The aim of the SPES project funded by Horizon Europe scheme of the European Union is to generate new knowledge and evidence about the nexus between economic growth, human flourishing and sustainability, contributing to the creation and uptake of a novel integrated framework fostering the transition towards sustainable human development in European countries and regions.

The SPES project focuses– both theoretically and empirically – on the four pillars of the sustainable human development paradigm:

a) Productivity, conceived as pursuing an efficient use of economic, human, and natural resources for the provision of goods and services expanding human capabilities and increasing the standards of living for all.

b) Equality for all, conceived as fostering equal political, economic, social, and cultural opportunities, as well as distribution and cohesion within countries.

c) Sustainability, conceived as promoting climate change mitigation and adaptation and ensuring the protection, restoration and improvement of the quality of the environment and ecosystems.

d) Participation and empowerment, conceived as enabling citizens, social groups, and communities to be active agents of their future in individual, collective and societal terms.

Focusing on these four pillars allows both an in-depth analysis of their contribution to transition performances across Europe and the Global South, as well as of the factors that foster or hamper institutional capacities to simultaneously strengthen productivity, equality, sustainability, and participation. In this way, the SPES project will generate and provide policymakers with new knowledge and evidence about the nexus between these four pillars, contributing to the transition towards sustainable human development in European countries and regions and the structural change of their economies and societies in line with this vision.

IIASA team will lead work package (WP) 9 “Understanding Synergies and Trade-Offs for a Just Transition" and work package (WP) 10 “Scenarios, Stakeholder Engagement and Policies for the Sustainability Transition”. WP 9 will reconcile environmental and human development sustainability objectives for all by understanding the synergies and trade-offs among the multiple dimensions of the sustainability transition. WP 10 will explore sustainability transition pathways and enabling factors in different case study countries and provide scenarios assessment, impact, and policy recommendations for selected case study countries.

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