Published

19 June 2012

Ways Ahead - Paths to sustainable development

WHAT IS THE CHALLENGE?

Why do we do as we do and not as we should? What factors ultimately guide our habits, choices and actions (and are they always conscious)? Do we care about the public good or do we predominantly look after our own interests? How are values, attitudes, habits, patterns of behaviour and strategies formed by an individual, by households, groups and companies? To what degree can and may a democratic society steer its citizens in order to achieve more environmentally friendly behaviour? Why are so many attempts to "green" our everyday lives counteracted by the inertia of existing social structures?

HOW CAN THE PROGRAMME CONTRIBUTE TO A SOLUTION?

Research within the Ways Ahead sub-programmes of psychology, sociology, sociology of law, political science, history of science and technology, business economics and philosophy focuses on issues concerning driving forces, behaviours, social organisation and structures. The overarching aim is to combine knowledge on environmental and natural resource issues with existing and new knowledge on what guides our everyday behaviour and actions on the individual as well as on the society level. Ultimately, the programme is aimed at building up socio-scientific and humanistic research skills in order to make such research more a part of the work towards sustainable social development and to broaden future environmental research.

WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM THE RESULTS?

Central, regional and local authorities responsible for the infrastructure and community planning. The construction and transport sectors in general. The research community at large. Interest groups. Citizens.

facts

Programme period:
1996-2001

Funding:
Mistra SEK 22 million. Other financiers (see Management Group) SEK 27 million.

Programme director:
Professor Bengt Hansson, Lund University

The Programme Management Group consisted of representatives of six financiers: The Swedish Research Council (until 2000 representatives of the Swedish Council for Planning and Coordination of Research, FRN, and the Council for Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences, HSFR), the Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning, Formas (until 2000 representatives of the Swedish Council for Building Research, BFR, and the Swedish Council for Forestry and Agricultural Research, SJFR), the Swedish Agency for Innovation Systems, VINNOVA, (until 2000 representatives of the Swedish Transport and Communications Board, KFB), as well as the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, the Swedish National Energy Administration and MISTRA (chairman ).

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