Climate City Contracting for Humane Thriving
Initiating a discussion towards pathways to unlocking a democratically-desired climate transition
(För svenska följ denna länk)
In their report “100 climate-neutral cities by 2030 — by and for the citizens” , the EU Mission Board for Climate Neutral Cities proposes the development of “a multi-level and co-creative process formalised in a Climate City Contract, adjusted to the realities of each city, […] aiming at the shared goal of the mission”. Meanwhile in Sweden the first nine cities signed a national Climate Contract (Klimatkontrakt 2030) on the 11th of December 2020, together with four government agencies and Viable Cities. The concept of the Climate City Contract will be further developed during the coming years. The big question is, how can democracies  contract such a momentous societal transition in an age of uncertainty and complexity, while conserving or even constructing legitimacy?
Cities, towns and municipalities are aware of the large-scale transformations necessary to address the climate emergency. But we need to recognise that the climate crisis is not a nascent property of the environment. Alongside biodiversity loss , global inequality , financial injustices  and other wicked problems [6 ]— climate change is but one symptom of a deeper structural failure; our inability to construct meaningful relations through social and democratic processes enabling humane thriving. Our relationship-ability towards other humans, ourselves, things, nature and the future should be a fundamental concern when designing methods for the climate transition. Unless we are able to make this deep shift in our societies, we will neither be able to develop the social legitimacy for large scale change, nor address the multitude of risks we face that undermine the capacity of human civilisations. We are at a position, in which we have to choose whether we want to direct our efforts towards a thriving planet or keep a steady course at the edge of surviving.
The transition towards entanglement
We can imagine many versions of the future. We briefly want to discuss two of those. One, is based on the legacies passed down by dominant western histories, that lead us to incline towards risk management to ensure survival. The other, moves beyond risk management, towards constituting the conditions for the regeneration and renewal of societies and the planet.
Throughout the past centuries we have insisted on a thesis for human development that is based on command and control . As a result, our democratic processes tend to create passive centralisation, simplifying the complexity and interconnectedness of reality, resulting in a singularity of publics , where the public is seen as a rather homogeneous expression.
At the same time, it is increasingly clear that we live in an age of entanglement. This calls for acknowledging diversity and interconnectedness. Quantum physics has proved there is a relationship between the fundamental properties of particles  that can’t have happened by chance. The Wood Wide Web  describes the millions of species of fungi and bacteria that swap nutrients between soil and the roots of trees, forming a vast, interconnected web of organisms. The field of biology is reconsidering the boundaries of individual organisms , understanding that where biological bodies end and where their environments begin is truly contentious. And indigenous language and philosophies have always recognised a kinship with nature .
It can be difficult for current government and institutional structures to recognise this transition towards entanglement. One reason for this could be that it would fundamentally challenge our perception of sovereignties. What if sovereignties were not defined by political boundaries (e.g. national borders, political jurisdictions, private properties), but rather through the knots of their systems (e.g. human relationships, nutrient exchange between trees)? How then could we imagine creating the conditions for viability and thriving of all ecosystems (e.g. environmental, human, material) that transverse territories? Could this shift the contractual relationships between different sovereignties to acknowledge interconnectedness?
Investing in relationship abilities
Investments in transitions that redistribute relation-capabilities  with others, ourselves, and our future is familiar for countries with deep democracies , like Scandinavian countries. During the 18th century, the Scandinavian context included some of the poorest nations in the world . However, beginning in the mid-1800s, a series of investments in human development infrastructures, created some of the most equitable transitions and societies today.
The Folk high school movement  offered a unique educational setting, supporting self-fulfilment, fellowship with others, practical knowledge and active democratic participation, to a large part of the population for free. Students would develop the technical and philosophical agency, as well as the self-authorship capacity for constructing their future. Across Scandinavia, the cooperative movement  has been particularly strong and influential, forming an extraordinary process of self-organization, institutionalized in the form of commonly agreed upon written rules, and establishing democratic processes that ultimately led to trust and the development of valuable social capital. Similarly, the Swedish government introduced a loan (Egnahemslån ) to support workers in building a house on the outskirts of cities, with the aim of creating better living standards and establishing a connection with nature. As mentioned in the book The Nordic Secret , these and other measures allowed Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland to undergo major technological, economic and structural changes peacefully, developing everybody’s potential and changing their fate.
