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Transition Visions: Coupling Society, Well-being and Energy Systems for Transitioning to a Fossil-free Society (TransVision)

In accordance with the mission of the Contemplative Sustainable Futures Program, this project aims to provide new knowledge and critical analyses on the potential interlinkages between personal and political spheres of transformation to support sustainability outcomes at different levels (individual, collective/ organisational, and system levels).


In this context, TransVision deals with the following two questions: i) What inner capacities (mindsets, values, beliefs, paradigms and associated cognitive/ emotional and relational qualities/skills) can support welfare and sustainable climate action?; and ii) What is needed to nourish such capacities (learning processes, enabling factors, methods) for, ultimately, transitioning to a fossil-free society? Focus is on the role of citizens as key agents of change for sustainability and climate action.

​Research partners: Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS), Sweden; Centre for Social Sustainability and Department of Neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden; International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE), Sweden. Get to know our project partners here!

Practice partners: Forward Malmö; Ekskäret Foundation; the Transition Network; Awaris; The Inner Green Deal Initiative; the European Network for Community-Led Initiatives on Climate Change and Sustainability (ECOLISE); and others. Get to know our project partners here!

Advisory board: i) Prof. Richard Davidson, world leader in social neuroscience and psychology; Chair of the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, USA; ii) Prof. Kate Rigby, leader in environmental humanities; Director of the Research Centre for Environmental Humanities at Bath Spa University, UK; iii) Dr Markus Molz, Knowledge and Learning Coordinator of the European Network for Community-Led Initiatives on Climate Change and Sustainability (ECOLISE); iv) Prof. Karen O'Brien, internationally recognised expert on climate change and society at University of Oslo, Norway. Get to know our project partners here!

Related projects: Please see Mind4Change, ActivateChange, Existential Resilience, and other related projects. See also institutional project website at LU here.

Project outcomes so far: For an over view of project-related outcomes, please see under Research and Publications. For further project news and announcements, please see below.


"Our project provides new knowledge on the interlinkages between personal, collective and systems change to support sustainable climate action and well-being. This involves exploring people’s mindsets, and how associated cultural change can be reflected in political support and a healthy development of people’s sense of responsibility, motivation and positive involvement. Our results help to develop new approaches and learning processes towards sustainability.”

What story do you want to live?

What do your thoughts and intentions have to do with the climate crisis we are living in? Quite a lot, if we believe emerging science. Let’s look at how they influence not only our personal, but also our collective story, and why they are key for creating a more sustainable future...

Please read this Medium article by Professor Christine Wamsler and share with us your real-life experience of creating new stories here.

Trees From Above
Making sense of sense-making

How can we better work together to influence environmental and climate policies? How can you contribute to the transition to a more sustainable society? In the context of our TransVision project, various governmental and non-governmental organisations are engaged to answer these questions, improve their sustainability work and find new ways to address climate change. To do so, we conducted a Sensemaker survey in English, and Swedish. The results were recently published in Climate Policy and have received widespread interest. You can find the article here.

Image by Alex Wigan
Inner-outer sustainability: Theoretical foundations

A new report by UNDP and its Conscious Food Systems Alliance (CoFSA) demonstrates the need for increased policy attention to the neglected inner dimension of sustainability to address today’s sustainability crises. It provides an overview of current research and evidence for the potential of inner consciousness-based approaches and practices to complement current approaches and unlock transformation towards sustainability. Related research was supported by our TransVision and Mind4Change research projects. Find the full report here.

Image by Miquel Parera
The intersection of mind and climate change

What do our minds have to do with the climate crisis? According to our research, quite a lot! Our minds influence not only our personal, but our collective story, and they are key to creating a more sustainable future. In short, the mind is: 1) a victim of increasing climate impacts, 2) a barrier to adequate climate action, and 3) a key driver, or root cause, of the climate crisis as it determines how we relate to ourselves, others, and nature. Together, this results in a vicious cycle of deteriorating individual, collective, and planetary well-being. Read more in our recent article about the topic. Related: Recent interview (in German) and a previous PodCast (in English; interview transcript here).

Forest Trees
Collaboration–Exploring the inner human dimension

Collaboration was established with the Inner Green Deal Initiative to explore the inner human dimension of climate change. The aim is to research and support personal qualities and methods that can enable sustainable climate action. The initiative seeks to contribute to the behavioural, social and cultural change that is required to realise climate policy initiatives, such as the European Green Deal. Much focus of such policy initiatives has so far been on technology and other external factors. At the same time, inner human dimensions have received less attention, a shortcoming the research cooperation seeks to address. More information about our research can be found here.

From climate anxiety to courage and regeneration

We cooperate with OneResilientEarth to learn together through art, science, ancient wisdom, and new technologies, to grow our resilience, and regenerate communities and ecosystems, in a climate-altered world. Currently, we support the so-called 'Youth Climate Learning Journey', which has been co-designed by young adults for young adults who are concerned about climate change, and looking for caring, creative, grounded, and collaborative solutions. The co-design process has been supported by Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies and the TransVision project. More information about the activity can be found here.

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