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Transitioning Towards a Sustainable Society - How to ensure that future generation will be proud of us?


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Transitioning Towards a Sustainable Society - How to ensure that future generation will be proud of us?

  1. 1. 26.3.2012Dr. Arto O. Salonenarto.salonen (at)
  2. 2. 1. Balancing aspects of sustainability2. How to make a positive impact to our common future?  Nurture human dignity and social participation  Expand a sphere of responsibility  Apply systems thinking  Define how much is enough3. Eco-social consciousness as a driver of societal change
  3. 3. Balancing aspects of sustainability
  4. 4. SUSTAINABLE Human rightsDEVELOPMENT People Robust economy Vital ecosystems Profit Planet BUT…
  6. 6. SITUATION TODAY?An irresponsible search for short-termbenefits without regard for the long-termconsequences If we do not change direction we will end up exactly where we are headed. -Chinese proverb
  7. 7. Energy solution is a social challenge The most of energy (85-90 %) is produced by fossil fuels. Every terawatt hour of electricity generated with European coal causes 0.12 deaths because of accidents in mines, 25 deaths due to pollution and 225 cases of serious illness  In 2010 social costs of CO2 were 43 bigger than the official price of CO2. “If the damages per ton of carbon dioxide are that high, then almost anything that reduces emissions is worth doing“ (Ackerman & Stanton 2011, 4).  Three-quarters of climate change is man-made. 150 000-350 000 people die every year because of climate change. 99% of them are children_______ Ackerman, F. & Stanton, E. (2011). Climate Risks and Carbon Prices: Revising the Social Cost of Carbon. Somerville, MA, Stockholm Environment Institute-US. Huber, M & Knutti, R. (2011). Anthropogenic and natural warming inferred from changes in Earth’s energy balance. Nature Geoscience. Available Energy is the biggest challenge DARA (2010). The Climate Vulnerability Monitor 2010. The State of the Climate Crisis. 2010 report of the Climate Vulnerability Initiative. Dara and the Climate Vulnerable Forum. Markandya, A & Wilkinson, P. (2007.) Electricity generation and health. The Lancet 370(9591), 979-990 . S Sale, P. (2011). Our Dying Planet. An Ecologists View of the Crisis We Face. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. UNDP (2008). Human Development Report 2007–2008. Fighting climate change. Human solidarity in a divided world. New York: United Nations Development Programme.
  8. 8. CULTURE Vital ecosystems, planet Human rights, people Robust economy, profit Staying within planetary boundaries is the most important thing in the long run___________ Baker, S. (2006). Sustainable development. London: Routledge. Giddings, B., Hopwood, B. & OBrien, G. (2002). Environment, economy and society: fitting them together into sustainable development. Sustainable Development, 10(4), 187–196. Hediger, W. (1999) Reconciling “weak” and “strong” sustainability. International Journal of Social Economics, 26(7/8/9), 1120–1144. Ott, K. (2003). The Case for Strong Sustainability. In: Ott, K. & P. Thapa (eds.) Greifswald’s Environmental Ethics. Steinbecker Verlag.
  9. 9. Free energy and Fossil fuels ENERGY renewable energy sources Recycling,Huge amount of waste MATERIAL MANAGEMENT composting, taking care of hazardous waste Maximizing of Building of WELL-BEING PARADIGM relationships consumption
  10. 10. How to make apositive impactto our commonfuture?
  11. 11. 1 Nurture human dignity and social participationHuman dignity is based on the UniversalDeclaration of Human Rights of 1948. Our sentiments of mutual belonging and shared responsibility for a common future have weakened? We are responsible for each others well-being (vitality, self-esteem, dignity and resilience).
  12. 12. Human flourishing Satisfaction includes self-integration, emotional well-being, happiness and inner peace. Sense of community supports cooperative relationships, generosity, and a sense of sufficiency. A bundle cannot be fastened with one hand.* Social participation nurture connection between people. It also supports democratic practice, voice, empowerment and self- determination. Relationships ensure absence of shame/humiliation, love, relatedness and affiliation.______________ *Wan han noh de tai bohndul (Sierra Leone) Rees, W. (2010). What´s blocking sustainability? Human nature, cognition, and denial. Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy, 6(2), 13-25.
  13. 13. 2I My My People People in All People People Ecosystems Planet family friends in my Western people and animals Earth and country world animals and relatives plants T h e r e i s a n i n t e r d e p e n d e n c e.