Climate City Contracting
Today, cities in Scandinavia, along with other urban areas in the world, are facing a number of challenges — high debt levels, heat island effects, catastrophic fires, unequal mental wellbeing. Since 2015 municipality debts in Sweden have grown by 276 billion SEK ; larger cities in Fennoscandia are experiencing 3–5 °C warming due to urban heat island effects ; Norway’s fire season in 2019 was the worst for several years with 35 fires burning 4,654ha ; while reduced mental wellbeing amongst school girls in Sweden with low socioeconomic status is met at 83% compared to 49% amongst girls living in higher socioeconomic conditions . These risks demand a transition parallel to the historic investments of the Scandinavian context more than a century ago.
Contemporary risk management approaches focus on outputs and contract for outcomes. But linear cause and effect strategies no longer work, as wicked problems, like climate change, are relational and therefore continually mutating and evolving. When operating under the realities of uncertainty and complexity, we need to think about building capacities and capabilities, rather than directly focusing on results. Such a transition would require thinking through
(1) multiple domains, incorporating both social and environmental concerns (technological, urban, psychological, biological, institutional, cultural, and deep code  domains);
(2) integrating the perspectives of multiple actors , while creating the capacity for other-centering ; and
3) considering multiple scales/ layers of democracy (European/ National/ City/ Citizen), each self-sovereign with respect and awareness of interdependence.
Climate City Contracting is an opportunity to move towards a plurality of publics , each aware of their interdependencies, by addressing: how can deep democracies  contract a just climate transition in an age of uncertainty and complexity, while building legitimacy for large-scale transformations?
In such a thesis (and investigating alongside outputs or outcomes) Climate City Contracting would focus on the means to strengthen democracies’ capacity to do deep change while tackling the frictions and lock-ins  preventing a democratically-desired change. The Contract would become a ten-year iterative process through which governments would build the capacity and capabilities to run, feedback, learn from and iterate civic deliberative processes  (at multiple scales). This iterative process would then create a Demand for transition conscious choices and open pathways to Supply society with transition conscious choices.
On the one hand, we need to build the capacity and capabilities within governments  to construct the Demand for transition conscious choices — choices that emerge from collective intelligence, a sense of collectivism and interdependent agencies.
Demand can be generated through civic sensemaking , discovery labs  and commitments ; at multiple scales from street collectives (e.g. cooperatives, land trusts, local organisations), associations (e.g. housing, sport, arts), anchor institutions (e.g. schools, universities, care homes) to business consortiums and multi-stakeholder networks. Civic sensemaking  would be a co-constructive process involving multiple stakeholders who identify and create opportunities for contextual challenges. This tool would help identify strategic risks created by both individual and collective behaviours, allowing the actors involved to participate in developing a vision towards a particular future (whether that be a safer, healthier, more prosperous neighbourhood or a more sustainable place for us all). Civic discovery labs  would empower individuals with the ability to provoke and challenge possible solutions by building portfolios of potential experiments  to address their strategic risks. Civic commitments  would allow multiple partners to commit to specific portfolio experiments, through pledging or participatory budgeting, set in a social setting; becoming a mechanism to hold partners accountable to the transition. A feedback loop can be formed through all three components, with the use of spatial information (e.g. mission dashboards or art installations) to continually share progress and engage citizens.
On the other hand, we need to build the Supply for transition conscious choices, with the aim of reducing the frictions and lock-ins in our current systems that hinder a democratic transition.
In this realm, the role of governments would include the adoption of measures to shift incentives and biases. This could be done by investing in innovation ecosystems ; by creating new fiscal incentives  that advance civic commitments ; and by securing lead procurement  to create direct support for commitments. Informed by experimentation, local as well as national in the long-term governments can start introducing new regulations and policies  to open pathways for scaling the transition.
