Arguably, markets failures accompanying production and consumption are the key problem driving the detrimental effects of climate change and other sustainable development challenges. The cluster addresses this challenge and explores ways in which markets may also be part of the solution.
Markets are constituted by multiple stakeholders from companies, industry bodies, research and innovation institutions, political institutions, regulatory bodies, media and consumers. To achieve sustainable solutions, understanding the social and economic relations and interactions among these actors and how markets are formed in and through these interactions is fundamental if we are to build markets that mitigate, and possibly reduce, adverse environmental and climate change effects.
The sustainability agenda sorely needs better understanding of the variation amongst social actors and their capacities for, moralities on, and engagement with, sustainable practices. Furthermore, how are such networks of actors embedded in systemic logics that hinder sustainable action?
Moreover, in order to achieve such solutions as e.g. circular economy, it is necessary and crucial that we break down dichotomies such as ‘industrial’ and ‘consumer’ markets. All links in value-producing networks must be integrated into the identification of sustainable solutions. The cluster aims to work with such a holistic perspective from e.g. prosumption, co-creation and network theory perspectives.
Approach and key questions
The cluster is research oriented, driven by delivering knowledge that is foundational to innovative sustainable solutions. Some of our guiding questions are:
- How are social and cultural dynamics shaping sustainability and sustainable practices?
- What are the drivers and barriers for achieving sustainable markets?
- Who is responsible for markets that create sustainable outcomes?
- When do governmental regulations help create sustainable markets?
- When are they making it worse?
- How can we create collective actions for pursuing sustainable development?
- What are the effects of the solutions different industries are already working on?
Currently the cluster is composed of a steering committee with researchers from consumption studies, finance, law, economics, marketing and resource economy.
Find the Steering Committee here.