October 2021 Newsletter
Greetings SCORAI members!

Thank you to everyone who shared news and updates for this newsletter. We also want to thank those of you who joined us on September 20th for the first webinar of the season with Neal Gorenflo. For those of you of who weren't able to join us, a recording is available at: The Fall season of SCORAI's monthly webinar series continues this month with another fantastic speaker. As a reminder, registration is no longer necessary to join; the zoom link is all that you will need to connect. We are operating in zoom call format so that all participants can see each other and questions are more easily moderated. We're looking forward to seeing you all - and some of you again - at these sessions this Autumn!

The Cooperative Business Model for Sustainable Production and Consumption
October 18th, 10:00AM - 11:00AM EDT
Speaker: Arnim Wiek

Activists, scholars, politicians, entrepreneurs, and citizens express widespread concerns about unsustainable patterns of contemporary production and consumption, ranging from climate change and contamination to public health hazards and social injustices. In search of alternatives to the status quo, there is growing interest in sustainable business practices and models, including the cooperative business model. This talk provides an introduction into cooperative businesses, including worker and consumer cooperatives, and assesses opportunities and limitations for supporting sustainable production and consumption. Illustrative examples draw on multiple years of research and training for developing sustainable cooperative food businesses in Arizona.

Arnim Wiek is professor in the School of Sustainability and director of the Sustainable Food Economy Lab at Arizona State University. He also holds guest professorships at Leuphana University of Lüneburg and the University of Freiburg. His team conducts solution-oriented research on sustainable business practices and models, including cooperative businesses and benefit corporations, as well as sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystems and alternative economic development approaches. The topical focus in on food businesses and economies. The team’s projects are conducted in collaboration with entrepreneurs, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and other stakeholders. Courses and training programs the team offers are oriented towards the key competencies in sustainability and adopt an experiential, project-based pedagogy. 

Also, keep space on your calendar for next month's webinar, which will be presented by Lewis Akenji of Hot or Cool speaking about his new report on 1.5 degree lifestyles, which is launching on October 5. The webinar will be held on November 15th from 10:00AM - 11:00AM EDT.

To learn more and to watch recordings of our webinars, go to:
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Featured Book!

They Knew

The US Federal Government's Fifty-Year Role in Causing the Climate Crisis

By James Gustave Speth

A devastating, compelling account of the federal government's leading role in bringing about today's climate crisis.

In 2015, a group of twenty-one young people sued the federal government in Juliana v. United States for violating their constitutional rights by promoting climate catastrophe and thereby depriving them of life, liberty, and property without due process and equal protection of law. They Knew offers evidence supporting the children's claims, presenting a devastating and compelling account of the federal government's role in bringing about today's climate crisis. James Gustave Speth, tapped by the plaintiffs as one of twenty-one preeminent experts in their climate case, analyzes how administrations from Carter to Trump—despite having information about the impending climate crisis and the connection to fossil fuels—continued aggressive support of a fossil fuel based energy system.

What did the federal government know and when did it know it? Speth asks, echoing another famous cover-up. What did the federal government actively do and what did it fail to do? They Knew (an updated version of the Expert Report Speth prepared for the lawsuit) presents the most definitive indictment yet of the US government's role in the climate crisis.

Since Juliana v. United States was filed, the federal government has repeatedly taken unprecedented steps to delay the case and force it to the appellate courts' shadow dockets. Yet as the case progresses slowly but certainly, it is inspiring a generation of youthful climate activists.

Read the book:

Calls for Contributions and Submissions

Special Issue on “Rethinking Economic Theory and Practice for a Sustainable Circular Economy” in the Circular Economy section of Frontiers in Sustainability.

Deadline for abstract submissions: 15 October 2021
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 25 February 2022 

A transformative circular economy, in which resource sufficiency as well as efficiency play a key role, depends on the development and enacting of new political-economic theories. In a sustainable circular economy, the purpose of the economy changes from short-term economic growth for the benefit of a few, to organising fair access to resources within environmental limits for all to have a chance to have a good life. Outside the circular economy community there is a wide literature on alternatives to neoliberal economic systems. Feminist, ecological, wellbeing and post-capitalist economics all describe economies in terms of social systems of provision where economic production and distribution are political and community-oriented acts. Recent developments include ecological-macroeconomic models that explore how economies can thrive without growth and provide human wellbeing. But despite overlapping interests, there has been little cross-over with circular economy research.

