Which ever indicator we look at it seems that we are at a crossroads. The onslaught on biodiversity, accelerating climate change, overshoot in resource use, the expansion of the human population, the increasing divide between rich and poor, the volatility of the financial system. All these are signs that we are going to live through large-scale environmental and societal changes during the next couple of generations.

The way we live is going to change. It already is. The question has become: are we going to re-integrate within the wider community of species and give up on the idea of supremacy over all other living things, or are we going to continue on the route towards resource depletion, climate change, mass extinction, social unrest and conflict?

In my thesis I follow some of the people who are changing their life stories and practices and examine how narrative, meaning and story make social change possible. In particular I’m looking at how the Dark Mountain Project is seeding change through engaging with the deep cultural narratives that underpin consumerist lifestyles and ways of seeing.

My focus in studying grassroots innovations is the relations that guide environment-making. In other words, the ideas, visions, concepts and stories that organise and structure (un)sustainable ways of living. As localities where ’the rules are different’, grassroots innovations are a good starting point for an enquiry into social and cultural change.

Investigating how grassroots innovations constitute communities of interpretation, narrative-building and meaning-making opens up for better understanding how they generate change through (de)stabilisation of particular sustainability concepts and meanings. By seeding change in sustainability narratives, grassroots innovations are potentially not just building alternative networks and infrastructures but transforming the worldviews and ways of being which characterise unsustainability in the first place.

Much of my journey to become a ductor of philosophy is chronicled here. It is slightly out of date: I’m currently writing up and no longer update this page. Write me if you want to know more.