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Christine Wamsler. Photo

Christine Wamsler

Professor, Docent, appointed Excellent Teaching Practitioner (ETP)

Christine Wamsler. Photo

Contemplative sustainable futures : The role of individual inner dimensions and transformation in sustainability research and education


  • Christine Wamsler

Summary, in English

Humanity is facing increasingly complex sustainability challenges. It is now clear that they cannot be resolved by new technology, policy or governance approaches alone. They require a broader, cultural shift. Consequently, the role of human beings' "inner dimensions" (e.g., their mindsets, worldviews, beliefs, social values, and motivations) and their potential "inner transformation" (embodied in notions such as mindfulness and compassion) are increasingly attracting attention from practitioners and researchers alike. As a result, in 2015, the "Contemplative Sustainable Futures Program" was set up at the Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies to explore the role of inner dimensions and transformation for sustainability. It aims to create space and opportunities for learning, networking, and knowledge development on this topic, which entails the creation of closer linkages between sustainability and the humanities (e.g., philosophy, theology, spirituality). The Program consists of different building blocks, including research and teaching activities. This chapter presents the outcomes, as well as the institutional and academic challenges encountered in setting up the Program. The outcomes so far include the establishment of (i) a new Masters-level course on "Sustainability and Inner Transformation", (ii) an Experimental Learning Lab on mindfulness in sustainability science, practice, and teaching, (iii) a professional knowledge database and network, and (iv) different research studies and resultant frameworks for future, more integrated research. Finally, the lessons learned, ongoing gaps, and the future work needed to overcome these gaps are presented.


  • LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)

Publishing year







Sustainability and the Humanities

Document type

Book chapter




  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


  • Compassion well-being
  • Contemplation
  • Contemplative education
  • Inner transformation
  • Inner transition
  • Mindful climate action integral adaptation
  • Mindfulness
  • Sustainability science




  • The Contemplative Sustainable Futures Program


  • ISBN: 9783319953366
  • ISBN: 9783319953359