  14. 14. People Animals Plants Abiotic nature
  15. 15. People Animals Plants Abiotic nature
  16. 16. Expanding of worldview Human-centred Bio-centred Ecosystem-centred
  17. 17. 3 Our planet is not a collection of discrete phenomena and events, but a system of the interdependence. All the components support each other.  My behaviour affects other people, nature and economy locally and globally  The challenge is to identify what kind of systems we are linked in________________ * Systems thinking focus on causal relationships between elements. Systems thinking helps us to combine ecological, social and economic point of view. In East Africa they used to say “mvua ni chakula”. It refers to the systems thinking: “rain is food”.
  18. 18. Systems with radical transparency ” The supply of flour, of lumber, of foods, of building materials, of household furniture, even of metal ware, of nails, hinges, hammers, etc., was produced in the immediate neighborhood, in shops which were constantly open to inspection and often centers of neighborhood congregation. The entire industrial process stood revealed, from the production on the farm of the raw materials till the finished article was actually put to use.” (Dewey, 1915, 23).________________ Dewey, J. (1915). The School and Society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press
  19. 19. Complex global markets:The origins and pathways of a can of cola bought in London Bauxite was mined in Australia. Ore was transferred with trucks to a chemical reduction mill. After that ore was sent to Sweden. The journey across oceans took two months. In Sweden 10 meters long aluminum rods were processed in a smelter. The rods were sent to Germany where they were heated and pressed into a thin sheet of aluminum. Coils of aluminum were shipped to England, where the aluminum sheets were punched. Cans were washed, dried and coated, and transported to a bottler. Sugar canes, farmed in French farms, were refined to sugar flower and shipped to England. Cola contains phosphoric from a mine located in the United States. This mine uses energy equivalent to 100 000 people consumption of energy because food grade phosphoric requires a high degree of processing. Cola also contains caffeine. It comes from a chemical factory nearby. Cans are packed in cartons which are made of cellulose in a paper mill. The paper mill gets trees from Siberia, Sweden and Colombia. Finally, the beverage cartons were transferred to the supermarket in which they were sold to the consumer in three days. The average consumer drinks cola in a few tens of seconds. Manufacturing of the can is more expensive than the liquid inside the can. Womack, J. & Jones, D. (2003). Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation. New York: Free Press .
  20. 20. Sustainable business has nothing to hide Effects of everyday choices occure far away from us. Do our choices support (a) Environmental sustainability? (b) Social sustainability? Forced labor, child labor and inhuman working conditions are related to our daily used commodities._____________ TVPRA (2009). List of Goods Produced by Child or Forced Labor. Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005. Bureau of International Labor Affairs, Washington: U.S. Department of Labor. Available: SACOM (2012). Toying with Workers’ Rights. A Report on Producing Merchandise for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Play Fair. Available at Coninck, N. Theuws, M. & Overeem, P. (2011). Captured by Cotton. Exploited Dalit girls produce garments in India for European and US markets. Amsterdam: SOMO - Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations. Available: Ferus-Comelo, Anibel & Pöyhönen, Päivi (2011). Phony Equality - Labour standards of mobile phone manufacturers in India. Finnwatch, Cividep and SOMO, Kit Ho, Chun, Pöyhönen, Päivi & Simola, Eeva. (2009). Playing with Labour Rights: Music player and game console manufacturing in China. Helsinki: FinnWatch, Pöyhönen, P. (2009). Fair Phones: It’s Your Call – Why Finnish mobile operators should be responsible for supply chains. Helsinki: Finnwatch. UNDP (2008). Human Development Report 2007–2008. Fighting climate change. Human solidarity in a divided world. New York: United Nations Development Programme. Chan, Jenny, de Haan, Esther, Nordbrand, Sara & Torstensson, Annika (2010). Silenced to deliver: Mobile phone manufacturing in China and the Philippines. Stockholm: SOMO & SwedWatch
  21. 21. Conflict minerals from Central Africa to my handphone Miners Negociants, Comptoirs in Miners in Congo buyers and Goma and transporters Bukavu Local business Traders in Smelters and Refined product neighbouring processors countries Global markets Electronic components Electronic products (AVX, Honeywell Electronix, (Apple, Dell, HP, IBM, KEMET, Matsuo Electric, Intel, Microsoft, Murata, NEC Tokin, Nippon Motorola, Nokia, Mining&Metals, Praxari MRC, Philips, Sony, SUN RIM, Samsung, Sanyo Electronic jne.) device, Vishay)Bleischwitz, R., Dittrich, M., and Pierdicca, C. (2012). Coltan from Central Africa, International Trade and Implications for Any Certification. College of ConsumersEurope: Bruges European Economic Policy Briefings n° 23. Available
