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Our research on the role of inner dimensions and spheres of inner-outer transformation in sustainability includes theoretical and empirical studies on: mindsets, social values, beliefs, paradigms and associated cognitive/ emotional capacities and virtues, such as awareness, consciousness, compassion, empathy and mindfulness. It thus explores the linkages between psychology, adult development, personal transformation, norms, policy, and systems change.

Painted Heart
Current Projects

TransVision and Mind4Change are two major research projects that are conducted under the Contemplative Sustainable Futures Program, and funded by the Swedish Research Council FORMAS. They aim to provide new knowledge and critical analyses on the potential interlinkages between personal and political spheres of transformation, to support sustainability outcomes across individual, collective, and system levels. Among other things, we are conducting studies on the role of mindsets and paradigms for creating a better culture for negotiating and activating climate action. They involve cooperation with RIFS/IASS and transformative spaces at the Conferences of the Parties (COPs), a decision-making body responsible for monitoring the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). For more information on TransVision and Mind4Change, see separate project pages.

Another research project, titled ActivateChange (funded by the Emergence Foundation), aims to analyse how trainable cognitive, emotional and relational capacities relate to responsiveness and resilience to the climate crisis. In addition, in 2022/23 we initiated seven other projects and collaborations that look into cultural change and capacity development for integrative transformation from different perspectives, including: SCIKOM (funded by Karolinska Institutet), Existential Resilience (funded by LU), BeChange-Together (funded by Vinnova), IDGs & Inner Green Deal program (funded by Templeton), Flourish Youth Climate Circles (OneResilientEarth, funded by the Emergence Foundation), #TransformingSustainabilityEducation (funded by Movetia), Skills4Future (funded by StartClim) and CLARITY (Erasmus+ project).

​Since 2019, our work also focuses on applying a conscious full-spectrum approach to different programme activities. In this context, we work with frameworks and tools developed by Monica Sharma (Transformational Leadership) and others to identify how our innate, universal values and capabilities can create new patterns that effectively address climate change and associated inequality. For more information about this activity see here.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

How can we unlock cognitive/emotional capacities to support sustainability and achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs)? What is the potential of emotional intelligence  and contemplative practices as educational innovations in the context of the SDGs? How can cognitive/emotional capacities suport policy decisions and political discourse towards sustainability? These are some of the questions we explore in our research studies and education activities.

Book Stack
Smiling Girl with Book
Reading Bible
Vintage Bookstore
Piles of Books
Piles of Books
Piles of Books
Recent Publications

The research conducted under the Program has led to important publications in the field. For a full list of recent publications, podcasts and presentations, please see here.

  • Wamsler, C., Osberg, G., Osika, W., Hendersson, H., Mundaca, L. (2021) Linking internal and external transformation for sustainability and climate action: Towards a new research and policy agenda. Online. Related news can be accessed here.

  • Wamsler C., Bristow J., Cooper K., Steidle G., Taggart S., Søvold L., Bockler J., Oliver T.H., Legrand T. (2022). Theoretical foundations report: Research and evidence for the potential of consciousness approaches and practices to unlock sustainability and systems transformation. Online.

  • Wamsler, C., Bristow, J. (2022) At the intersection of mind and climate change: Integrating inner dimensions of climate change into policymaking and practice, Online. To access to the revised figure, click  here.

  • Wamsler, C., Osberg, G., Panagiotou, A., Smith, B., Stanbridge, P., Osika, W., Mundaca, L. (2022) Meaning-making in a context of climate change: Supporting agency and political engagement. Online.

  • Wamsler, C., Mulligan, J., Bukachi, V., Mumbi, C. (2022) Activating transformation: Integrating interior dimensions of climate change in adaptation planning, Climate and Development. Online.

  • Wamsler, C., Osberg, G. (2022) Transformative climate policy mainstreaming - Engaging the political and the personal. Online.

  • Wamsler, C. (2022) What the mind has to do with the climate crisis. Online. See also related online Figure​ and Table.

  • Bristow, J., Bell, R., Wamsler, C. (2022) Reconnection – Meeting the climate crisis inside-out. Online. See also here.

  • Böhme, J., Walsh, Z. & Wamsler, C. (2022) Sustainable lifestyles: towards a relational approach. Online.

  • Woiwode, C., Schäpke, N., Bina, O., Veciana, S., Kunze, I., Parodi, O., Schweizer-Ries, P., Wamsler, C. (2021) Inner transformation to sustainability as deep leverage points: Fostering new avenues through dialogue and reflection. Online.

  • Wamsler, C., Schäpke, N., Fraude, C., Stasiak, D., Bruhn, T., Lawrence, M., Schroeder, H., Mundaca, L. (2020) Enabling mindsets and transformative skills for negotiating and activating climate action: Lessons from UNFCCC Conferences of the Parties. Online.

  • Wamsler, C. (2020) Education for sustainability: Fostering a more conscious society and transformation towards sustainability. Online.

  • Walsh, Z., Böhme, J., Wamsler, C. (2020) Towards a relational paradigm in sustainability research, practice and education. Online.

  • Leal Filho, W. et al. (2020), Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, chapter by Wamsler, C., Restoy, F., 'Emotional Intelligence and the Sustainable Development Goals: Supporting peaceful, just and inclusive societies'. Online.

  • Burayidi, M., Allen, A., Twigg, J., Wamsler, C. (2020) Handbook of Urban Resilience, chapter by Wamsler, C., Reeder, L., Crosweller, M., 'The being of urban resilience'. Available here.

  • Rimanoczy, I. et al. (2021/22) How do you shift a mindset? Tools and transformative stories from students around the world, chapter by Wamsler, C., Hertog, I.M., Di Paola, 'Education for sustainability: Sourcing inner qualities and capacities for transformation'. See here.

  • Leal Filho, W. et al. (2020), Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, chapter by Frank P., Fischer D., Wamsler C., 'Mindfulness, Education, and the Sustainable Development Goals'. Available here.

  • Hendersson, H., Wamsler, C. (2020) New stories for a more conscious, sustainable society: Claiming authorship of the climate story, Climatic Change. Online.

  • Brink, E., Wamsler, C (2019) Citizen engagement in climate adaptation surveyed: The role of values, worldviews, gender and place, Cleaner Production 209:1342–1353. Online.

  • Brossmann, J. Islar, M. (2019) Living degrowth? Investigating degrowth practices through performative methods. Online.

  • Leal, W., Consorte McCrea, A. (2018) Handbook of Sustainability and Humanities, chapter by Wamsler, C. (2018) 'The role of individual inner dimensions and transformation in sustainability research and education', Available here.

  • Wamsler, C. (2018) Mind the gap: The role of mindfulness in adapting to increasing risk and climate change. Online.

  • Wamsler, C., Raggers, S. (2018) Principles for supporting city–citizen commoning for climate adaptation: From adaptation governance to sustainable transformation. Online.

  • Wamsler, C., Brink, E. (2018) Mindsets for sustainability: Exploring the link between mindfulness and sustainable climate adaptation. Online.

  • Wamsler, C., Brossmann, J., Hendersson, H., Kristjansdottir, R., McDonald, C., Scarampi, P. (2018) Mindfulness in sustainability science, practice and teaching. Online.

  • Wamsler, C. (2017) How mindfulness can help the shift towards a more sustainable society. Online.

  • Further articles, highlighting the need to support cognitive/emotional and relational capacities to support transformative climate adaptation and sustainability in: Climatic Change and Journal of Cleaner Production.

For a full list of recent publications, podcasts and presentatons see here.

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