SPREAD Sustainable Lifestyles 2050 (Social Platform Identifying Research and Policy Needs for Sustainable Lifestyles)

SPREAD Sustainable Lifestyles 2050 (Social Platform Identifying Research and Policy Needs for Sustainable Lifestyles)

Source of funding

European Commission

Name of client/donor

European Commission (FP7)

Overall project value

EUR 1,517,863


January 2011 – December 2012

Beneficiary countries


Number of staff


The European social platform project "SPREAD Sustainable Lifestyles 2050" ran from January 2011 to December 2012. A range of stakeholders from the fields of business, research, policy and civil society were invited to participate in the development of a vision for sustainable lifestyles in 2050. This process resulted in a roadmap for strategic action for policy makers and delivered innovative ideas for business, research and society regarding the enabling of sustainable lifestyles in European society.

The project addressed the challenge of maintaining or improving quality of life in an ageing European society while at the same time reducing current levels of energy, transport and resource use. Societal innovation and significant changes in behaviour and lifestyles are vital in order to achieve long-term economic prosperity for all within the bio-capacity of our planet. Knowledge about sustainable lifestyles is currently scattered, and so are sustainable project initiatives.

The main objectives of the project were to build bridges between citizens, stakeholders, research and political stakeholders, and, by including the real-world experiences of citizens, to reach a better understanding of possible future scenarios for sustainable lifestyles.

SPREAD aimed to bring together stakeholders with knowledge and experience in a dialogue process in order to articulate and clarify the main societal challenges that we face in our attempts to reach more sustainable lifestyles. Another important focus was to analyse the drivers of currently unsustainable consumption patterns and put a stop to them in order to make the transition towards sustainable lifestyles.

  • A communication platform for stakeholders was established for the sharing and transfer of knowledge on sustainable lifestyles and sustainable society at national, EU and international levels.
  • Real-world experiences were included through the establishment of a People's Forum that identified (via interviews and focus groups) the meaning of sustainable lifestyles from an everyday perspective.
  • Alternative future scenarios for sustainable lifestyles for 2050 were visualised, along with their implications for social and behavioural innovation, and the necessary changes in society were identified using backcasting.
  • A roadmap for various stakeholders on how to shift to sustainable lifestyles by 2050 was defined.
  • A research agenda for EC policy makers was formulated on how to facilitate the shift towards more sustainable lifestyles based on the results of the project.


Topic area experts contributed to the following publications:

Sustainable Lifestyles Roadmap and Action Plan 2050

European Lifestyles: The future issue

European Policy Brief: Roadmap: The Transition to Future Sustainable Lifestyles

  • Report writing
  • Ensuring stakeholder participation
  • Event organisation and coordination
  • Communication and dissemination