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SPREAD — Result In Brief

Project ID: 263962
Funded under: FP7-SSH

Towards sustainable living in 2050

The relatively new concept of sustainable lifestyles is linked to the well-being of present and future generations. This emerging trend for sustainable consumption and production should be promoted through a comprehensive EU research agenda and policy strategy.
Towards sustainable living in 2050
Researchers sought to achieve this through the EU-backed 'Social platform identifying research and policy needs for sustainable lifestyles' (SPREAD) project. Their goal was two-fold: to take on the challenge of maintaining and improving the quality of life of an ageing Europe, and to reduce unsustainable lifestyle footprints.

The two-year initiative brought together a diverse set of stakeholders, with stakeholder dialogue playing a prominent role in achieving the project's objectives. Together with the large consortium-leading SPREAD, research and activities across nine areas of focus successfully addressed knowledge gaps in the current research agenda and explored policy strategy on sustainable lifestyles.

Partners produced and distributed a preliminary baseline report in advance of the conference 'The Future of Sustainable Lifestyles and Entrepreneurship', to establish a framework for discussing and understanding sustainable lifestyles. The SPREAD Sustainable Lifestyles 2050 European Social Platform was launched at a gathering organised to facilitate progress towards more sustainable ways of living. Via a series of meetings and workshops, the SPREAD team identified emerging cross-thematic visions of sustainable lifestyles in 2050. On the basis of these visions, four future scenarios were developed and used as input for a policy brief on sustainable lifestyles.

Project partners completed the EU Sustainable Lifestyles Roadmap and Action Plan 2050 titled 'Pathways for enabling social innovation and behaviour change'. The document outlines action strategies and opportunity spaces where policymakers can support sustainable lifestyles. Just prior to the completion of the project, the final research agenda was published on the SPREAD website.

Setting up the SPREAD People's Forum was an innovative project action that introduced a real-world perspective and tested the scenarios’ relevance and resilience for everyday life. Lifestyle profiles were created and personal material footprints were calculated for the participants, based on the data provided. The 'iFuture – The Diversity of Sustainable Lifestyles' report was drafted; it outlines the outcomes of participation on the People's Forum participants, providing insights into current and potential future lifestyles.

Having directly engaged more than 1 000 people, over 540 via its online platform, and just short of 1 500 via external social media platforms, project efforts stand to make a significant impact.

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