2016 / 1

Social Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)—the analysis of social impacts spanning the complete value chain of a product or process—has never been more important than it is today for understanding and correcting widespread social injustices. In an increasingly interdependent world, we need to think and analyze systematically. Social LCA helps us expose in systemic fashion the social consequences of the dominant global development paradigm and, in so doing, has a vital role to play in redirecting global change towards a Great Transition future.

The industrial agriculture system is broken. It is past time to move toward a new model—agroecology—for the sake of our environment, our health, and our communities.

Commentary by M. Jahi Chappell, Sujata Dutta Hazarika, Timothy Wise, and others, and a response from the author.

Where are the seeds of a new agricultural paradigm? Lessons gleaned from prairie ecology can help us overcome the dualism between nature and agriculture.

A Recipe for Change?
April 2016

Michael Pollan’s new book shows how cooking can contribute to personal and social transformation. But lifestyle changes are not enough to address the systemic crises we face.

Modern neuroscience suggests that the roots of consumerism lie in our neural circuits for reward learning. Contemporary capitalism truncates the diversity of satisfactions, feeding the hunger for the material rewards it offers. The enrichment of daily life and expansion of satisfactions, not their renunciation, is essential to a Great Transition.

With commentary by Neva Goodwin, David Korten, Sheldon Krimsky, and others, and a response from the author.

Can corporations become socially responsible actors in a globalizing world? The recently retired Founding Executive Director of the UN Global Compact discusses the prospects for moving beyond incremental change. He finds reasons for hope in increased transparency and collaboration.

Fueling Value Change
February 2016
In Foragers, Farmers, and Fossil Fuels, Ian Morris argues that changes in energy capture have driven changes in human values. However, understanding this relationship as co-evolutionary, rather than merely linear, is key as we shape values and energy systems for a sustainable twenty-first century.