This research topic aims to develop and implement alternative economic theories for a sustainable circular economy. How does circular economy fit into alternative economic systems? What can circular economy bring to alternative economics research? Moreover, theories must be implemented to make a real difference. How can circular economy researchers and practitioners co-produce new theories and democratically engage those in power as well as citizens to put theory into practice?

Anne P.M. Velenturf
Patrick Schröder
Simon Mair
Dalia D'Amato

Full submission guidelines:
Special issue in Sustainability: Biosociality from a consumer culture perspective

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2021

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

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

Guest Editors
Søren Askegaard
Eric Arnould
Dominique Roux

Full submission guidelines:
Frontiers in Sustainability: From an Ethic of Sufficiency to its Policy and Practice in Late Capitalism

Deadline for abstract submissions: 31 October 2021
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2022 

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. How do we habilitate sufficiency in a political economy for the secular modern facing its biggest existential challenge yet, in the form of the environmental crisis?

Acknowledging the challenge of advancing knowledge-action on sufficiency for the secular modern is generative of a number of questions. These range from those about designing and implementing development interventions to those about geopolitics and international relations. How to know and act toward sufficiency in material provisioning for a “good life”? This question is implicated in countless daily decisions shaping “Development” interventions across the world. A further complexity arises when we ask this question in the context of vast, highly consequential and historically generated differences between the Global North and Global South. How to advance sufficiency when stark material deprivation and overabundance coexist? Further, how to talk about sufficiency while international relations are entering another century of tremendous churn that is unsettling key geopolitical equilibria of the twentieth century? At a theoretical level, can economies oriented to sufficiency sustain powerful, domestically legitimate and geopolitically assertive states? Also critical is the question of how to effectively communicate the notion of sufficiency in secular modern language and idioms so that policy and practice are changed.

We invite manuscripts to advance knowledge-action on pursuing sufficiency in diverse contexts around the world, so that cumulatively, human society learns a little more about living well within social-ecological limits.

Sylvia Lorek
Manu V. Mathal
Wolfgang Sachs

Full submission guidelines:
Special issue of the RAUSP Management Journal: The UN Sustainable Development Goals and Management Theory and Practice

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2022

This special issue of RAUSP Management Journal encourages new thinking and discussion about how Management Research addresses the numerous critical issues covered by the SDGs, and at the same time contributing to Management Theory and Practice.

Since its launch by the United Nations in 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have become a worldwide reference in discussing social, environmental and other related issues. The SDGs are an integrated framework comprising 17 goals, 169 objectives and more than 200 indicators, and based on five principles: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership (UN, 2015). By emphasizing the importance of the SDGs in Management Research (George et al., 2016; Chapman et al., 2020; Macht et al., 2020; Belmonte-Ureña et al., 2021), we welcome submissions from different geographical regions and methods (as experiments, structural equation modelling, system dynamics, agent-based modelling, ethnography and case studies, among others).

Guest Editors
Roberta de Castro Souza Piao (University of São Paulo/USP - Brazil)
Andrea Rossi Scalco (São Paulo State University/UNESP – Brazil)
Diego Vazquez-Brust (University of Portsmouth – UK)
Jose Antonio Plaza-Ubeda (University of Almeria – Spain)
María Elena Tavera Cortés (Instituto Politécnico Nacional – México)

Full submission guidelines:
Missed it? Don't Worry!


Three-Part Webinar Series: Grappling with the Question of Sustainable Consumption in the Global South

How should we talk about sustainable consumption in the Global South? The question is often a non-starter. Mainstream sustainability discourse usually holds that the Global South is poor, and therefore, this question is irrelevant. Unsustainable consumption is purportedly only a “rich world” problem.

The question this webinar series focused on was not about “development vs environment”. Instead, it was how to engage with “sustainable development” or “sustainability” in a complex context where significant development needs remain unmet, even as inequality and injustice are striking, overconsumption by some is prevalent, and the new reality of “limits” presented by the Anthropocene must necessarily shape the development discourse, unlike in previous centuries.

