The challenge of Sufficiency Politics: how can political strategies simulataneously:

  • 1. Be embedded in the global context of sustainability strategies?

The context of sustainability aims and indicators is defined by:

• Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations

• National sustainability strategies and further thematic strategies, for example with regard to biodiversity or climate

• sustainability strategies of regions and municipalities

• Organisational sustainability strategies (companies, churches etc.)

Connecting sufficiency politics with sustainability goals and indicators: The connection is particularly close where the main focus is on reducing emissions, energy use, surface use or resource depletion. If sufficiency politics contributes to more sustainable lifestyles, lower consumption and a focus on sustainable sources of quality of life, it contributes directly to the achievement of the according sustainability goals.

  • 2. Aimed at specific political change?

  • It is important to relate your own political strategy to sustainability goals as directly as possible to delineate and justify the impact and scope of your work. Also for communications (Where do we want to go? Why is it worth the effort?) and steering (What are our priorities? How are we coming along?), goals are indispensible.

The mnemonic device of “SMART” goals helps you to formulate your own strategy.

  • Specific: What exactly do we want to achieve?
  • Measurable: How do we know whether we have achieved our goals? Which indicators can we use (e.g. collected signatures)?
  • Ambitious: Which goals motivate us?
  • Realistic: What can we realistically achieve?
  • Time-related: Until when do we want to achieve the goals?
  • 3. Be linked to a palpable story?

Imagine you are colleting signatures in the street on a rainy day. What motivates you? How can you evaluate whether you are doing well?

  • Motivating goals and indicators
    • are connected to a palpable vision (»slower, better, more beautiful – even when it rains!«)
  • • create a feeling of self-efficacy by showing the impact of individual efforts to the greater cause (»50 signatures are a great contribution!«)
  • • can be linked to a story, that everyone involved can tell proudly. Have you ever heard such a story or told one yourself?