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Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1320; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051320

Seeking Control in a Precarious Environment: Sustainable Practices as an Adaptive Strategy to Living under Uncertainty

1
Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano, Via Durando 38/A, 20158 Milano, Italy
2
Cleanweb Ltd., Chase Side Southgate, London N145BP, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 March 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 22 April 2018 / Published: 24 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychology of Sustainability and Sustainable Development)
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Abstract

Our societies and our economies are struggling to transform in response to the climate crisis with the speed and intent that the rapidly deteriorating environmental situation requires. Resistance to change is invoked as one of the reasons for the slow adoption of new sustainable practices. In this paper, we argue that the transition to sustainable behaviors is part of a wider adaptation to the new uncertain and precarious conditions of contemporary living and this constitutes a unique opportunity for rapid cultural change. The analysis of a growing innovation space that is at the crossroads of digital transformation and ecological transition shows that the digital culture of sustainability actually goes hand in hand with the changing practices emerging from an increasing economic and professional precariousness. Since the invention of the world wide web, we have seen that digital innovation is an accelerator of cultural change. When applied to the ecological transition, will digital innovation create the conditions for an equally rapid and profound transformation of practices? To start exploring this question, we built a dedicated research tool called If You Want To that collected several thousand digital environmental projects. Our initial findings suggest that this wide landscape of services enables new sustainable forms of exchange, collaboration, consumption, and production, giving rise to alternative social, environmental, and economic models. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable lifestyles; digital services; innovation; citizen science; behavioral change; precariousness sustainable lifestyles; digital services; innovation; citizen science; behavioral change; precariousness
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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Broadbent, S.; Cara, F. Seeking Control in a Precarious Environment: Sustainable Practices as an Adaptive Strategy to Living under Uncertainty. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1320.

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