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Future scenarios for sustainable lifestyles and consumption in Spain

Project “Consumption and Lifestyles: Perceptions, scenarios and policy to Global Change”
CRIC-Opcions, Altekio S. Coop. Mad. Equipo Interdisciplinar de Investigación en Educación Ambiental de la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (España)
Concepción Piñeiro, Álvaro Porro, María Heras

[Descargar Póster Consumption and Lifestyles: Perceptions, scenarios and policy to Global Change]

Our aim is to contribute to go further in knowledge and practice about sustainable lifestyles in Spain, defining key strategies in our transition to more sustainable lifestyles through these objectives:

  1. To identify and map stakeholders in sustainable consumption (SC) and lifestyles topics (public institutions, academia, social movements, private sector, social enterprises, etc.). To explore the diversity of discourses about these topics and create a common understanding/working framework.
  2. To describe present and plausible futures of SC, as well as their eco-social impacts. To explore the conditions and the uncertainty for lifestyles and consumption changes in Spain.
  3. To produce an outcome suitable for decision-making, resilient to the socio-ecological uncertainty and adapted to different stakeholders. To obtain a battery of policy and action proposals related to sustainable lifestyle changes.

The future scenario workshop is a key element of the project ?C onsumption and Lifestyles: Perceptions, scenarios and policy to Global Change?. This workshop is a pioneer experience in Spain and took place in April 2011. We have opted to gather a diverse group of relevant stakeholders at national scale with a clear objective: develop a creative, realistic and fruitful dialogue about lifestyles changes and concrete actions to achieve them. This debate was organized through the participatory construction of future scenarios that can provide a framework for reflection and decision making.

The selection of the participants at the workshop responded to a previous phase of research, aimed at ensuring the relevance, consistency, and interest of the results obtained from the process. Socio- Psychological, Technological, Environmental, Political and Economical Drivers and key elements such as consumption areas (energy, food, housing, etcetera) for the building of the different future scenarios had been defined before as part of the previous survey process (4 semi-structured interviews and 70 questionnaires).

The results of these workshops are plausible descriptions of how the future might unfold based on a coherent set of assumptions about key elements and drivers of change (Carpenter et al. 2005 quoted by Palomo et al. 2010). We have 4 scenarios with their own storylines that open our minds into different possibilities for sustainable lifestyles in Spain from inspiring stories of social transformation to survival options in a deep ecological crisis.

Other results are a battery of proactive policy proposals and initiatives for action and a map of relevant actors for the transformation toward more sustainable lifestyles. As part of the feedback for participants, in further steps of this research, we will also explore policy acceptability amongst the stakeholders involved in the workshop. It is impor-tant to move from scenario development to strategic planning and decision-making (Volkery and Ribeiro 2007).

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