Decoupling and Resource Flows

Research Group Leaders: Mark Swilling and Josephine Musango

The aim of this research theme is to understand how South Africa can participate in the global transition to sustainable development driven by socio-technical innovations that foster ecologically sustainable development that also achieves the national goals of job creation, poverty-eradication and reduced inequalities. This can only be achieved by ‘dematerializing’ the economy using strategies that decouple rates of economic growth from rates of resource use over time. This research theme will focus on what transformative change means for sustainability, and how necessary transitions can be achieved in the context of food, water, energy and urban systems.