Opportunities, Barriers, Policy and Practice
Edited by Shane Fudge, Michael Peters, Steven M. Hoffman and Walter Wehrmeyer
Chapter 5: Emergent futures? Signposts to sustainable living in Europe and pathways to scale
There is new momentum for change regarding the environmental and social impacts associated with our current European lifestyles. While many societal actors – from governments to business and civil society – may differ in their ideas about the scale of change required and what should be done, citizens from across Europe are taking action. There is now mounting evidence of social innovation, citizen and community movements that are driving notable change towards more sustainable ways of living in Europe. Signposts to future sustainable societies are emerging. Individual examples of more sustainable living alternatives isolated to one part of our lives, one community or one demographic may appear to be niche exceptions to the mainstream of society. Taking a systemic view brings these examples together and provides us with a broader vision of what more sustainable living, and more sustainable societies, could look like. It is difficult for most people to imagine or visualize our lives in the future – and it is difficult to implement changes if we don’t know where we’re going. Visions and demonstrations of existing practice make abstract ideas become more tangible, and inspire action in order to realize our visions.
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