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Planetary boundaries and social change

Want to learn more about planetary boundaries and the need for social transformations? The Great Transition Initiative has hosted an interesting conversation this spring. Start with Johan Rockströms essay and continue with a total of 8 commentaries. Read More

The Great Transition Initiative (GTI) Bulletin for April 2015 explores ways of steering to a safe future in a world faced with limits. A Network discussion was set off Johan Rockström with the essay “Bounding the Planetary Future: Why We Need a Great Transition”. In this essay Rockström explains the planetary boundaries where environmental pressure has reached such a pace and intensity that they may cross tipping points, resulting in irreversible changes to the Earth system. The trajectorie that societeis are on are not compatible with either well-being for humans nor nature. Rockström presents an alternative sustainable development paradigm, the planetary boundary framework, where social, environmental and economic goals are meet and where human systems remain within the boundaries for a stable Earth system.

Staying within this safe operating space requires that development pathways that considers environmental and social justice, while at the same time result in “long-term shifts in consciousness to values and institutions that equitable integrate people and planet”.

Commentaries on this essay, and elaborations on planetary boundaries and their implications for social change are given by Noel Castree ; John Bellamy Foster; Maarten Hajer, Marcel Kok, and Kathrin Ludwig; Richard Heinberg;  Jill Jäger; Karen O’Brien; Kate Raworth; John Robinson and David Maggs.

And at the end Johan Rockström gives a reply.

The Great Transition Initiative site is regularly hosting Network discussion on a given topic where invited contributions are discussed through commentaries. The Network consists of over 600 scholars and activists engaged in discussions on potential futures.

The Great Transition Initiative was set over a decade ago as a follow-up to the work of the Global Scenarios Group. Over the years the Initiative has grown into a visionary forum that fosters new ways of thinking and acting rooted in quality of life, social solidarity, and ecological consciousness, offering a more bold approach to change as an alternative to incremental thinking and acting. GTI is hosted at the Tellus Institute.

Read more about the Great Transition Initiative.

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