This webinar series sought to unpack this challenge. The conversations held in these three events explored and advanced an appropriate vocabulary and knowledge-action agenda from the perspective of the unique context of Global South. Organized by the Working Group on the Political Economy of Sustainable Consumption and Production, which is part of the Future Earth Knowledge and Action Network on Systems of Sustainable Consumption and Production.

Watch the recordings:

Upcoming Events

Listed in chronological order, from coming-soon to farthest out on the horizon.
Launch of 1.5-Degree Lifestyles: Towards a Fair Consumption Space for All
5 October 2021  | Virtual, 6:00AM Eastern / 10:00AM GMT

Changes in predominant lifestyles, especially in high-consuming societies, will determine whether we meet commitments in the Paris Agreement and avoid dire consequences of climate change, as warned by the IPCC. And yet… 

…In a world with a limited and fast-shrinking global carbon budget, coupled with vast inequalities, how do we allocate the remaining carbon allowance in a manner that is fair while drastically decreasing our footprints within a limited timeframe to avoid irreversible ecological damage? 

This event launches the new report, 1.5-Degree Lifestyles: Towards a Fair Consumption Space for All, which addresses this question head on. It builds on the first 1.5-Degree Lifestyles report that established quantifiable global targets for lifestyles carbon footprints; the new report expands the scope to make it more applicable to policy design, and practical program implementers. Crucially, the report outlines potential scenarios for living within the 2030 target of 2.5-tons per person, showing that we need both systems change and behaviour change if we are to achieve this critical goal.  


  • Johan Rockström, Lead Scientist on Planetary Boundaries framework (Keynote)
  • Sandrine Dixson-Declѐve, Co-President, Club of Rome
  • Lewis Akenji, Lead Author, 1.5-Degree Lifestyles Report
  • Jyrki Katainen, President, Sitra
  • Yamina Saheb, Co-author, 1.5-Degree Lifestyles Report, Lead Autor, forthcoming IPCC Report
  • Brian Valbjørn Sørensen,  Executive Director, KR Foundation
  • Andrew Simms, Coordinator, Rapid Transition Alliance (Moderator)

Register here! 

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

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

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

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

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

Almost 400 young people aged between 18 and 29 from the 197 member-countries of the UNFCCC will meet in Milan from 28 – 30 September 2021, to elaborate concrete proposals on topics that affect the negotiation process of Pre-COP26 in Milan and COP26 in Glasgow.
YHYS Colloquium: Sustainable Welfare
25-26 November 2021  | Aalto University, Finland

Welfare societies have evolved to pursue progress, distribute wellbeing, and build up institutional capacities to regulate and steer social development. Sustainability concerns present a double bind for such societies. While the key conditions of the development of welfare societies erode, including rampant acquisition of natural resources and rapid economic growth, crisis escalate and transformational sustainability challenges amount. In between such pressures, sustainability pursuits call for a broad constituency, new visions of welfare and wellbeing and creative articulation of transformational pathways to sustainability.

The YHYS 2021 colloquium will highlight the following aspects of sustainability transformations: 

  • Institutional lock-ins and the capacities of the welfare state 
  • Novel ideas about the actors, key processes, and structures in a welfare state context
  • How environmental and social crises punctuate and build momentum for transformations
  • Legitimacy, inclusiveness, and acceptance of sustainability transformations
  • How global perspectives infuse in and inform societal change from personal and local to national processes

Full conference information here:
Symposium of the International Research Network on Sustainable Fashion Consumption 2022
30 March - 1 April 2022  | Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin

Fashion consumption and production have doubled since the beginning of the 21st century, leading to fundamental changes in how we acquire, use, and dispose of our clothes. Consumption of fashion and textiles has been recognised as the fourth most polluting lifestyle domain in Europe, after mobility, food, and household energy use. Challenges of overconsumption and resulting post-consumer textile waste are becoming increasingly evident, especially in the urban context.

