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2 Products, Contexts and Capacities

Right now, a great many people find themselves in these situations; in the future, due to ecological and urban pressure, this number may be far greater. Besides, increasing the connectivity and maturation of a network-based society, together with the growing costs of natural resources, can turn some of these choices, which today are in a minority, into “normal” decisions, i. e. accepted because they belong to the primary economic and functional criteria. The radical difference from the past is that the socio-cultural and technological framework in which innovative ideas of well-being are proposed and developed is totally dissimilar to that of a few decades ago. Even if, as we have seen, on average, this framework is still very negative (as the dominant trends are not moving towards sustainability), it nevertheless also seems able to offer some very promising opportunities. Thus, the combination of the emerging networked organisations, together with “the discovery of limits” (and all that follows from it), can make way for “new ways of living” that are coherent with sustainable principles 10 . A phenomenon that, as we tried to show in this chapter, could take place not only because people will consider its implications to be ethically correct, but also and especially because they will see this as the opening up of new opportunities.

10 For general context cf. Giddens (1991); Augé (1992); Bauman (1999). For new organisational forms spread via the internet cf. Kelley (1994); Benkler (2006).

Design for Environmental Sustainability  

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