Intergenerational Democracy

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  • Title: Intergenerational Democracy: Rethinking Sustainable Development
  • Author(s): Kirsten Jane Davies
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: On Sustainability
  • Keywords: Sustainable development-Environmental aspects, Sustainable development-Social aspects, Human ecology
  • Date: December 13, 2011
  • ISBN (pbk): 978-1-61229-008-9
  • ISBN (pdf): 978-1-61229-009-6
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Davies, Kirsten Jane. 2011. Intergenerational Democracy: Rethinking Sustainable Development. Champaign, IL: Common Ground Research Networks. doi:10.18848/978-1-61229-009-6/CGP.
  • Extent: 249 pages

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Copyright © 2011, Common Ground Research Networks, All Rights Reserved


Intergenerational Democracy: Rethinking Sustainable Development, takes an intimate look at the influences underpinning human-environmental relationships, with a special focus on ethnic heritage and multi-culturalism. It describes how human-ecosystem connections have been severed and how issues such as global climate change threaten the future of mankind. This book advocates for concerted efforts to re-establish viable and sustainable Cycles of Life by proposing models that can assist this process. The foundation of these models is Intergenerational Democracy (ID), a whole-of-community method of engagement and participation that requires the inclusion of citizens representing all ages (from 8 to 100+ years). ID is embedded in the principles of direct democracy and human rights, recognizing that there are many quieter but equally legitimate voices, particularly those of children, which are rarely heard in policy and planning forums. As explained by an eleven-year-old boy, “We should work to a level where children’s views are regarded just as important as any adult’s as we are the ones that shall be living the future…” Through its age-based methodology, ID enables the application of intergenerational equity, which is at the heart of environmental sustainability. ID cuts through barriers of inequality, by engaging, connecting and motivating whole communities in planning and managing their sustainable futures. This book includes three case studies that describe the methods application and affirm the importance of capturing the voices of children, the planet’s future custodians. The book stresses the importance of rebuilding environmental relationships at the local level, centred on the social and environmental identity of each place, as the basis for rethinking sustainable development.