To nurture an iterative and transparent process of development, Climate City Contracting would be designed under a set of principles:
- A contract with an open, additive and modular framework — continuously evolving.
- A contract which is built on the foundations of advancing learning & development.
- A contract designed for radical legibility — accessible and understandable by everyone.
- A contract where the city is defined as the extended city (i.e citizens, municipalities, industry, academia, civil society).
- A contract for civic & capital commitments accelerating a climate and sustainability transition.
- A contract which is digital by default, and operating with a persistent, immutable record.
- A contract designed on a hybrid contractual basis;
a. Short-term: contracting for self-defined outputs (in a particular context), i.e CO2 reduction, Community Wealth , etc.
b. Medium-term: contracting for collectively-defined outcomes, i.e. economic justice, human development, equality, etc.
c. Societal: contracting for capabilities for transition, i.e sense-making, experimentation, societal decision-making.
- A contract focused on driving accountability, through radical transparency and mass participatory engagement;
a. Self accountability (feedback-based).
b. Collective accountability (peer2peer).
c. Public accountability (e.g. radical transparency, citizen audits).
In order to fully unlock a just transition, there is an additional need to invest in the contextual settings of a humane development, allowing every actor to make transition conscious choices with an awareness of interdependence. We know that our current financial, physical and psychological precariousness can lead to short-term decisions , infringing on our ability to make transition conscious choices. In this sense, we need to build an equitable humane development infrastructure to enable the democratic process of Climate City Contracting.
Learning from, for example, UNDP’s Human Development Index , a humane development context would need to address the infrastructures affecting society’s learning ability, wellbeing, socioeconomic status, environmental quality, justice and equity, work conditions, connectivity and security. We argue that these could be arranged along four layers including
(1) self-authoring infrastructures (e.g. Folk schools 2.0, humane technology ),
(2) freedom infrastructures (e.g. universal basic income , permission landscapes , universal basic green transport),
(3) just environmental infrastructures (e.g. community urban forests , city-wide low pollution levels ) and
(4) institutional infrastructures (e.g. preventative health care, employment contracts that account for the value of emotional labour).
Sweden is already at the forefront of many of these aspects, however, there is still improvement to make. These infrastructures could further support local democracies in nurturing the distributed cognitive capacity to creatively craft and actively care for transition conscious choices. A Humane Development stack towards an accelerated and democratically-desired climate transition.
We often refer to the social contract as a theoretical or ambient idea. But we know this ambient idea has had tangible impacts on the relations formed between actors in society . Climate City Contracting is an opportunity to reconsider our multiple social contracts, it is a year-on-year exercise that builds a democratic muscle to make the large-scale climate transition a reality, re-aligning our societies towards Humane Thriving.
Viable Cities and Dark Matter Labs, together with a network of experts, are exploring how we can democratically contract for a climate transition. We invite you all to comment and take part in the conversation as the exploration continues to evolve, @Dark MatterLabs & @ViableCities.
We like to thank everyone who has contributed to this exploration with care and thoughtfulness:
- Angela Pereira, EU Joint Research Centre
- Anthony Zacharzewski, Democtratic Society
- Claudia Chwalisz, OECD
- Edward Andersson, Democratic Society Malmö
- Marcin Gerwin, Citizens’ Assemblies
- Peter McLeod, Mass LBP
- Paul Natorp, Sager der Samler
- Uffe Elbæk, Member of the Danish Parliament
- Zuzanna Nowak, Centre for Climate Assemblies
Amongst many others
This piece has been co-authored by Indy Johar, Olga Kordas, Konstantina Koulouri, Åsa Minoz and Linnéa Rönnquist. The visuals were developed by Linnéa Rönnquist.
- EVIDENCE: Krogh Andersen, Katrine, Vassilakou, Maria, Lumbreras, Julio, Sulling, Anne, Nicolaides, Chrysostomos, Lenz, Barbara, Ferrao, Paulo, Larsson, Allan, Reiter, Joakim, Forest, Emmanuel, Gronkiewicz-Waltz, Hanna, Jordan, Romana, Boni, Anna Lisa, Russ, Martin, Termont, Daniël (2020) “100 climate-neutral cities by 2030 — by and for the citizens”, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (European Commission) 2020–09–24, 10.2777/46063
- EXAMPLE: There is a highlighted need and therefore a new push for strengthening democracy in the European Union. It concerns both the partnership between the commission and the parliament and the engagement with citizens on the ground.
