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COVID-19 as a window of opportunity for sustainability transitions? Narratives and communication strategies beyond the pandemic

: Bodenheimer, Miriam; Leidenberger, Jacob

Fulltext urn:nbn:de:0011-n-5903474 (1.0 MByte PDF)
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Created on: 30.5.2020

Sustainability: Science, practice, & policy 16 (2020), No.1, pp.61-66
ISSN: 1548-7733
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer ISI ()
COVID-19; sustainability transitions; crisis communication strategies

The current COVID-19 crisis can provide a window of opportunity for promoting sustainability transitions across the globe, but this goal can only be achieved with deliberate planning and carefully designed strategic communication in the public sphere. This policy brief outlines a three-part narrative that discursively connects the COVID-19 pandemic with its potential to facilitate sustainability transitions. We seek to make clear the connection between the coronavirus outbreak and unsustainable behavior, to explain that continuing unsustainable behavior could cause further crises of a similarly debilitating scale, and to frame the current lockdown and standstill as a timely occasion to change direction and to prevent future crises. The policy brief concludes by adapting organizational crisis communication strategies to the current situation and answering questions of how, when, by whom, and at whom communication should take place.