Transition to sustainability is stuck and academic research has not resulted in significant change so far. A large void in sustainability research and the understanding of sustainable development is an important reason for this. Personal Sustainability seeks to address this void, opening up a whole cosmos of sustainable development that has so far been largely unexplored. Mainstream academic, economic and political sustainable development concepts and efforts draw on the macro level and tend to address external, collective and global processes. By contrast, the human, individual, intra- and inter-personal aspects on the micro level are often left unaddressed.
The authors of Personal Sustainability invite the reader on a self-reflecting journey into this unexplored inner cosmos of sustainable development, focusing on subjective, mental, emotional, bodily, spiritual and cultural aspects. Although these are intrinsically human aspects they have been systematically ignored by academia. To establish this new field in sustainability research means to leave the common scientific paths and expand the horizon. Together with authors from cultural studies, philosophy, anthropology, psychology, sociology, psychiatry, aesthetics and economics, and supported by contributions from practitioners, this book portrays different approaches to personal sustainability and reflects on their potentials and pitfalls, paving the way to cultures of sustainability.
This book will be of great interest to researchers and students in the field of sustainability and sustainable development, as well as researchers from philosophy, anthropology, psychology, sociology, cultural studies, ethnology, educational research, didactics, aesthetics, economics, business and public administration.
Table of Contents
1. Personal Sustainability – Exploring a New Field of Sustainable Development Oliver Parodi and Kaidi Tamm 2. Sustainability, Culture and Personal Virtues Reiner Manstetten 3. Psychology of Sustainability – Psychological Resources for Sustainable Lifestyles Marcel Hunecke 4. Care of the self and "Bildung" as condition for and result of personal sustainability Michael Niehaus, Dirk Schmidt and Shirli Homburg 5. Sustainable Development: A Matter of Truth and Love Oliver Parodi 6. Sustainability in crisis: a perspective of subjective body as ‘healing’ force Sabin Wendhack 7. Developing Intra-personal Skills as a Proactive Way to Personal Sustainability: the Preventive Side of the Mental Health Equation Helena Lass 8. Inner Conflict Resolution and Self-Empowerment as Contribution for Personal Sustainability on the Case of Intentional Community Practices Stella Veciana and Kariin Ottmar 9. Awareness as the New Paradigm for Personal Sustainability: A Practitioner’s Perspective on the Sustainability Transition Ingvar Villido 10. Reflexivity: Balancing the Metanarratives of Sustainable Development Kaidi Tamm 11. Sustainability without the I-sense is Nonsense: Inner ‘Technologies’ for a Viable Future and the Inner Dimension of Sustainability Shelley Sacks 12. Personal Sustainability – Conclusions and Perspectives Oliver Parodi, Kaidi Tamm and Sabin Wendhack
Oliver Parodi, philosopher and engineer, is Managing Director of the KIT-Centre Humans and Technology and Director of the Karlsruhe School of Sustainability at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany. His research focus lies in culture and/of sustainability, transdisciplinary sustainability science and personal sustainability.
Kaidi Tamm is a research associate at the Karlsruhe School of Sustainability at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany. With a background in culture studies, sociology and political science, her research binds empirical and theoretical approaches and focuses on the participatory and qualitative aspects of sustainability transition.
"The stories of our futures are indeterminate. Given the acceleration of climate change, the extinction of species and other transformative challenges, readers of this book are supported in their personal quest for sustainability. It is for each of us to use this essential publication to regenerate meaning from the ubiquity of sustainability." — David Haley, Visiting Professor at Zhongyuan University of Technology, Zhengzhou, China, Founder of Future Ventures Foundation and Vice-Chair Arts and Environment Network
"I have been working on questions of social and ecological sustainability for more than 30 years, and, indeed it’s high time for this book. In this volume renowned authors fill the gap in understanding the role humans play in processes of socio-cultural transformation towards sustainable development. This comprehensive volume presents the missing link of sustainable development, raises public awareness, and introduces inner- and intra-subjective mindfulness into scientific discourse." —Franz-Theo Gottwald, publicist, author and business consultant in sustainable development, Director of Schweisfurth-Stiftung, Munich, Germany
"This outstanding book addresses an extremely crucial but nonetheless underrepresented idea: to achieve sustainability, people themselves must change. It is widely understood that technical approaches alone will not lead to societal transformation; we need evolving cultures of sustainability. Personal Sustainability offers insights and highlights landmarks needed to discover the inner world of sustainability and truly change our behavior and cultural patterns." — Felix Wagner, Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts Baden-Wuerttemberg, Stuttgart, and Climate Culture Lab, Hannover, Germany
"This book puts a timely focus on the role of our personal endeavor towards sustainable development and our inner obstacles against it. The latter can be ultimately boiled down to greed, hate and delusion, as Siddhartha Gautama (aka Buddha) had put it so aptly already some 2500 years ago. From an evolutionary point of view, these biologically encoded responses are amongst the hardest to eradicate from any individual, group or culture. Hence, is all the more important to recognize, discuss and appreciate the subjective values that drive our efforts of shaping the world in the future." — Anne S. Ulrich, Chair of Biochemistry at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany, practitioner of Zen
"Sustainability is an emergent property of how we relate to the world, to each other and to ourselves. This highly innovative, creative, and courageous book for the first time compiles a transdisciplinary and comprehensive set of very diverse perspectives on what it takes for each of us to develop our personal sustainability. Furthermore, the book critically analyses implications for cultural change of the spreading of such practices, for example by pointing to short-comings of prevailing forms of knowledge production in the scientific disciplines and embracing in an analytic manner concepts of truth, love and a greater feeling of inter-connectedness deemed central to sustainability. This book is a must-read for anyone wishing to engage in sustainable development seriously and reflectively." — Ariane König, Senior Researcher, Sustainability Science, Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education, University of Luxembourg