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Key Facts:
Project start: 1 January 2011
Project end: 31 December 2012
Funding Scheme: European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme
(Coordination and Support Action)
EU Contribution: 1,423,082 €
Grant Agreement Nr: 263962


Coordinator: Collaborating Centre
on Sustainable Consumption and
Production (CSCP)
Project Director: Cheryl Hicks
Project Manager: Nora Brüggemann

EC Scientific Officer: Perla Srour-Gandon

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SPREAD About the Project


SPREAD scenarios on future sustainable lifestyles 2050 are now available

Tuesday, 2012-05-08

The SPREAD Sustainable Lifestyles 2050 project has finalized the development of four future scenarios of possible societies to overcome challenges of current unsustainable lifestyles. Scenarios include elements such as “Transparency gets the prices right”, “Wikidemocracy”, “Rediscovery of local resources” or the “ ‘We can’ generation works together”.   Building up on the previous work of the SPREAD project - with research on critical lifestyle impacts, drivers and barriers for sustainable lifestyles as well as numerous consultations with diverse stakeholder groups - four diverse scenarios that explore different options of more sustainable future ways of living have now been developed by using the backcasting method.

Singular Super Champions, Local Loops, Empathetic Communities, Governing the Commons are the four scenarios, that build on different combinations of the two critical uncertainties related to technology and society’s governing principle. In order to explore pathways how to get there, four drivers of change were outlined for each scenario, which enabled the SPREAD team to redraft timelines and create about 30 bits of lifestyle for each scenario. These include for example the “Urban agriculture”, “Wise Personal Food Shopper”, “The No-Waste- world Cup”, “Bank of energy”, “3D-printing”, “the TV series The Altruist”, “Reduced personal living space”.

As different as all of the scenarios are from each other, they share one basic assumption: to change living in a way that reduces the yearly material footprint from an average of 27,000-40,000 kg today to 8,000 kg per person by 2050.

Our SPREAD scenarios provide a starting point for identifying opportunity spaces for the development of creative strategies to not only mainstream current sustainable practices but also to develop new solutions for more sustainable living societies. The following steps within the SPREAD process will then result in a roadmap of strategic action for policy makers to help them plan for the currently “unthinkable”.

To explore how sustainable lifestyles can look like in 2050 and to get inspired about next steps to enable these future visions have a look here.