POSTED: April 24, 2017
Society | System Dynamics

 Thriving BEYOND SURVIVING: Two takes on transformation

CUSP Seminar with Maja Göpel and Katherine Trebeck
Monday, 15 May 2017

Sustainable development is the 21st Century’s wicked problem. The design of our economies and the principles of our economics have taken us to an extreme, unsustainable and unjust point. It’s widely recognised that system change is badly needed. But what does such large scale transformation actually mean? And how do we put it into practice?

Revisit the lunchtime seminar with Maja Göpel (Wuppertal Institut) and Katherine Trebeck (Oxfam), as they discuss their most recent work in transformation research.

Katherine Trebeck talks from the perspective of an international anti-poverty organisation, framing the systemic crisis that our communities are faced with and showcasing how responses to date often only entail tweaking the current system. In introducing Oxfam’s emerging vision for a new economy (Human Economy), she presents key elements of that new paradigm and how we can build it.

Maja Göpel combines system transformation research with political economy and change leadership insights when discussing the need for a mindshift in how human wellbeing, economic prosperity and healthy ecosystems are understood if the Great Transformations ahead are to lead to more sustainability. Building on the work for her 2016 book The Great Mindshift, she focuses on two key questions: 1. If change initiatives are supposed to be transformational in quality rather than fighting symptoms, how do we work toward this quality? 2. If the transformations envisioned are supposed to support sustainable development, what are the key leverage points to unlock unsustainable path dependencies?


Maja Göpel | Maja’s research, engagement and publications focus on system transformations for sustainable development, new prosperity models and future justice with an emphasis on the role of paradigm shifts as strategic leverage points. Her passion lies in painting the big picture and translating between worldviews to create common ground for unexpected coalitions. She just published “The Great Mindshift. How a New Economic Paradigm and Sustainability Transformations Go Hand in Hand” (Springer 2016) and sets up new initiative on Transformative Literacy for Sustainability System Innovations. Previously, Maja created the Future Policy Award and the Future Justice Program at the World Future Council. She is a member of the Club of Rome and the Balaton Group, lectures at 2 universities and serves on the scientific advisory boards of several organizations as well as the mother of two girls.

Katherine Trebeck | Katherine is Senior Researcher in Oxfam GB’s Research Team where she is exploring an economy that delivers social justice, good lives, vibrant communities and which protects the planet. In her longstanding involvement with Oxfam, she developed Oxfam’s Humankind Index, a measure of Scotland’s real prosperity developed through wide ranging community consultation. Katherine is an Honorary Professor at the University of the West of Scotland, a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Strathclyde. She sits on WWF Scotland’s Low Carbon Infrastructure Task Force, the Board of Ethical Scotland, and is Rapporteur for Club de Madrid’s Working Group on environmental Sustainability and Shared Societies. Her forthcoming book Arrival (co-authored with Jeremy Williams) explores a new mantra for development that shifts attention from growth to quality and distribution of economic activity as we seek to ‘make ourselves at home’ in a wealthy world.


Room 22 BA 02
University of Surrey
Guildford GU2 7XH


Monday, 15 May 2017


The event is free to attend. No registration required. For further details, please contact Catherine Koch.

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