SS6: Lifestyles and Education

Time: Tuesday, 13 October 2015 (8:00 – 9:50)

Location: Dischma

Session Chair: Dr. Lewis Akenji, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Japan

Session Chair: Dr. Harald Mattenberger, tba, Austria


Untying the Gridlocks: Changing our Hermeneutics to Bifurcate for Good

Carlos Alvarez-Pereira

INNAXIS Foundation, Spain

This contribution uses metaphors originated in the Dynamical Systems Theory to describe the potential pathways in the evolution of human societies and how, through the accumulation of tensions at critical points, bifurcations can emerge, for the good or the bad. Making the bifurcation go in the right way is no easy task, and it requires changing our framework of interpretation, by backcasting from desirable futures.


Developing more impactful, effective and sustainable sustainability programs – An integrated systems model based approach.

Himanshu Ardawatia

EnSensa Labs, Norway; Grow Movement, UK

With increasing uncertainties around resource and energy availability and environmental concerns in the world, sustainability issues are being addressed at national level and organization / business level. To address these issues, development of diverse initiatives and programs around sustainability is one of the key focus area that is being pursued in countries and businesses. Success, impact and sustainability itself of such sustainability programs vary. The key drivers around different aspects such as costs, resources, value, partners etc. to create systemic value across the value chain are often not harnessed optimally. They also seem to be hindered by unforeseen, but completely avoidable, constraints. Further, they are unable to surmount the silo-effect and often key internal and external stakeholder engagement is left wanting. Due to lack of insights into feedback mechanisms, behaviour of such programs is ill anticipated. Eventually, impact and effectiveness of such sustainability initiatives, programs and strategies are limited and often not replicable or scalable over the years. As a result, a lot of time, effort, money and resources can be wasted without desirable impact and value creation for stakeholders. This work presents an integrated systems model based approach towards developing effective, impactful and sustainable sustainability programs. Fundamental issues around sustainability programs and strategies are investigated and the intergrated solution is presented using systemic model approach. First, key aspects of the model based approach are discussed and key parameters and their feedback structure-behaviour relationships are presented starting from idea stage to execution stage. Second, case studies are presented to discuss how this approach can help develop sustainable, inclusive and effective sustainability programs. Finally, key lessons from data and model based insightful strategies for developing successful, high impact, sustainable and replicable program are discussed.


Food System Transition towards Sustainability: Individuals Engaging in Change

Katariina Koistinen1, Satu Teerikangas2, Mirja Mikkilä1, Lassi Linnanen1

1Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland; 2University College London

Food security is currently one crucial topics of the sustainability science. Agricultural land occupies proximately one third of the earth’s land surface, and it is stated that about one third of the environmental impact of EU is caused by the current food system. Further, feeding the world’s increasing population is a mounting challenge. To achieve a sustainable food system, a holistic change is required. Whereas past research has focused on macro-led sustainable change, in this study turn the focus on individuals and we emphasize the importance of micro-change. We hypothesize that change agents are in a significant position in implementing sustainable change. Therefore we want to discover individuals’ inducements in accepting the sustainable change and reasons why individuals stay engaged in change in the framework of a Finnish food system. We present a qualitative study in which 26 individuals involved in the Finnish agricultural value chain were interviewed. We conclude that individual’s intrinsic motivation and ethical stances are playing key roles in change acceptance and engagement. We also identified that different forms of change agency exist. Our findings further bear important implications to the emerging study of micro-led sustainable change. When the appreciation of micro-level change increases, sustainable transformation is more likely to become institutionalized.


Radical Crowd based Open Innovation and Design for Sustainability

Ursula Tischner

econcept, Germany

Collaborative “crowd” based open innovation and design as well as funding activities, websites, platforms and projects are becoming increasingly popular. These combine the creativity of people with new enabling technologies like online platforms, rapid prototyping machines, simple Computer Aided Design (CAD) software to design and produce individualised products and services. However, very often these methods and tools are used to produce fun but unsustainable “stuff”. How these new Internet and crowd based methods and tools can be used to create technological and social innovation and design that actually leads to more sustainable life styles has been explored and is demonstrated by the Sustainability Maker project,, and its open innovation for sustainability platform, partly funded by the European Life+ Environment programme. The platform connects actors that have identified and/or suffer from sustainability related problems with actors who have found or would like to contribute to generating solutions for such problems. The platform systematically enables the creation of very divers open sustainability innovation and design solutions through crowd-sourcing, crowd-voting, crowd-testing, and helps to implement them through crowd-funding, an online marketplace for sustainable solutions, an expert system, and educational activities. Success and failure factors, other research findings, as well as the quality and type of solutions that can be generated by crowd based open innovation for sustainability platforms are discussed in this paper.


Multidimensional Assessment of Sustainability: Harmony vs the Turning Point

Stanislav Shmelev

Environment Europe Ltd, United Kingdom

Multidimensional assessment of sustainability is a way to reconcile the need for simultaneous consideration of various indicators of progress beyond GDP growth with a policy focused visualization of multi-dimensional trends in clear and transparent manner. The various composite measures used for sustainability assessment often hide the trade-offs between economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainability. This chapter discusses indicators used for sustainability analysis at the macro scale and offers a multi-criteria sustainability assessment framework. It discusses results that were obtained in sustainability assessments for the USA, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Britain and Russia. The Multicriteria Decision Aid tool, Aggregated Preference Index System (APIS) is used for the assessment with the following three headline indicators: GDP per capita; CO2 emissions and Life Expectancy at birth. The indicators represent economic, environmental and social dimensions respectively. The multidimensional assessment is designed with two different policy priorities: priority of economic over environmental and social dimension versus priority of environmental and social dimensions over economic. Results help to identify countries, where economic development happened at the expense of environmental and social dimension and lead to policy conclusions.