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Backcasting for Sustainable Employment
Published: 30 October 2012 by MDPI in The 2nd World Sustainability Forum session Sustainable Development Policy and Practice
Abstract: Sustainability and employment are not terms often used together. Sustainability is often treated as something that has mainly to do with environmental issues, and the protection of the environment is not necessarily seen as an important driver of higher employment. However, when we look more closely into the subject and try to leave the boundaries of the current paradigms, we realise how the interests of sustainability and stable employment are indeed intertwined. This paper attempts to show that as soon as we leave the comfortable realms of the current paradigms, we may find potential solutions to a multiple of questions and realise that sustainability and employment can indeed go hand in hand. In order to be able to find adequate supporting tools to "think out of the box", our paper focuses on a new methodological approach, namely backcasting, in relation with the topic of sustainable employment. The paper is divided into two main sections. In the first section we intend to illustrate the main relationships between employment and sustainability. In the second part, through the results of a concrete Hungarian backcasting experiment we demonstrate how the backcasting approach can be used to involve stakeholders creating a normative vision of the future and identifying the necessary policy steps to reach the set goals.
Keywords: backcasting, sustainable employment, transition management