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Published: 26 March 2015

New international research centre on sustainable prosperity

The University has been awarded a £6m research grant from the Economic and Social Research Council to set up an international Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP).

Led by Professor Tim Jackson, an internationally-renowned expert in sustainable development, CUSP’s overall aim will be to explore the complex relationship between prosperity (our aspirations for the good life) and sustainability (the social and environmental constraints of a finite planet).

“This is a tremendously exciting and very timely opportunity,” said Professor Jackson. “Our guiding vision for sustainable prosperity is one in which people everywhere have the capability to flourish as human beings - within the ‘safe operating space’ of a finite planet. CUSP’s work will be to elaborate on that vision, test its viability and explore its social and economic implications.”

The goal of achieving a sustainable prosperity has enormous economic, social and political significance for society as a whole. The combined challenges of climate change, resource constraints and financial instability pose serious threats to businesses, to households, to the finance sector, to government and to civil society. There is an urgent need for first-class, multidisciplinary, innovative research on the wider implications of these challenges and on potential solutions to them. 

CUSP will pay particular attention to the pragmatic steps that need to be taken to achieve sustainable prosperity. The Centre will engage with business, government and civil society to explore practical actions and propose supportive policies. A core element in this engagement will be wide-ranging, international discussions to be chaired by Dr Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury and Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge.

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