Applying Foresight to Policy Design for a Long-Term Transition to Sustainable Lifestyles

In Sustainability
Volume (Issue): 12(15), 6200
Peer-reviewed Article

Increasing attention is being paid to lifestyles in sustainability research and policymaking. Applying a foresight approach to sustainable lifestyles supports this increased focus by highlighting possible futures while also empowering citizens through a participatory process. Foresight has its origins in theory and practice to serve the policymaking process by involving diverse stakeholders. In the search to empower various stakeholders in the decision-making process on foresight, this paper analyses the results of a global expert survey to identify factors shaping future lifestyles. Survey results show that in consumption, the reasoning behind increased or reduced consumption matters; in infrastructure, affordability and equal accessibility is a concern; there are some uncertain implications of the changes in work and education, and physical and mental health, which need further exploration in the desired direction. Those factors should be included in public discussions on future sustainable lifestyles through adopting sustainable lifestyles as a foresight topic. Additionally, the survey results on stakeholders’ changing roles between now and 2050 illustrate how foresight could empower stakeholders through a bottom-up policymaking approach to realise a long term-transition to sustainable lifestyles.