It is widely acknowledged that global economic growth over the past half century, underpinned by a neoliberal capitalist discourse, has come at the cost of overexploitation of the world’s resources, severe ecological degradation and growing inequalities. Efforts to move rapidly towards a more environmentally sustainable and socially just future will depend on the emergence of compelling new narratives and visions to drive the necessary transformation of economies, technologies and institutions, and more fundamentally, of human values and cultural norms.
This Knowledge Brief, published by the Transformations to Sustainability programme, is based on a peer-reviewed article that examines the literature on narratives of sustainability and identifies what they have in common and where they differ. The common ground between them can be seen as the building blocks of an alternative narrative that might be powerful enough to challenge the dominance of the neoliberal capitalist discourse.
It is part of a series of knowledge briefs which synthesize findings from recent research papers on transformations into an accessible format, with the aim of opening up the latest transformations research to a wider audience.
Photo: L. Brideau via Flickr.