Researching the way for a Sustainable Prosperity | Surrey-led CUSP Centre begins journey


January 2016 saw two great walks by three Tim’s. The first is the well-known space walk by two astronauts Tim Peake and Tim Kopra, which lasted for several hours. The second walk, more down-to-earth though not so well-known, was launched by a group led by Professor Tim Jackson and will last for a couple of years.


The Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP), a multi-disciplinary centre led by The University of Surrey and funded by The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), launched in January 2016 its journey of researching the way for a sustainable prosperity. Its overall aim is to explore the economic, ecological, social and governance dimensions of sustainable prosperity and to make concrete recommendations to government, business and civil society in pursuit of it.




CUSP’s guiding vision for sustainable prosperity is one in which people everywhere have the capability to flourish as human beings – within the ecological and resource constraints of a finite planet. Its work will explore not just the economic aspects of this challenge, but also its social, political and philosophical dimensions, paying particular attention to the pragmatic steps that need to be taken by enterprise, government and civil society in order to achieve a sustainable prosperity.


Work programme


The CUSP work programme is organised around five core themes, MAPSS:

  • Meaning and moral framings of the good life;
  • the role of the Arts and culture in developing visions of prosperity;
  • Political and organisational dimensions of sustainable prosperity;
  • Social and psychological understandings of the good life;
  • Systems analysis to explore narratives of sustainable prosperity.


The MAPSS themes are drawn together through three cross-cutting projects:

  • A unique cross-theme case study to develop An Economy That Works.
  • A collaboration on sustainable finance with a coalition of thought leaders including the Aldersgate Group.
  • A new Sustainable Prosperity Dialogue: a public engagement process which reaches out to a wide, international participation from research, policy, business and civil society.


Partners and the team


The CUSP takes the form of a rich international network, drawing together expert partners from academic and non-academic institutions as co-producers of the work programme. Its research programme is coordinated from the University of Surrey under the direction of Professor Tim Jackson.


CUSP’s academic partners include: University of Surrey, Anglia Ruskin University, Keele University, Goldsmiths College London, University of Leeds, Middlesex University, York University (Canada), University of Canterbury (Christchurch, New Zealand). It has also established a vital link to industry and policy by including the Aldersgate Group and the World Future Council. The former is an alliance of leaders from business, politics and society that drives action for a sustainable economy; the latter is an NGO working closely with business leaders to envision An Economy That Works.


CUSP team comprises:


Director | Tim Jackson
Deputy Director | Fergus Lyon
Centre Manager | Julie-Anne Hogbin
Knowledge Exchange Coordinator | Ian Christie
Communications Manager | Linda Geßner
PA to Director | Gemma Birkett

  • Marit Böker
  • Kate Burningham
  • Philip Catney
  • Will Davies
  • Brian Doherty
  • Angela Druckman
  • Birgitta Gatersleben
  • Bronwyn Hayward
  • Aled Jones
  • Nick Molho
  • Kate Oakley
  • Charles Seaford
  • Peter Victor

Research Fellows:

  • Victor Anderson
  • Daniel Hausknost
  • Simon Mair
  • Roberto Pasqualino
  • Susan Venn
  • Ian Vickers
  • Jonathan Ward

PhD candidate | Joanna Kitchen


CUSP’s partner institutions are:


The centre will widen this collaboration still further through an international network of CUSP Fellows hailing from a variety of academic and non-academic institutions.


Note: This post is based on the content of the CUSP website. Logos in the graphic are also from the CUSP website.





Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP) | @CUSP_uk


Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) | @esrc


Professor Tim Jackson (University of Surrey) | @ProfTimJackson



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