FreedomLab’s mission is to unlock society’s potential to shape an open, just and sustainable future. We believe that we can build such a future if we tackle the biggest challenges of our time: socio-economic inequality, climate change and the degradation of natural ecosystems. However, to tackle these challenges, we need a fundamental transition of our economy and society. This requires a long-term perspective and the ability to navigate conflicting social, ecological and economic values. At FreedomLab, we use the Deep Transitions Framework to develop such a long-term perspective for a just and sustainable world. The framework thus offers us a lens to look into a better future.
The current state of the world is shaped by the written and unwritten rules that have developed over 250 years of economic growth. Therefore, to stimulate a fundamental reorientation, new rules for a just and equitable world must be defined and ingrained in society. The Deep Transitions Framework encompasses seven guiding principles that, taken together, could shape a just and sustainable society and economy. The framework serves multiple purposes. First, it inspires us to think about the transformation of socio-technical systems, rather than mere incremental improvement. For example, to consider a full overhaul of the existing mobility system to something like shared mobility, instead of focusing on substituting combustion engines with electric ones. Second, the framework and its underlying principles can serve as a compass to navigate an uncertain future in which many trade-offs emerge between social, ecological and economic factors. The guiding principles help us to keep an eye on fundamental goals of systemic change.
On this page, we explain the principles, how they relate to existing rules and how they may be achieved. We also provide examples and weak signals that demonstrate the actual emergence of these principles. The guiding principles are deeply interrelated and we can also distinguish a hierarchical order between them. The emergence of a planetary consciousness (an alternative to the current anthropocentric worldview), for example, can be seen as the ultimate precondition for all of the other principles. A focus on societal wellbeing (instead of economic welfare) is a precondition for the internalization of social and ecological costs.
FreedomLab's Deep Transitions Framework is an elaboration on the work of Professor Johan Schot and his consortium on Deep Transitions.