Directorate-General for Communication (2020) “A new push for European Democracy”, (European Commission) 2020–12–16
- EVIDENCE: The average abundance of native species in most major land-based habitats has decreased by at least 20%, (mainly since the 20th century). At the same time, about 40% of amphibian species, 33% of reef-forming corals and all marine mammals are threatened.
UN (2020),”UN Report: Nature’s Dangerous Decline ‘Unprecedented’; Species Extinction Rates ‘Accelerating’”, UN Sustainable Development Goals, Paris 2020–05–26
- EVIDENCE: If we keep the speed kept between 2006–2020 to close the gender gap, it will take another 257 years until we close it. Sweden as a country has according to the index closed the gap by 82% being a leading example globally.
World Economic Forum (2019), “Global Gender Gap Report 2020”, World Economic Forum, Geneva 2019–12–16
- EVIDENCE: The income gap in Sweden has been growing the last few years and is the highest in the Nordic countries. At the same time the educational gap is prevalent.
OECD (2019), “Economic Survey of Sweden”, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development 2019–03
- DEFINITION: Wicked problems were first introduced by Horst Rittel and Melvin Webber who defined wicked problems based on the following characteristics:
1) They do not have a definitive formulation.
2) They do not have a “stopping rule.”
3) Their solutions are not true or false, only good or bad.
4) There is no way to test the solution to a wicked problem.
5) They cannot be studied through trial and error. Their solutions are irreversible, meaning “every trial counts.”
6) There is no end to the number of solutions or approaches to a wicked problem.
7) All wicked problems are essentially unique.
8) Wicked problems can always be described as the symptom of other problems.
9) The way a wicked problem is described determines its possible solutions.
10) Planners, that is those who present solutions to these problems, have no right to be wrong. Unlike mathematicians, “planners are liable for the consequences of the solutions they generate; the effects can matter a great deal to the people who are touched by those actions.”
Rittel, H. W., & Webber, M. M. (1973). “Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning.” Policy sciences, 4(2), 155–169, 1973–06
- EVIDENCE: Moving from command and control to members of local energy community governance has proven to shift the perceived role of citizens from passive client to active participant.
Ison Nicola Mary (2010), “From command and control to local democracy”, Politik- und Sozialwissenschaften, Otto-Suhr-Institut für Politikwissenschaft / Forschungszentrum für Umweltpolitik (FFU) 2010–11–11
- DEFINITION: As investigated in the book Contemporary Publics: “Debates and [political] discussions define the activity of the public sphere and, on the surface, represent some sort of disunity; but the sense that these debates comprehensively and categorically connect to all people, and that the discursive and communicative plays and counterplays are simply effective, just and democratic ways of arriving at consensus and compromise, ultimately has put the concept of the public and public sphere in the realm of utopia.”
P. David Marshall (2016), “Introduction: The Plurality of Publics”, In: Marshall P., D’Cruz G., McDonald S., Lee K. (eds) Contemporary Publics. Palgrave Macmillan, London 2016–09–12
- EVIDENCE: The entanglement of particles in quantum physics, describes the relationship between the fundamental properties, which did not happen by chance. If you know something about the characteristics of one particle, it can tell you something about the characteristic for another.
Science Alert (2020) “What is Quantum Entanglement?”, Explainer Science Alert 2020–12–16
- EVIDENCE: Using a database of more than 28,000 tree species living in more than 70 countries scientists have been able to prove the interconnected wed where soil and the roots of trees swap funghi and bacteria.
Gabriel Popkin (2019), “‘Wood wide web’ — the underground network of microbes that connects trees — mapped for first time”, Science Mount Rainier, Maryland 2019–05–15
- QUOTE: Organisms are “so intimately connected sometimes that it’s unclear whether you should talk about one or two or many,”
John Dupré (philosopher of science at the University of Exeter) from the article “What Is an Individual? Biology Seeks Clues in Information Theory”
- DEFINITION: To have kinship with nature is to see plants, mountains and water bodies as a relative or elders.
