What needs to change, so that the goal of happiness and good lives for all can be achieved - in harmony with nature? Which methods and capacities do we need to drive these changes? Dr. Maja Göpel, Head of the Wuppertal Institute's Berlin Office turned these overarching questions of the sustainable development agenda into the guiding questions of her book - and in doing so goes beyond the traditional understanding of transformation processes.
She puts the role of mindsets and paradigms at the core of her analysis and highlights how deeply embedded outdated 19th Century economic ideals are in current societies and their institutions and how this limits the discourse on sustainability solutions. It is therefore not enough, she argues, to set up ambitious targets. Driving transformation processes of complex systems successfully requires an ongoing reflection about assumptions and ideals about system dynamics and the right way forward. This "transformative literacy" is little researched so far but enables radical change in an incrementally orchestrated strategy.
"This book shows that we need to update our common sense about how the world works as well as the institutions with which we are governing our societies," says Prof. Dr. Ernst-Ulrich von Weizsäcker, Co-President of the Club of Rome and founding president of the Wuppertal Institute. "It provides a theoretical framework for the creation of transformative change strategies."
To do so Göpel combines current research in System Innovation with theories of political economy and change leadership approaches. Since it is written in easy language and contains four case studies of pioneering change initiatives, it is not only an inspiring read for scientists but also for sustainability activists and practitioners. Transition Towns, the Commons Movement, the Economy for the Common Good or Beyond GDP Initiatives, says Göpel, provide leading examples as to how strong sustainability solutions can be put into practice.
"The Great Mindshift - How a New Economic Paradigm and Sustainability Transformations go Hand in Hand" (194 pages) is published by Springer and now available. The link to an Open-Access version can be found at AFES-PRESS.
Press Release by Wuppertal Institut für Klima, Umwelt, Energie
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