I'd like to pose some research questions on the case when consuming less goods effectively means consuming something else (namely, financial products).
Sustainable lifestyles comprise scenarios of consuming less and applied long-term thinking. At least for some, consuming less means spending less of what they earn. Whereas for many, long-term thinking at least includes retirement provision.
What do you reckon does such a non-consumption, in other words, what does saving mean in sustainability terms? And, do people seize the impact of what they don't do in terms of consumption (i.e. their saving behaviour)?
Has anybody come across research results on this nexus?
How do people relate to the impact their saving behaviour yields elsewhere? How does this interact with philanthropy? In which ways can we re-frame saving—i.e. how can we depart from perceiving it as "non-consumption" or "consumption-tomorrow-instead-of-today" and arrive at a situation where most people perceive it as an act of choice, with direct consequences for themselves and others?
Which roles could actors such as consumer associations, financial institutions, intermediaries in the field of sustainable entrepreneurship and politics play? How can we systematically monitor the impact of saving and investment? How can we design better intermediation systems linking entrepreneurs, investors and depositors?
How does sustainable finance relate to economic and currency crises—what opportunities does this relationship imply? What does de-growth, what do deflation and recession do to saving and sustainable finance? Which scenarios could lead to drastic shifts in the role of finance in society?
I'd be happy to see a discussion on these questions and related research. Eager to learn from all of you.