nityanand Jayaraman, Vettiver Collective, Chennai, India
  • Annie Leonard, The Story of Stuff and Greenpace US, Berkeley, California, United States of America
  • Fredy Lopez-Perez, Universidad de Medellin, Medellin, Colombia
  • Rika Safrina,  ASEAN Center for Energy, Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Zachary Piso, University of Dayton, Dayton, United States of America
  • Samie Maqbool, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
  • Tuija Kajoskoski, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
  • Emy Scheer, ULB, Brussels, Belgium
  • Astrid Oppliger Uribe, Université de Lausanne (UNIL), Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Zofia  Lapniewska, Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Krakov, Poland
  • Giorgos Koukoufikis, JRC, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Amelie Silfverstolpe, Axfoundation, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Sarah Olson, University of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland
  • Pablo Evia, CATIE, Turrialba, Costa Rica
  • Ida Wallin, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden
  • Chuan Zhang, Peking University, Beijing, China


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.

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