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Future Design: Bequeathing Sustainable Natural Environments and Sustainable Societies to Future Generations

Tatsuyoshi Saijo ()
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Tatsuyoshi Saijo: Research Institute for Future Design, Kochi University of Technology

No SDES-2020-5, Working Papers from Kochi University of Technology, School of Economics and Management

Abstract: "Future Design," a new movement among Japanese researchers and stakeholders, asks the following question: what types of social systems are necessary if we are to leave future generations sustainable environments and societies? After reviewing the human activity impact on the global environment and society, I ask why we live in a society producing a series of future failures that will cost future generations so much. I then argue that liberalism could be the source of such a society and that market and democracy derived from it will not be able to avoid these future failures. Therefore, one must design social systems to activate a human nature called futurability when he/she experiences an increase in happiness as a result of deciding and acting toward foregoing current benefits to enrich future generations. One method to study those is using "imaginary future generations." Here, I present an overview of the theoretical background of this method, the results of relevant laboratory and field experiments, and the nature of some relevant practical applications implemented in cooperation with several local governments.

Keywords: Future design; imaginary future generation; futurability; intergenerational sustainability dilemma; time inconsistency problem (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 31 pages
Date: 2020-06, Revised 2020-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-env and nep-exp
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Published in SDE Series, June 2020, pages 1-31

Downloads: (external link) First version, 2020 (application/pdf)

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