The current social and economic choices we make in our society make it very difficult and sometimes even impossible for some people to meet their needs. We see plenty of examples of this at different system levels.
Many people work with hazardous materials or in hazardous places and this can lead to disability, illness and in severe cases even death. But also think of not having autonomy in your work, having to do mind-numbing work, sexual harassment or other forms of abuse of power. In organizations, people can experience work pressure or bullying, which affects mental and physical health. At France Telecom even 18 people committed suicide due to the unhealthy bullying culture.
Due to policy changes and / or cutbacks by the national governments, it is more difficult for people to access good health care or they lose too much of their income. At the same time, poverty is growing rapidly in the western world too. This further reduces the scope to fulfill other needs such as sports, relaxation or healthy food. In recent years we have seen a significant increase in people with psychosocial complaints, for whom there is no help and who cause increasing nuisance to their surroundings. Also consider the growing group of elderly people and single people who are becoming increasingly isolated.
Globally and in industries
Worldwide there are still conflicts of a religious or geopolitical nature, which sometimes cause entire population groups to flee. They lose an important part of their resources to meet their needs.
All over the world we still see modern forms of slavery (such as in the textile industry or in mines) or people run serious health risks in the production of luxury items (think of dyeing leather, mining cobalt, recycling discarded electronics, etc.) . But also the pollution of habitats by oil or shale gas extraction makes it impossible for people to meet their needs.
We see that at different system levels people are structurally limited in fulfilling their basic needs. This is the 4th root cause of unsustainability, namely: we systematically prevent people from meeting their basic needs.