Negotiating with the future: incorporating imaginary future generations into negotiations

Yoshio Kamijo*, Asuka Komiya, Nobuhiro Mifune, Tatsuyoshi Saijo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

People to be born in the future have no direct influence on current affairs. Given the disconnect between people who are currently living and those who will inherit the planet left for them, individuals who are currently alive tend to be more oriented toward the present, posing a fundamental problem related to sustainability. In this study, we propose a new framework for reconciling the disconnect between the present and the future whereby some individuals in the current generation serve as an imaginary future generation that negotiates with individuals in the real-world present. Through a laboratory-controlled intergenerational sustainability dilemma game (ISDG), we show how the presence of negotiators for a future generation increases the benefits of future generations. More specifically, we found that when faced with members of an imaginary future generation, 60% of participants selected an option that promoted sustainability. In contrast, when the imaginary future generation was not salient, only 28% of participants chose the sustainable option.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-420
Number of pages12
JournalSustainability Science
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 May 1
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Imaginary future generation
  • Intergenerational sustainability dilemma game
  • Negotiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Health(social science)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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