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Open AccessArticle

Stories that Change Our World? Narratives of the Sustainable Economy

1
Environmental Policy Research Centre, Freie Universität Berlin, 14195 Berlin, Germany
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Ecologic Institute, 10717 Berlin, Germany
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Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW), 10785 Berlin, Germany
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MURKS? NEIN DANKE! e.V., 13088 Berlin, Germany
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ZIRIUS Center for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Studies, University of Stuttgart, 70174 Stuttgart, Germany
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Oeko-Institut, 10179 Berlin, Germany
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(r)evolutionary Ideas, 10437 Berlin, Germany
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Chair for Business Administration/Marketing, University of Potsdam, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6163; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216163
Received: 30 September 2019 / Revised: 22 October 2019 / Accepted: 25 October 2019 / Published: 4 November 2019
Narratives are shaping our understanding of the world. They convey values and norms and point to desirable future developments. In this way, they justify and legitimize political actions and social practices. Once a narrative has emerged and this world view is supported by broad societal groups, narratives can provide powerful momentum to trigger innovation and changes in the course of action. Narratives, however, are not necessarily based on evidence and precise categories, but can instead be vague and ambiguous in order to be acceptable and attractive to different actors. However, the more open and inclusive a narrative is, the less impact can be expected. We investigate whether there is a shared narrative in research for the sustainable economy and how this can be evaluated in terms of its potential societal impact. The paper carves out the visions for the future that have been underlying the research projects conducted within the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) funding programme “The Sustainable Economy”. It then analyzes whether these visions are compatible with narratives dominating societal discourse on the sustainable economy, and concludes how the use of visions and narratives in research can contribute to fostering societal transformations. View Full-Text
Keywords: narratives; sustainable economy; societal impact of research; research communication narratives; sustainable economy; societal impact of research; research communication
MDPI and ACS Style

Guske, A.-L.; Jacob, K.; Hirschnitz-Garbers, M.; Peuckert, J.; Schridde, S.; Stinner, S.; Wolff, F.; Zahrnt, D.; Ziesemer, F. Stories that Change Our World? Narratives of the Sustainable Economy. Sustainability 2019, 11, 6163.

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