Design for Sustainability Transformations: A Deep Leverage Points Research Agenda for the (Post-)Pandemic Context
This position paper presents a prototype research agenda for design for sustainability transformations (DfST) in the (post-)pandemic context. COVID-19 has made visible vulnerabilities, structural dysfunctions, inequalities and injustices across health, environmental, social, economic, provisional and political systems. In response to the crisis, rapid, adaptive, technological and social innovations have started to emerge across all levels of society, opening up a multiplicity of alternative futures. This is an opportune time to address long-standing and urgent sustainability challenges in ways that move beyond the ineffective and business-as-usual approaches of ecological modernism. The authors used a co-creative process to identify weak signals relevant to sustainability transformations. In alignment with the deep leverage points framework, the identified weak signals are presented under two main headings: first, social structures and institutions; and second, values, goals and worldviews. The deep leverage points form the basis of a research agenda on how DfST could contribute to sustainability transformations right now and in the longer-term.
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