Education for a sufficient lifestyle

Photos: Pixabay, Design: JACK Projects


Consumption of natural resources is rising, causing ecological and social harms. This calls for a societal transformation towards greater sustainability – in particular change to the resource-intensive lifestyles of rich countries, in favour of sufficiency. Education has an important role to play in this.

Connection between a sufficient lifestyle and a good life

This research project aims to promote a shift in values towards sufficient living based on appropriate educational work. This is done both on a conceptual level (development of a didactic concept and implementation methods) and on a practical level (execution of selected teaching units). At the core of all activities is the connection between a sufficient lifestyle and a good life. We strive to make this connection visible and tangible, as well as an object of reflection and debate.

Sensitizing young adults

Specifically, we explore how young adults can be made aware that

  • Consumption of goods and services is less important for a good life than is often assumed,
  • Cultivation of time, space, relationships – i.e. states of being rather than having – and depth of experience can be much more beneficial in terms of life satisfaction.

This is by no means a matter of indoctrinating people with these values. Rather, concepts are offered up for reflection, and the young adults are given opportunities for new experiences. Students are also encouraged to think independently about their idea of a good life, including consideration of its implications for other – current or future – living beings.

The project employs a qualitative research design. A didactic concept and implementation methods are being developed as a basis for secondary education level II (Sekundarstufe II) teaching materials, a training for teachers at this level, and further publications. It will be validated by experts.


Stiftung Mercator Schweiz

Duration June 2017 - May 2020
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