University of Canterbury's Assc Professor Bronwyn Hayward is a co-investigating partner with CUSP, the international Centre for Understanding Sustainable Prosperity directed by a world leading sustainability expert, Professor Tim Jackson of Surrey University, UK
CUSP will establish a five-year multidisciplinary research programme commencing in January 2016. The overall aim of CUSP will be to explore the complex relationship between prosperity (our aspirations for the good life) and sustainability (the social and environmental constraints of a finite planet).
As part of her role as a co-investigator in this project, Associate Professor Bronwyn Hayward will be responsible for a partnership between CUSP and UNEP to develop a major global study of young people's lifestyles in cities across the world.
“This is a once in a generation investment in new sustainability thinking” said Assc Prof Bronwyn Hayward, it is tremendously exciting to be contributing to CUSP, which will engage in fundamental research aimed at rethinking our core ideas about “the good life”, economics and democracy, so they are fit for the future”
CUSP international director Professor Tim Jackson said the “guiding vision for sustainable prosperity as one in which “people everywhere have the capability to flourish as human beings - within the ‘safe operating space’ of a finite planet. CUSP’s work will be to elaborate that vision, test its viability and explore its social and economic implications.”
The Centre will take the form of an international network, drawing together expert partners from academic and non-academic institutions and spanning numerous academic disciplines.
“It’s very clear that understanding our contested visions of the good life is a vital task for all social sciences, beyond traditional voices in economics, and is a research challenge that requires us to listen to all community voices” said University of Canterbury political scientist and CUSP co-investigator Associate Professor Bronwyn Hayward
CUSP will pay particular attention to the “pragmatic steps that need to be taken to achieve sustainable prosperity. The Centre will engage with business, government and civil society in order to explore practical actions and propose supportive policies.” A core element in this engagement will be a wide-ranging, international discussion through a variety of unusual communication strategies beyond the usual academic papers and books, including feature films, radio documentaries, newspaper columns, festivals of ideas, and an international dialogue to be chaired by Dr Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury and Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge with other world religious leaders.
The CUSP work programme will commence in January 2016.4 An overview of the Centre’s guiding vision and more detail on the work programme can be found online here: http://www.cusp.ac.uk. Interested readers can also follow CUSP’s plans on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
1. The CUSP work programme is split into five (MAPSS) themes.
Theme M explores the moral framing and contested meanings of prosperity itself. Taking a broadly philosophical approach we examine how people, enterprise and government negotiate the tensions between sustainability and prosperity.
Theme A explores the role of the arts and of culture in our society. We will look not only at the role of the arts in communicating sustainability but at culture as a vital element in prosperity itself.
Theme P addresses the politics of sustainable prosperity and explores the institutional shifts that will be needed to achieve it. We will work closely with both corporate and social enterprise to test new models of sustainability for business.
Theme S1 explores the social and psychological dimensions of prosperity. We will work with households and individuals in order to understand how people negotiate their aspirations for the good life. As part of this theme we will engage with UNEP in a major study of young people's lifestyles across the world.
Theme S2 examines the complex dynamics of social and economic systems on which sustainable prosperity depends. We will address in particular the challenge of achieving financial stability and high employment under conditions of constrained resource consumption.
2. Academic partners include:
University of Surrey (Tim Jackson, Kate Burningham, Ian Christie, Angela Druckman, Birgitta Gatersleben)
Anglia Ruskin University (Dr Aled Jones)
Keele University (Prof Andy Dobson)
Goldsmiths College London (Dr Will Davies)
University of Leeds (Prof Kate Oakley)
Middlesex University (Prof Fergus Lyon)
York University (Canada) (Prof Peter Victor)
University of Canterbury (Christchurch, NZ) (Prof Bronwyn Hayward).
3. Nonacademic partners include the Aldersgate Group – an alliance of leaders from business, politics and society that drives action for a sustainable economy – who will formally be co-investigators on the project. Other partnerships include a wide range of business and cultural organisations.