Inspired by Robin Wall Kimmeres
- EXPLANATION: The success of the Nordics in transitioning from poor agricultural to rich industrial societies, relied heavily on investing in every human to develop a sense of responsibility toward self and society, through an emotional, moral and cognitive understanding that they are part of a collective.
Lene Rachel Andersen & Tomas Björkman (2017), “The Nordic Secret — a European story about beauty and freedom”, Fri Tanke, Stockholm 2017
- DEFINITION: A deep democracy is a democracy where everyone is able to participate for the public good of society.
- EVIDENCE: Today the Nordic countries are among the richest countries in the world but 150 years ago they lagged behind the leading industrialized countries.
Susanna Fellman (2019), “Economic Development in the Nordic Countries”, Nordics Info, Aarhus University 2019–06–13
- EXPLANATION: The first folk high-school was established in Denmark 1844 spreading across the Nordic countries, focusing on education for the citizens. In 1944 in Sweden, the focus more clearly turned to building the democratic muscle of the nation at the same time as the term free and voluntary was introduced.
Folkbildningsrådet (2016), “Folkbildningens historia”, Folkbildningsrådet, Stockholm 2016–05–19
- EXPLANATION: During the 19th and 20th century Denmark as well as the other Nordic countries had strong cooperative movements,which over time built the foundation for social capital. Social capital has shown to be able to stimulate economic growth.
J. Chloupkova, G. Svendsen, G. Svendsen (2003), “Building and Destroying Social Capital: The Case of Cooperative Movements in Denmark and Poland”, Agriculture and Human Values 20 (3), 2003–09
- EXPLANATION: In order to enable higher living standards, hygiene and connection with nature, the Swedish government introduced a loan that could make it possible for the working class as well as higher classes of society to move out of the increasingly densifying Stockholm.
Stockholms Läns Museum (2020), “1890–1910 Tal: Egnahemsrörelsen”, Stockholms Läns Museum, Stockholm 2020–12–16
- EVIDENCE: Municipal debt has grown since 2015 in Sweden.
SCB och Finansinspektionen (2019) “Den kommunala förvaltnings skulden fortsatte att öka”, Statistiknyhet, Statistiska Centralbyrån och Finansinspektionen, 2019–12–19
- EVIDENCE: Larger cities in Fennoscandia are experiencing 3–5 °C warming due to urban heat island effects.
V. Milles (2020), “Surface urban heat islands in 57 cities across different climates in northernFennoscandia”, Urban Climate 31 2010–03
- EVIDENCE: Norway’s fire season in 2019 was the worst for several years with 35 fires burning 4,654ha.
San-Miguel-Ayanz, J., Durrant, T., Boca, R., Maianti, P., Liberta`, G., Artes Vivancos, T., Jacome Felix Oom, D., Branco, A., De Rigo, D., Ferrari, D., Pfeiffer, H., Grecchi, R. and Nuitjen (2020), “Advance EFFIS report on forest fires in Europe, Middle East and North Africa 2019”, EUR 30222 EN, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2020
- EVIDENCE: Mental wellbeing amongst school girls in Sweden with low socioeconomic status is met at 83% compared to 49% amongst girls living in higher socioeconomic conditions.
SCB (2020), “Lämna ingen utanför: statistisk lägesbild av genomförandet av Agenda 2030”, Statistiska Centralbyrån avdelningen för regioner och miljö, Solna 2020–10
- DEFINITION: Deep codes are the underlying structures of society, i.e. property rights, how we account, our relationship to the future, company structures, etc.
- EXAMPLE: Users include (and not limited to) city, anchoring institutions (schools, care homes, universities, etc.), grassroot organisations, associations, individuals, housing co-operatives, business consortiums, social networks etc.
- DEFINITION: Other‐centered refers to behaviour that is predominately motivated by other‐interest.
