Next Article in Journal
Characterization of Renewable Energy Utilization Mode for Air-Environmental Quality Improvement through an Inexact Factorial Optimization Approach
Previous Article in Journal
Carbon Emission Effects of the Coordinated Development of Two-Way Foreign Direct Investment in China
Open AccessArticle

Stories of Transformation: A Cross-Country Focus Group Study on Sustainable Development and Societal Change

1
Department of Thematic Studies—Environmental Change, Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research, Linköping University, 58183 Linköping, Sweden
2
ADAD—Associação para a Defesa do Ambiente e Desenvolvimento (Association for the Defense of the Environment and Development), 7600 Praia, Cabo Verde
3
Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado-Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309, USA
4
School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing, Massey University, 4410 Palmerston North, New Zealand
5
School of Environmental Science & Engineering, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, China
6
Department of Communication and Media, Merrimack College, North Andover, MA 01845, USA
7
School of Geographical Sciences, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(8), 2427; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11082427
Received: 20 February 2019 / Revised: 3 April 2019 / Accepted: 13 April 2019 / Published: 24 April 2019
  |  
PDF [282 KB, uploaded 24 April 2019]

Abstract

Societal transformation is one of the most topical concepts in sustainability research and policy-making. Used in many ways, it indicates that nonlinear systematic changes are needed in order to fully address global environmental and human development challenges. This paper explores what sustainability transformations mean for lay focus group participants in Cabo Verde, China, Fiji, Sweden, and the USA. Key findings include: (a) Tightly linked to interpersonal relationships, sustainability was seen as going beyond the Sustainable Development Goals to include a sense of belonging; (b) transformations were framed as fundamental changes from today’s society, but most participants stated that transformation pathways need to splice new structures into the old; (c) new technologies are key engines of change. Yet, the most common drivers were awareness, education, and knowledge sharing; and (d) regardless of whether state-centric or decentralized governance was preferred, personal action was seen as essential. The focus groups displayed a shared understanding across the geographical settings; a common realization of profound sustainability predicaments facing societies across the world; and a desire for fundamental change towards a more sustainable way of life. View Full-Text
Keywords: societal transformation; sustainability; sense-making; focus groups; climate change; sustainable development goals; UN 2030 Agenda societal transformation; sustainability; sense-making; focus groups; climate change; sustainable development goals; UN 2030 Agenda
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).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Wibeck, V.; Linnér, B.-O.; Alves, M.; Asplund, T.; Bohman, A.; Boykoff, M.T.; Feetham, P.M.; Huang, Y.; Nascimento, J.; Rich, J.; Rocha, C.Y.; Vaccarino, F.; Xian, S. Stories of Transformation: A Cross-Country Focus Group Study on Sustainable Development and Societal Change. Sustainability 2019, 11, 2427.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top