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Sustainability 2014, 6(11), 8310-8328; doi:10.3390/su6118310

Rethinking Sustainable Development: Considering How Different Worldviews Envision “Development” and “Quality of Life”

Biotechnology and Society section, TU Delft, Julianalaan 67, 2628 BC Delft, The Netherlands
Received: 12 August 2014 / Revised: 31 October 2014 / Accepted: 4 November 2014 / Published: 20 November 2014
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Abstract

The concept of sustainable development does not articulate what needs to be sustained, developed, or how, and is consequently intersubjective and intercultural. I therefore argue that it is essential to consider different worldviews when discussing sustainable development, and I offer broad, provisional suggestions as to how we can begin doing this. I first discuss how the notion of sustainable development at its heart is an attempt to unite conservation with growth. I then consider how different worldviews relate to this unitary ideal, by articulating how they envision “development” and “quality of life”. I do this by drawing on the Integrative Worldview Framework, which distinguishes between multiple, ideal-typical worldviews. However, I argue that more important than any typology of worldviews is the reflexive attitude a worldview-perspective supports. I conclude with implications for more reflexive and inclusive forms of policy-making, also in light of the to-be-formulated Sustainable Development Goals. View Full-Text
Keywords: Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s); worldviews; the Integrative Worldview Framework (IWF); development; quality of life; beyond GDP; reflexivity; pluralism; integration Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s); worldviews; the Integrative Worldview Framework (IWF); development; quality of life; beyond GDP; reflexivity; pluralism; integration
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Hedlund-de Witt, A. Rethinking Sustainable Development: Considering How Different Worldviews Envision “Development” and “Quality of Life”. Sustainability 2014, 6, 8310-8328.

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