Ecocreativity can be defined as creativity guided by ecological principles and aiming at planetary health. It rests on the assumption that freely and openly communicating, conscious human beings can solve the socioecological problems of our time, that is, have the collective power to create a sustainable society. Alternatively, we can think of it as an awakener intended to restore our sense of urgency and remove our fear of using whatever means possible to put an end to the socially and ecologically destructive. As such, it is emancipating, but only as long as it provokes our thinking, encourages us to act as if we were free to build another society. Thus, it not only invites us to build new frameworks for social actions – it challenges us to make these systems free from structural inequality, free from “invisible hands” that work behind the backs of people.
Ecocreativity, at the core of sustainable human development, acknowledges the transformative power of technology, but not as an unambiguous, autonomous force, disregarding its structural embeddedness and historical development. On the contrary: it urges us to take control of technology, bring it closer to our shared realities in such a way that it helps us to build social systems centered around human needs. Rather than providing us with a toolbox of quick fixes – underestimating the need for precaution – ecocreativity envisages a society where we are free to use appropriate technology and collaborative tools in a responsible manner, free to use knowledge for the common good, in other words, a society where technology is easy to use, easy to modify, and easy to control. What is to be done must therefore remain an open-ended question, ideally giving rise to a multitude of answers and not to insurmountable technological complexity.
A revolutionary practice and an antidote to unsustainable development, constantly in search of new ways to meet our material and spiritual needs and new ways to express solidarity, ecocreativity distinguishes between real and fictional dependencies – we cannot breathe, drink, or eat money, nor do weapons of mass destruction keep us alive. The ever more destructive reality of the vast majority of humankind makes self-determined activities and mutually beneficial interactions between individuals all the more important, challenging us to define alternatives to unsustainable practices in all domains of human life. Thus, interpreted as a human-centered practice that contributes to a sustainable society, ecocreativity is an imperative to create new bridges between social and ecological commons, new spaces of interconnectivity. In so doing, it suggests that the neighborhood can become the geographical starting point for sustainable human development, indeed, the birthplace of non-antagonistic, self-mediated relations. Neighborhood-integrated commons – in particular, energy, water, food, material, shelter, learning, communication, and health systems – would then frame our lives. Democratically controlled and collectively built and sustained from below, self-governing and self-regulating neighborhood communities would then allow us to realize our potential, however, without destroying the biological foundation of all human development.