- EXPLANATION: UNDP has identified foundations of human development in order to measure the progress and support countries in growing their human development muscle. Even if Sweden is high up in many areas it is important to note that a humane development goes beyond these indicators further looking at the relational capacity of a nation (see footnote 13).
UNDP (2020), “Sweden Human Development Indicators”, UNDP development reports 2020–12–16
- DEFINITION: Lock-ins are problems that involve certain deep-seated traditions/procedures that can only be “unlocked” by radical change. For example, “carbon lock-in refers to the self-perpetuating inertia created by large fossil fuel-based energy systems that inhibits public and private efforts to introduce alternative energy technologies.”
Wikipedia 2020 “Carbon Lock-ins” Wikipedia 2020–12–14
Unruh, G. C. (2000). Understanding carbon lock‐in. Energy Policy, 28(12), 817–830. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0301-4215(00)00070-7
- EXPLANATION: Public authorities from all levels of government increasingly turn to Citizens’ Assemblies, Juries, Panels and other representative deliberative processes to tackle complex policy problems ranging from climate change to infrastructure investment decisions.
OECD (2020), “Innovative citizens participation and new democratic institutions: catching the deliberative wave”, OECD publishing Paris 2020–06–10
- EXPLANATION: In order to enable deliberative processes in cities there is a need to educate civil servants and support them in shifting the methodology towards more participatory approaches.
OECD (2020), “Innovative citizens participation and new democratic institutions: catching the deliberative wave”, OECD publishing Paris, Chapter 6 2020–06–10
- DEFINITION: Civic sensemaking is a process where actors from a specific context are given the capabilities to unpack and understand complex issues in a collective manner (more broadly: Civic — relating to the duties or activities of people in relation to a context. Sensemaking — the process of making sense of or giving meaning to something).
- DEFINITION: A discovery lab is a space where multiple individuals are equipped with the necessary tools and capabilities to explore, observe and study x y and z and provide possible solutions. (more broadly: Lab — a place providing opportunity for experimentation, observation, or practice in a field of study)
EXAMPLE: The New European Bauhaus launched by the European Commission in October 2020 to advance the European Green Deal can be seen as an example
- DEFINITION: Civic commitment is a mechanism which builds social accountability through the action of publicly declaring what an actor and/or collective intend to do. (more broadly: Commitment — the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc)
- EXAMPLE: Demokrati Garage — Copenhagen, Denmark. A meeting place for democracy, participation and citizen-driven urban development where the city, citizens and the democracy sector gather around democracy agendas and everyday communities driven by participation
- EXAMPLE: citilab — Cornella Spain. A citizen’s laboratory for cross actor knowledge creation and prototyping. The platform aims to boost a society of knowledge by building innovation capabilities, a social innovation network, co-created products and services as well as the ability to think and debate collectively
- EXAMPLE: #iWill — UK. An enabling network and campaign inviting the youth to make pledges towards action which is met with local support and funding in order to realise the change desired and committed by young generations.
- QUOTE: “In the last few years, in particular, we’ve seen the increase of calls for the public and development sectors to adopt more experimental approaches, across a spectrum that goes from speculative design and probes all the way to randomised control trials. As the incoherence of linear planning and single point solutions with issues like climate change or rapid urbanisation become increasingly apparent, organisations are starting to explore “portfolio approaches” as a way to better come to grips with complexity. One can only really understand a complex system by interacting with it, and the dynamic management of a portfolio provides a stronger basis for accelerating learning and adaptation than the rigidity of five year plans.”
Gina Belle and Giulio Quaggiotto (2020), “Portfolio approaches to tackle complex challenges. Notes on an emerging practice”, Regional Innovation Centre UNDP Asia-Pacific, Medium 2020–02–24
- DEFINITION: “An innovation ecosystem is the evolving set of actors, activities, and artifacts, and the institutions and relations, including complementary and substitute relations, that are important for the innovative performance of an actor or a population of actors.”
Granstrand, O., Holgersson, M. (2020) “Innovation ecosystems: A conceptual review and a new definition Technovation”, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg 2020–03
- EXPLANATION: Fiscal incentives are incentives created by adjust taxes and tax-like instruments in order to steer behaviours for desired outcomes.
