Developing Sustainable Cultures: An Integral Perspective on Cultural Sustainability and Climate Change Response

Dr Chris Riedy
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In this paper, I locate the cultural dimension of sustainability within an emerging Integral approach to sustainability. The Integral framework for sustainability draws on the work of Ken Wilber and a growing community of practitioners worldwide. It identifies behavioural, systemic (economic, environmental and social), psychological and cultural aspects of sustainability. A comprehensive approach to sustainable development needs to attend to all of these aspects and to their development over time. However, the cultural dimension of sustainable development is often neglected in mainstream policy and politics.

I will briefly outline the elements of an Integral framework for sustainability before focusing on cultural sustainability. Using a case study on climate change response, I will define a theoretical framework for development towards sustainable cultures. I will draw on this framework to identify practical actions that can be taken to encourage the development of sustainable cultures. These actions include community cultural development, the establishment of policy processes that allow for genuine citizen participation and discursive contestation, and the adoption of transformative practices by individuals. I will provide illustrative examples of such actions in the realm of climate change response, focusing particularly on experiences in Australia.

Keywords: Integral Theory, Cultural Sustainability, Community Cultural Development, Climate Change Response, Australia, Public Participation, Discourse
Stream: Cultural Sustainability
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Dr Chris Riedy

Research Principal, Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology, Sydney

Dr Chris Riedy is a Research Principal at the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology, Sydney. In this role, Chris works on research and consulting projects relating to sustainable energy use, climate change response, social justice, sustainability science and public participation. He has a Bachelor degree in Environmental Engineering and recently completed his PhD in Sustainable Futures. His thesis – titled The Eye of the Storm: An Integral Perspective on Sustainable Development and Climate Change Response – examined Australian energy and greenhouse policy from behavioural, systemic, psychological and cultural perspectives. It proposed a policy development process designed to integrate these perspectives through expert, stakeholder and citizen participation. Chris has ongoing research interests in the politics of climate change response, the role of personal and cultural change in achieving sustainability, the social dimensions of energy and water use, and the interaction between sustainability science and public policy.

Ref: S06P0457