Creative Responses to Sustainability (CERES 21) (completed)

Sustainability for the 21st Century: Overcoming Limitations to Creative Adaptation to Climate Challenge. This project involves a collaboration of an international research network – and an interdisciplinary team of humanists, social scientists and natural scientists - to explore a synergic model of creative response to climate challenge.

Logo: CERES 21.

Visit the official Ceres 21 website

About the project

CERES21 - Creative Responses to Sustainability - is an international research project exploring cultural, political and economic innovation for a sustainable future. The unique features of the CERES21 work include:

  • Elaboration of a humanist agenda that supplements the Brundtland Report on Sustainable Development;
  • Exploration of new models of governance for sustainability in a globalizing world;
  • Studies of technological innovation and business models for green transition;
  • Broad, comparative studies of responses to climate shift and innovation for sustainable future in the poor South (Ghana), the fast expanding East (China), and the rich West (Norway).


The aim of the project is threefold:

  1. To identify cultural, political and economical sources of the main problems bedeviling creative adaptation to the climate challenge in Norway, China and Ghana;
  2. On the basis of obtained data, to draft out possible strategies for overcoming some of the daunting limitations;
  3. To rethink the agenda of sustainable development in the light of the findings.

The secondary objectives include the following:

  1. At the level of policy: to supplement the work of IPCC with political, economic and cultural insights into the processes which modify the human response to climate challenge;
  2. At the level of expertise: to provide insights into the distinctiveness of human response to climate change in different cultural and political contexts;
  3. At the level of method: to venture a new, comparative perspective on creative adaptation and to enrich the largely technologically orientated innovation theory with governance theory and cultural semiotics.

Project period: January 2008 - December 2011.


The IPCC is accumulating sufficient evidence to the effect that the current climate challenge poses a global threat to human survival on an unprecedented scale (IPCC 2007). There is a need for a new paradigm of sustainable development which would both take on board the latest climate research and the possible scenarios of creative adaptation to the new conditions. Such adaptation involves forging new strategies of political, commercial and cultural sustainability. The project sets out to explore the limits to and strategies of innovative adaptation in three countries: Norway, Ghana and China.


  • The Norwegian Research Council


Published Aug. 19, 2011 1:39 PM - Last modified Sep. 11, 2019 11:42 AM