Conceptualizing sustainability: Simulating concrete possibilities in an imperfect world

Robert VanWynsberghe (Lead / Corresponding author), Jeff Carmichael, Samia Khan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper uses a cultural model approach to interpret and analyse the impact of an interactive computer simulation tool (GB-Quest) on the possibility of fostering dialogue about sustainability in southwestern British Columbia, Canada. We define cultural models theory, compare cultural models to mental models and illustrate some basic features of cultural models. We then describe the research process in which participants engaged in conversation, guided and facilitated by GB-Quest, about sustainability. Findings suggest that the use of cultural models frameworks reinforces participants' understanding of sustainability. In reflecting on their prior models of sustainability, we argue that study participants can elucidate how cognitive conceptual resources reflect publicly shared knowledge (Turner, 2004).
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)279-293
    Number of pages15
    JournalLocal Environment
    Issue number3
    Early online date24 Apr 2007
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


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