Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to reflect on the process and results of construction of system representations of several respected and widely discussed arguments on sustainable consumption and degrowth, thereby providing new inputs into the debate on societal and economic alternatives and their practical and political implementation. We constructed system representations using analytical tools of system dynamics, and for visualisation purposes causal loop diagrams and stock-and-flow diagrams. We found that attempting this translation opens new avenues of inquiry of the original proposals (e.g. on underlying ontological assumptions, internal system dynamics, contradictions or intervention points), while leading to formulation of powerful stories. In the process we also addressed the question of what makes a story empowering, and the ways through which system representations do indeed tell stories. Through reflecting on our positions as academics, boundary drawers, process owners, storytellers and strategic interveners we came to formulate some directions and principles for possible conceptualisations of the construction and use of system representations for the purpose of achieving societal transformations.
There is no paper for this media entry. This was a contribution to a scientific session at the 4th International Degrowth Conference in Leipzig in 2014, which doesn’t exist in written format or is not published under open access.