Encyclopedia of Sustainability in Higher Education

2019 Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho

Sustainable Future

  • Christopher Burr JonesEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-11352-0_245


A sustainable future is a prospective period of time 50 years or more from the present, characterized by a shift in civilizational values away from consumerism, materialism, and industrialization. The phrase is a misnomer, given the assumption of futures studies that the future is not singular, but a number of possible alternative futures, many of which could embody humane, ecological, and nonviolent cultures.


Half a century ago, the environmental movement and foresight and futures studies set in motion a discourse about whether humans could survive on our planet, long-term. The roots of this discourse extend further back into the past, the idea of a biosphere, Malthusian challenges, and visionary futures preceded Earth Day, but the scientific and public debate about whether human technological development, resource use, and the limits to growth were an existential threat blossomed in the 1960s and early 1970s. To better understand our chances of surviving our...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Public Policy and AdministrationWalden UniversityMinneapolisUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Izael da Silva
    • 1
  1. 1.Strathmore UniversityNairobiKenya