Johanna Arlinghaus and Kurt Van Dender (2017), “Environmental Fiscal Reform: OECD report for the G7 Environment Ministries”, OECD 2017
- EXPLANATION: Government procurement can build lead markets, by proactively framing what the public sector should purchase, accelerating preferred possibilities. This new role is foundational to creating the future we want.
UNDP (2014) “Procurement and Innovation: A collection of articles from academia, the public and private sectors and the United Nations”, Supplement to the 2013 Annual Statistical Report on United Nations Procurement 2014
- EXAMPLES: State of Change and The Network of Regulatory Experimentation — Networks working to develop methods and learning across regulatory sandboxes and policy labs. Regulatory sandboxes and policy labs are processes where different levels of governments come together with multiple actors across public, private and civic sectors to co-create regulatory and policy experiments. The aim of the process is to enable new regulatory frameworks and policies.
- DEFINITION: First coined by Democracy Collaborative in the USA, Community Wealth Building is a people-centred, system-changing approach to local economic development that works “to produce broadly shared economic prosperity, racial equity, and ecological sustainability through the reconfiguration of institutions and local economies on the basis of greater democratic ownership, participation, and control.”
Democracy Collaborative Washington 2020
- EVIDENCE: Sociological theories have explained that the phenomenon of precariousness can be a result of the increased demand of labour flexibility making it difficult to make long-term decisions.
Delia Badoi (2020), “Normalizing precariousness through the flexible work — A conceptual model proposal for the precarization of early-stage workers in science and research”, Inclusive Growth 2020
- EXPLANATION: Technology holds immense potential to connect humanity in a meaningful way. Technology can play a meaningful role in a new form of sense-making that helps separate noise and signal. Another function would be to facilitate and upscale a radically open and transparent information economy, where the difference between freedom of reach and speech gets recognised. EXAMPLE: 29K
- EVIDENCE: The Universal Basic Income trials in Finland showed an increase of sense of economic security and wellbeing but only a slight increase in employment.
Kela (2020) “Results of Finland’s basic income experiment: small employment effects, better perceived economic security and mental wellbeing” The Social Insurance Institution of Finland, 2020–05–06
- EXPLANATION: It is likely that we could ensure a prolonged existence of grassroots initiatives, that act for the good of society, if the procedure to get permission to act was more accessible. EXEMPEL: Tillväxt Stockholm, Sweden — is an organisation that plants fruit trees and bushes on sidewalks, public squares, parks, courtyard and anywhere else possible in order to inspire others and increase biodiversity and so on.
Mia Sjöström (2012), “Busodlarna gör det på ytor som ingen bryr sig om”, Serien Urban Odling, Svenska Dagbladet 2012–06–18
- EVIDENCE: Research has shown that interaction with nature visually and physically can improve people’s cognitive capacity and wellbeing.
Berman, Marc G., Ethan Kross, Katherine M. Krpan, Mary K. Askren, Aleah Burson, Patricia J. Deldin, Stephen Kaplan, Lindsey Sherdell, Ian H. Gotlib, and John Jonides. (2012) “Interacting with nature improves cognition and the affect for individuals depression”, Journal of Affective Disorders Volume 140, no3 2011–11
- EVIDENCE: It has been shown that higher pollution levels can result in a higher risk for individuals to get depressed.
Oudin, A., Bråbäck, L., Åström, D. O., Strömgren, M., & Forsberg, B. (2016), “Association between neighbourhood air pollution concentrations and dispensed medication for psychiatric disorders in a large longitudinal cohort of Swedish children and adolescents”, BMJ open, 6(6), e010004.
- EVIDENCE: Examples from Norway, Canada and New Zealand have shown that social contracts, created through a lens of resilience, can provide new perspectives “emphasizing the dynamics, links, and complexity of coupled social–ecological systems”.
O’Brien, K., B. Hayward, and F. Berkes. (2009), “Rethinking social contracts: building resilience in a changing climate”, Ecology and Society 14(2): 12. 2009