This EUC Seminar Series brings together degrowth scholars with EUC faculty moderators for dialogues on degrowth. In monthly webinars, we’ll be exploring degrowth - what it is (and isn’t), some key debates in this emerging academic field and social movement, and how it connects to big questions around environmental and urban change.
About the Seminar
Degrowth is a multi-faceted response to the many crises we face around the world. This sub-field of ecological economics turned social movement argues that we cannot maintain infinite economic growth on a finite planet. The pursuit of growth at all costs, a central feature of capitalist systems, has come at the expense of people and planet. Unlike ‘green growth’, degrowth recognizes that infinite economic growth is not possible on a finite planet, so instead of just ‘greening’ the current economic system, we need a planned contraction of production and consumption in overdeveloped countries.
It is time for a new approach, one that shifts attention from short-term profits, over-production and consumerism, towards sufficiency, redistribution, social and ecological well-being, and autonomy. This movement and scholarship explore the possibilities for greater quality of life and social justice that open up when we recognize limits to economic growth and exploitation of the land and prioritize wellbeing over profit.
List of sessions
Session 1: Degrowth: a slogan, a movement or a concept?
Description: Discussion about the origins of degrowth, the controversies around its name, the advances in recognition of degrowth in academia, grassroots initiatives and political debates, and the directions of future research and action on degrowth.
Session 2: Decolonization and feminism: does degrowth cut it?
Description: Discussion around how degrowth is (or not) aligned with decolonial and feminist approaches. Where are the synergies and where are the contradictions between decolonization and feminism, and degrowth?
Session 4: Degrowth and systems: back to the caves or back to the future?
Description: Discussion around the role of technology in a degrowth future, and in particular in the energy and food sectors. Does degrowth involve technological development, and to what extent? What does convivial technology mean and does it have a future?
Description: Discussion on the role of the State in a degrowth future. What is the balance that degrowth proposes between localism and other levels of governance, including nation States and the international level.
Session 6: Transitioning to a degrowth future: naïve or revolutionary?
Description: Discussion on the potential pathways for a degrowth transition. Is it a feasible path forward? Is feasibility even the right yardstick when it comes to assessing transitions and transformations? What are the main challenges and advantages to a degrowth future?