Building Eco-social Capacity to Meet Environmental Crisis

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  • Title: Building Eco-social Capacity to Meet Environmental Crisis: A Model Accommodating Perspectives of Western Sydney Community Groups
  • Author(s): Tom Colley, Shelley Burgin, Brenda Dobia
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: On Sustainability
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Sustainability Education
  • Keywords: Learning for Sustainability, Education, Not-For-Profit, Community Engagement, Ecocentrism, The Great Turning
  • Volume: 10
  • Issue: 1
  • Year: 2014
  • ISSN: 2325-1212 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2325-1220 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2325-1212/CGP/v10i01/59464
  • Citation: Colley, Tom, Shelley Burgin, and Brenda Dobia. 2014. "Building Eco-social Capacity to Meet Environmental Crisis: A Model Accommodating Perspectives of Western Sydney Community Groups." The International Journal of Sustainability Education 10 (1): 1-15. doi:10.18848/2325-1212/CGP/v10i01/59464.
  • Extent: 15 pages

Abstract

By identifying the salient views of environmental community groups in Western Sydney with respect to how they engaged others and built capacity, this paper presents a model of eco-social capacity building. The research methodology involved semi-structured interviews that facilitated reflection on the practitioners' experiences and attitudes. The model draws on Self-Determination Theory to elucidate motivational processes and integrate other major capacity domains: worldview, environmental relationship skills and social relationship skills. It relates environmental and social connectedness to these capacities and gives particular attention to the relationship between motivation and worldview. It explains the motivational consequences of approaching environmental action from both anthropocentric and ecocentric worldviews. We also examine how notions of environmental crisis affect motivation. The model's development process has linked psychological theory with a body of literature on ecocentrism and active hope. In so doing, several possibilities have emerged concerning the adoption of ecocentric worldviews that suggest viable processes for iteratively increasing eco-social capacity and motivation for pro-environmental behaviours.