Sustainable Societies are not least built upon social and institutional sustainability. Social cohesion, full employment, the role of unpaid work and the development of consumption are themes of scenarios, indicators and policy advice.

Sustainable development as understood by SERI combines environmental protection, economic competitiveness, social justice and non-discriminatory democracy. Sustainable Societies is intended to cover the two latter aspects and their interlinkages.

Consequently, Sustainable Societies comprises a number of issues beyond the usual environmental and economic agenda. It comprises a number of specific themes and methodological approaches.

Methodologies used include analysis, scenario development, modelling, deriving indicators and participartory approaches like round tables and social representatives consultation.

Project Areas

The future of work and ecology

How will the future work life look like? What are sustainability criteria in paid and unpaid work? What is the role of unpaid work in a sustainable society? Is full employment still possible? What is a sustainable work-life-balance?

Sustainable Consumption (so far focussed on environmental aspects)

Which consumption clusters dominate the environmental impact of consumers? What is their influence as compared to other actors? How do trends like individualisation, globalisation and new technologies influence the environmental and social impact of household consumption?

Social Sustainability

What is a meaningful definition of social sustainability? How can it be measured? Which economic and environmental policies can be considered socially sustainable?

Economic sustainability

What are the limits environmental effects set to economic development? Can the EKC-effect materialise or are there limits to growth? What are the environmental sustainability conditions? Furthermore, what are the social minimum conditions of economic performance (social sustainability conditions)? Finally: are there any inherent criteria as to the economic sustainability of the economy?

Want to learn more?

Long text version of the theme-description Sustainbale Societies
[ pdf].

SERI´s flyer on Sustainable Societies
[ pdf].






Joachim Spangenberg


Have a nice day - Your SERI-Team.

last update 27-Feb-2004