Crowdsourcing The Future
Deep Transitions Futures is a research project about the transformations needed to achieve environmental sustainability, social justice and ultimately a better future. We have developed three imaginary worlds that display what life in 2050 could be like if we were to take radical action now to tackle global challenges such as climate change and growing inequality.
Which future world can you see yourself living in? With our crowdsourcing initiative, we gathered voices and perspectives, to see beyond our frameworks and blind spots, to make our work more relevant and attuned to the diversity of today’s world.
Three Future Worlds
Socio-technical system change is the key to making a transition towards sustainability happen. In Deep Transitions thinking, socio-technical systems are systems that our societies are built on to provide for energy, mobility, food, healthcare and communication. Currently, these systems rely largely on fossil fuels and contribute to global inequalities. Deep Transitions Futures research strives to accelerate the transition towards alternative systems that are sustainable and fit for tackling global these two challenges. Our three future worlds present potential alternatives for the food, energy and mobility systems. The video below takes you on a journey through these worlds.
A crowdsourcer is a platform that gathers the input from different participants and facilitates building ideas collectively. Our crowdsourcer asked respondents to indicate which of the three worlds they found most desirable and which actions and innovations were needed to achieve their preferred future world. It also inquired about individual action respondents could take to achieve a transition towards a more sustainable future.
After the Frugal Turn
Imagine a future in which limitless consumption is rejected in favour of living within the earth’s means – a world in which humanity both reduces its global footprint and balances the distribution of goods, allowing all citizens of the world an equal share of our global commons. This world is called “After the Frugal Turn”.
Do No Harm
Imagine instead a second world, one in which dramatic biodiversity loss and ecosystem destruction forced us to rediscover our dependence on the natural world. Abandoning our neglect and disregard for the living world around us, we resolve to transform our systems, working ‘with and through nature’, understanding that humans are only one part of a spectacular indivisible web of life. In this world, the fundamental principle is “Do no Harm”.
Inspired by the spirit of the 20th Century moon missions, this world resolved to solve the grand challenges of our time through human ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit. This imagined world is guided by eco-modernism, circular economies and the adoption of mission-oriented development across all levels of governance, from local to global. Deep commitment to these strategies fuels a boom in truly radical and disruptive innovation. We call this world “Earthshot”.
Deep Transitions Resources
Would you like to learn more about Deep Transitions thinking? The selection of resources below provides an overview of Deep Transitions research including the two founding journal articles by Johan Schot and Laur Kanger.