Cultural shifts for sustainable systems
We research and promote system innovations so that sustainability becomes the new normal.
To cultivate a sustainable future for humanity, it is essential to reconnect people with nature and separate human wellbeing from superfluous consumption.
Sustainability is long-term wellbeing for all and cannot emerge from institutions that prioritise short-term self-interest over social cooperation, ignoring the health of the biosphere that ensures humans survival.
The values and shared assumptions that define our culture and create our institutions must shift. Creating this change has the power to transform our notion of progress and put humanity on a path of regenerative development.
This theme applies systems theory and methods to initiate transformative change. It examines the cultural assumptions that have characterised unsustainable development in our society as a whole or in specific case studies for centuries. Through collaboration with external partners, we will promote cultural shifts that can lay the foundations for profound sustainable innovations.
My research has always aimed to build a symbiotic relationship with nature in order to drive human progress while respecting planetary boundaries. This transdisciplinary research theme can have extraordinary potential to promote sustainable societies.Dr Matteo Giusti, Future Fellow in Sustainability Science
It offers our team and our external partners a unique opportunity to understand the cultural foundations of sustainable societies and to develop solutions that can make sustainability the default option of everyday life.
I am excited to work with our University colleagues and external partners to develop this programme of work. Drawing on my background in sustainable consumption, I look forward to exploring some of the core assumptions and structures of different production-to-consumption systems.Dr Elena Dawkins, Surrey Future Fellow
This is an opportunity to see how our collective consumption might become a more sustainable practice, and what changes and interventions might put us on that path.