  22. 22. Towards transparency:Knowing the hidden impacts of what we consume (a) Why we have fair trade products? Are all the other products unfairly produced? (b) What are the differences between organic production and factory farming? (c) Is there any local chocolate in Gent? Who work on cocoa plantations in Western Africa? Why? (d) Where is this potato coming from? Why? (e) Who has picked coffee beans to my cup of coffee? Why? (f) Who caught and cleansed this fish on my plate? Where? Why? (g) Where is electricity coming from and how is it produced? Why? (h) Why imported meat from South America is cheaper than the local meat? (i) Where are my jeans or t-shirt coming from? Who manufactured them? Who farmed cotton? Why?__________________________________________________Goleman, D. (2009). Ecological Intelligence: How Knowing the Hidden Impacts of What We Buy Can Change Everything. New York: Broadway Books.Otnes, P. (1986). Visible cities. Saundersian meditations on the concept of collective consumption. Theory and Society 3(4), 217–232.Spaargaren, G.,. Mol, A. & Buttel, F. (2000). Environment and Global Modernity. London: SageSpaargaren, G., van Vliet, B. (2000). Lifestyles, Consumption and the Environment: The Ecological Modernisation of Domestic Consumption. EnvironmentalPolitics 9(1), 50–77.Psarikidou, K.& Szerszynski, B. (2012). Growing the social: alternative agro-food networks and social sustainability in the urban ethical foodscape.Sustainability: Science, Practice & Policy (8)1, 30-39.Raworth, K. (2012). Planetary Boundaries and Social Boundaries: Defining a Safe and Just Operating Space for Humanity. Oxford: Oxfam
  23. 23. 4 Nobody asks how big should our economy be. How much material wealth is enough for you?  Desires and wants >< needs  A shopper who shops only to meet his or her needs is a danger to the consumer markets?  Why do we need more and more? (social pressure, acceptance, attention...?)  You are rich if you know how much is enough.*  Underdeveloping countries need more – overdeveloping countries need less?_______________ *Asian wisdom Kenny, C. (2011). Getting better.: Why global developing is succeeding and – how we can improve the world even more. New York: Basic Books.
  24. 24. We need robust economy to fulfill our basic needs (food, clothes, shelter and energy). We also need things that are not traded in markets and not captured by monetary measures:  understanding  participation  relationships  harmony… Hands wash each other.*________ *Izandla ziyagezama (South Africa)
  25. 25. a) Importance of owning is decreased, b) Services are used instead of owning goods, and c) Renewal of goods is motivated by real needs. Planetary boundaries > Short-term material wants or long-term basic needs?______________ Salonen, A. & Åhlberg, M. (2012). Towards sustainable society - From materialism to post-materialism (in press). International Journal of Sustainable Society.
  26. 26. Societal change Industrial Information Consciousness society society society We are here
  27. 27. Eco-social consciousness is a new normal of the responsible citizenship People with eco-social consciousness 1. Combine rich information about the wide range of world situations. 2. Display ability to imagine the predicaments of many types of people. 3. Think reflectively._____________ Nussbaum , M. (2010). Not for Profit. Why Democraties Needs the Humanities. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  28. 28. Eco-social consciousness as a driver ofsocietal changeWorldview Antropocentric Biocentric Ecosystem centricWell-being Well-being by consumerism Well-being by meaning of lifeparadigm (coherence and harmony)Orientation Individual orientation Collective orientation Planetary orientation I My My People People in All People People Ecosystem Planet EarthSpheres of family friends in my Western people and animals sresponsibility and country world animals and relatives plants Salonen, A. & Åhlberg, M. (2012). Personal and Contextual Barriers to the Promotion of Sustainable Development in Everyday Life (Accepted paper). To be presented on annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, April 13–17, 2012. Salonen, A. & Åhlberg, M. (2012). Towards sustainable society - From materialism to post-materialism (in Press). International Journal of Sustainable Society. Salonen, A. & Åhlberg, M. (2011). Sustainability in everyday life - Integrating environmental, social and economic goals. Sustainability: The Journal of Record, 4(3), 134-142
  29. 29. Together we create a safe social and economic operation base for humanity on the planet Earth Tama sugo diniabe* *Hope is the pillar of the world. - Nigerian proverb
  30. 30. Dr. Arto O. Salonenarto.salonen (at)