The Century Ahead: Searching for Sustainability

Paul Raskin, Christi Electris, Rich Rosen

This study explores possible pathways to sustainability by considering, in quantitative form, four contrasting scenarios for the twenty-first century. The analysis reveals vividly the risks of conventional development approaches and the real danger of socio-ecological descent into a future of diminished human and ecological well-being. Nonetheless, the paper underscores that a Great Transition scenario—turning toward a civilization of enhanced human well-being and environmental resilience—remains an option, and it identifies a suite of changes in strategic policies and human values for getting there.

Preliminary report available here.

Technical documentation available here.

Originally published in Sustainability 2, no. 8 (2010): 2626-2651.