The first symposium of the international research network on Sustainable Fashion Consumption (SFC) aims to bring together academic scholars and practitioners to share and discuss ongoing research in the field in efforts to contribute to a transition towards more sustainable forms of fashion consumption.

We would like to invite abstracts (max. 300 words) for scientific studies that address one or several of the indicated themes. Papers can be at different stages of completion and research-in-progress is welcome. Abstracts will be peer-reviewed and selected contributions will be invited. After the end of the symposium, there is a possibility to publish presented research as an edited volume with PALGRAVE. Deadline for abstracts: 1 November 2021.

For more conference information & to register:

2022 GamiFIN Conference
26-29 April 2022  | Hybrid, Online and in Tampere, Finland

This year GamiFIN will be organised as a hybrid event, making it possible for all attendees to participate either live or remotely. The region of Tampere is the second largest urban area in Finland, and one of the greatest cultural and industrial centers of the nordic countries. Tampere is the home of several international gaming companies, a thriving gaming start-up scene and the city also hosts the Finnish Museum of Games. The city itself is situated between two lakes and surrounded by forests: Tampere is a shining example of the Finnish approach to combining Nature and Innovation.

GamiFIN is a leading international conference for gamification research, which is chaired by the professor of gamification, Juho Hamari and gamification scholar Jonna Koivisto. GamiFIN 2022 conference welcomes 1) paper submissions, 2) posters, and 3) doctoral consortium applications from a wide array of topics around e.g. gamification, serious games, VR/AR/MR, esports, streaming.

The conference is organized by the Gamification Group and past keynotes have included notable scholars from the field of gamification such as Lennart Nacke, Sebastian Deterding, Richard Landers, T.L. Taylor, Elisa Mekler and Kristian Kiili.


Publications by Members

The Palgrave Handbook of Environmental Labour Studies

Editors: Nora Räthzel, Dimitris Stevis, David Uzzell


In this comprehensive Handbook, scholars from across the globe explore the relationships between workers and nature in the context of the environmental crises. They provide an invaluable overview of a fast-growing research field that bridges the social and natural sciences. Chapters provide detailed perspectives of environmental labour studies, environmental struggles of workers, indigenous peoples, farmers and commoners in the Global South and North. The relations within and between organisations that hinder or promote environmental strategies are analysed, including the relations between workers and environmental organisations, NGOs, feminist and community movements.

Mindfulness as self-confirmation?
An exploratory intervention study on potentials and limitations of mindfulness-based interventions in the context of environmental and sustainability education

Pascal Frank, Daniel Fischer, Laura Stanszus, Paul Grossman & Ulf Schrader

The Journal of Environmental Education

Over the past two decades, mindfulness meditation has received increasing attention in academia and various fields of practice. More recently, it has also been introduced into environmental and sustainability education (ESE) settings. This study offers a first exploratory investigation of learner experiences with consumption-specific mindfulness training. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 25 training participants. Data analysis was undertaken applying a pluralistic qualitative methods approach. Our results draw an ambivalent picture. On the one hand, we found that mindfulness training can connect individuals with inner states and processes that are also relevant to their consumer behavior, thus providing valuable impulses for ESE. On the other hand, however, these generic learning outcomes do not easily translate to consumptive acts. One explanation for this is that mindfulness practice can sometimes serve as a self-confirmation process that reinforces prevailing values, expectations, and intentions. This indicates important challenges mindfulness practice poses in ESE.

Carbon Accounting for Regenerative Cities

Jukka Heinonen and Juudit Ottelin

Rethinking Sustainability Towards a Regenerative Economy

The carbon budget for limiting global warming to the targeted 1.5 ° is running out. Cities have a central role in climate change mitigation, as the vast majority of all greenhouse gas emissions occur to satisfy the energy and material needs of cities and their residents. However, cities typically only account for their direct local emissions from transportation, industry, and energy production. This may lead to the so-called low-carbon illusion of cities following from producing little and reporting low emissions, while extensively relying on imported material and energy flows. Consumption-based accounting, or carbon footprinting, enables overcoming this problem by assigning the emissions to the end user regardless of the place of production. However, currently the carbon footprinting methods only capture the harm side, and not the potential positive effects, the restorative or regenerative impacts, caused by green infrastructure, reforestation, and carbon capture and storage, for example. These positive impacts are sometimes called “carbon handprint”. In this chapter, we create a handprint-extended carbon footprinting method to illustrate how restorative and regenerative impacts can be incorporated consistently in the carbon accounting of cities and carbon footprints of consumers. We also link the discussion on regenerative cities with the remaining carbon budgets.
Consumption, Status and Sustainability

