A Laboratory of Possibilities project
Ecological transition can be entirely undergone or partially chosen
Acceleration of climate change, collapse of biodiversity, depletion of natural resources: everyone today has heard about the rapid, profound and irreversible changes in the conditions of life on the planet.
In the light of the unprecedented ecological crisis facing humankind, Université de Montréal and Space for Life have joined forces to present Transition Pathways, a project for involving the vital actors of society in the necessary debate on transition in Québec.
Transition Pathways is structured around three major challenges
In the framework of the Transition Pathways project, transition issues are approached in the form of three major challenges calling into question our ability to develop and flourish within the limits of the planet:
- Food challenge
How can we ensure that more and more people have access to a healthful diet without depleting the earth’s resources in a context of climate change?
- Land-use challenge
How can we live in Québec in a restrained and resilient way, in a context of ecological transition?
- Digital challenge
How do we go about merging the digital and ecological transitions?
Citizen participation: an essential element in Transition Pathways
Transition Pathways is a knowledge mobilization project, one that draws together learning of all types. Citizen participation is solicited throughout the project, in particular for citizens’ workshops.
These workshops allow interested parties, in the company of other citizens, to reflect and to discuss their priorities with respect to each of the challenges under discussion as well as the conditions that would make their personal actions easier.
Land-use challenge workshops
By 2040, Québec will have to confront the consequences of the environmental crisis with modes of land use inherited from the past: the concentration of the majority of its population in one metropolitan area and ten or so towns, with 80 percent of the province occupied in a scattered manner.
It is vital to reinvent the modes of inhabiting the region by giving space back to living things, in a restrained and equitable way.
Citizens’ food challenge workshops
The land is fundamental for the future, especially in a climate-change framework. By 2050 it will have to ensure food security to 10 billion human beings, contribute to reducing our CO2 emissions, and allow for the maintenance of a sufficient level of biodiversity – all this at the same time.
It is crucial to build a new food system in Québec, one that will make it possible to feed the population in a healthful way and to restore ecosystems, the source of our food.
Digital challenge workshops
A series of workshops aimed at identifying ways of making the use of digital tools with a net environmental gain more attractive and limiting the use of those with the highest impact was held in the fall of 2020.
About Transition Pathways
“Transition Pathways” designates models of change that society follows, voluntarily or not. Those pathways are many, and produce different trajectories of change. They involve collective choices to respond to identified issues and may be economic, social, technological, institutional or cultural in nature.
The Transition Pathways project harnesses the knowledge of several disciplines in order to identify the choices that have the potential to lead Québec society towards a desirable future, among the many possible futures.
What choices will help steer Québec society towards a desirable future?
In order to collectively identify the pathways with the greatest potential to take Québec on the most desirable trajectory, transition issues are addressed by way of the project’s three challenges: the food challenge, the land-use challenge and the digital challenge.
For each of these challenges, a four-phase approach extending over a period of a year and a half makes it possible to bring together a diversity of experts, role-players and citizens with a view to mapping out the paths with the greatest potential.