The cover of my PhD thesis, Sustainable Consumption And Marketing, is nominated for the annual Resource thesis cover prize.
The cover was designed by Paul Wakefield for the 1975 Supertramp album ‘Crisis? What crisis?’. It has taken me several years to track down the artist in his London studio. Mr Wakefield was delighted that I wanted to use his design for my thesis cover and more than generous in giving me full permission to use the image for non-commercial purposes. The cover contains several elements that symbolise the irony of sustainable development – the topic of the thesis.
The first element is visual. The picture of a sunbathing man lounging against the background of Welsh mining valleys is a powerful image of the general neglect of sustainability relative to economic profit and short term hedonism.
The second element is historical. This image was designed more than a decade before the WCED ‘Our Common Future’ report voiced the urgent need for sustainable economic development, and almost three decades after this report it still captures the relation of man to industry and the living planet most recognisably.
The third element is verbal. The title of the thesis forms an acronym that qualifies the dominant market based policy on sustainable development over the past decades: SCAM.
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About Ynte van Dam
Ynte van Dam is assistant professor in the Marketing and Consumer Behaviour group. His research interest is in sustainable development of markets and market systems. He focuses his research on the mainstream majority of consumers and producers, because understanding what keeps this majority from acting more sustainably is essential for sustainable development – and because it is a nice challenge.