Sustainable consumption is an issue that relates to several of the Grand Challenges mentioned in the Lund Declaration – for example the challenges of global warming, resources of energy, water and food, and public health. It is an issue, which impacts policy-making to an extent, which seems not to be generally recognised.
There seems, however, to be a hesitating attitude towards the installation of efficient policy measures against unsustainable consumption. Consumption is an area where values and aims are confronted – the values and aims of a liberal and market-based consumption, and the values and aims equity and long-term sustainability. A confrontation, which rests inside most of the consumers.
The normative component of this issue, involving obvious conflicts and dilemmas, combined with a well-documented scientific knowledge base, and a clear need for political action, makes this issue suited for technology assessment with citizen consultation methodology.
The work combined national face-to-face 100 person 1-day meetings with a web-based trans-national comparison of the national results. Click on the image below to access the website:
Citizens received the same information (before and during the meeting), were subjected to the same facilitated process and answered the same questions. The method delivered a trans-national overview of how citizens in the involved countries (Catalonia –Spain-, Netherlands, Austria, Bulgaria, Portugal, Lithuania, Denmark, Hungary, Czech Republic, Ireland and Wallonia –Belgium-) answered a set of pre-defined questions, and which messages they wanted themselves to send to policy-makers.