Next Article in Journal / Special Issue
Narrative Medicine Meets Planetary Health: Mindsets Matter in the Anthropocene
Previous Article in Journal / Special Issue
Clinical Ecology—Transforming 21st-Century Medicine with Planetary Health in Mind
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Challenges 2019, 10(1), 16;

More Than Idyll Speculation: Utopian Thinking for Planetary Health

Department of Management and Marketing, University of Melbourne, Parkville 3010, Australia
Centre for Applied Psychology, University of Canberra, Bruce 2617, Australia
Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne, Parkville 3010, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 December 2018 / Revised: 8 February 2019 / Accepted: 13 February 2019 / Published: 18 February 2019
Full-Text   |   PDF [196 KB, uploaded 18 February 2019]


The problems and challenges associated with planetary health are vast and interconnected, and are therefore requiring of research which takes an all-of-society perspective. Following calls for input from behavioural scientists in discussions about planetary health, we here present a review and synthesis of recent research on utopian thinking and lay beliefs about societal change. For some time, utopian theorists have recognised the capacity of ideals for society to motivate social change behaviour, but this has largely been ignored by behavioural scientists. However, recent research has shown that utopian thinking elicits social change behaviour among ordinary people, and that a utopia with pro-environmental content tends to be especially motivating. Furthermore, changes which are seen as increasing levels of warmth and morality in society elicit greater levels of support and motivation to bring about those changes. These findings have implications for how social movements for planetary health can proceed and provide hope for motivating the necessary social change. We present this work in the hope that it can contribute to the furtherance of efforts for the achievement of planetary health. View Full-Text
Keywords: utopia; social change; motivation; environment; society utopia; social change; motivation; environment; society
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).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Fernando, J.W.; O’Brien, L.V.; Judge, M.; Kashima, Y. More Than Idyll Speculation: Utopian Thinking for Planetary Health. Challenges 2019, 10, 16.

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



[Return to top]
Challenges EISSN 2078-1547 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top