A review of worldviews beyond sustainability

Potential avenues for human-nature connectedness

  • Haley Fitzpatrick The Oslo School of Architecture and Design, Oslo, Norway


Although there is increasing awareness of worldviews as leverage points for transformative change, deeper understanding of the nuances between worldviews and how they frame complex human-nature relationships is needed. This review paper aims to synthesize current literature on how sustainability can be conceptualized across diverse worldviews, as both a narrative and visual “map.” A quantitative database search was used to review peer-reviewed English-speaking scholarship. A qualitative content analysis was conducted to identify key knowledge themes and shared concepts. The results indicated overwhelming support for human-nature connectedness expressed uniquely across six identified knowledge themes. Shared concepts were found across each of these knowledge types and visualized through illustrative examples. This review paper synthesizes and connects transdisciplinary concepts through concrete examples, highlights gaps, and critically reflects upon the limitations around conducting a literature review on the vast and complex topic of worldviews and sustainability. The combination of these contributions could provide readers with an entry point in expanding their own worldviews, as a supportive process to the larger-scale systems change needed for sustainability transformations.

Original Papers