Edited by Paul Roscoe and Cindy Isenhour, University of Maine, Augusta

Cambridge University Press

This volume addresses current concerns about the climate and environmental sustainability by exploring one of the key drivers of contemporary environmental problems: the role of status competition in generating what we consume, and what we throw away, to the detriment of the planet. Across time and space, humans have pursued social status in many different ways - through ritual purity, singing or dancing, child-bearing, bodily deformation, even headhunting. In many of the world's most consumptive societies, however, consumption has become closely tied to how individuals build and communicate status. Given this tight link, people will be reluctant to reduce consumption levels – and environmental impact -- and forego their ability to communicate or improve their social standing.  Drawing on cross-cultural and archaeological evidence, this book asks how a stronger understanding of the links between status and consumption across time, space, and culture might bend the curve towards a more sustainable future.

River Basin Management Planning in the Republic of Ireland: Past, Present and the Future

Sarpong Hammond Antwi, Suzanne Linnane, David Getty and Alec Rolston


The River Basin Management Plan (RBMP) is an essential component of the European Union Water Framework Directive that details an integrated approach required to protect, improve and sustainably manage water resources. RBMP were intended to be produced for the periods 2009–2015, 2016–2021 and 2022–2027. However, after two years of delays in the development processes, the Republic of Ireland produced its first RBMP in 2010. The second RBMP cycle was also implemented in 2018 and is expected to run until the end of 2021 to give way to the third RBMP, whose consultation processes have been ongoing since December 2019. This paper contributes to the forthcoming RBMP by assessing stakeholders’ perspectives on the second RBMP through a desk-based review and by conducting interviews with nine institutions (14 interviewees). The qualitatively analysed interviews reveal a broad spectrum of actors associated with water management and governance in the Republic of Ireland through a three-tier governance structure that has been delivered (with amendment) through the first two RBMPs. Organisations such as the An Fóram Uisce|The Water Forum, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Local Authority Waters, and the Agricultural Sustainability Support and Advisory Programme have responsibilities designated in the RBMPs to deliver improved water quality, integrated catchment management, community engagement and awareness-raising. Trust has also been building up among these organisations and other agencies in the water sector. Despite these responsibilities and progress made, the interviews identified communication lapses, ineffective collaboration and coordination among stakeholders and late implementation to be hampering the successful delivery of the second RBMP, in addition to significant pressures acting on water bodies from agricultural activities and urban wastewater treatment. Towards the third RBMP, the paper concludes that optimised water sector finance, enhanced and well-resourced communications, and improved stakeholder collaboration are needed to foster effective and efficient water services delivery and quality. More so, given the cross-cutting impact of the Sustainable Development Goals on water resources and the interconnected relations among the goals, the paper further recommends the integration of the SDGs in the various plans of actions and a co-benefits approach to derive the triple benefits from biodiversity, climate change initiatives and water quality measures.

We're very pleased to welcome 19 new SCORAI members who joined the network since our last newsletter, bringing our organization's total membership to 1,380 individuals. Some new members include:
  • Karen Cripps, University of Winchester, United Kingdom    
  • Vania Papadopoulou, RUG, Gronigen, Netherlands
  • Margot Dyen, University Savoie Mont Blanc, Annecy, France
  • Holly Caggiano, Princeton University, United States of America
  • Devrim Umut Aslan, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden
  • Dhiru Soni, Regent Business School, Durban, South Africa
  • Adrian Leguina, Loughborough University, United Kingdom
  • Dila Oral, University of York, United Kingdom
  • Sara Strumia, UNEP, Paris, France
  • Asger Narud, KR Foundation, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Dingha Babila, University of Bamenda, Cameroon
  • Brendan Davidson, Colorado State University, United States of America


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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