Degrowth Vienna 2020 – Transformation, Design and Utopias

Standard session (discussion following 2 presentations)

  1. Sustainability, transformation & utopias
    The presentation discusses the role of positive visions for a transformation towards a more ecologically sustainable and socially just society. Firstly, it is argued that in the context of modern societies something like ecological sustainability can already itself be regarded as a stark utopia. So far, no society exists that can be characterized as modern and whose metabolism is not based on the destructive exploitation of nature. The second part of the paper introduces the concepts of “concrete utopia” (Ernst Bloch & Rudi Dutschke) and “real utopias” (Erik Olin Wright). Finally, it is argued that both kinds of utopias are likely to be required to achieve profound social-ecological transformation that will probably take a considerable period of time.
    Presenters: Bernd Sommer (Europa-Universität Flensburg)
  2. Transformation by design? – video
    The central question of socio-ecological transformation is whether it will take place “by design” or “by disaster” (Sommer/Welzer 2014:27). In the discourse this question is rhetorically answered with “by design”. But what role does design play in social-ecological transformation? The lecture will present growth-related problems in design and give an overview of two main strategies. It deals with both: The challenges design has to face in a time of social-ecological crises, but also with its potential. All will be in reference to the student-organized teaching project “Degrow Design!” and the resulting publication.
    Presenters: Antonia Ney (Student. Lehrkraft WiSem2019 Bauhaus-Universität Weimar), Joy-Fabienne Lösel (Student. Lehrkraft WiSem2019 Bauhaus-Universität Weimar)

Language: German and English

Technical details: Standard T1_Transformation, Design and Utopias.mp4, MPEG-4 video, 643MB

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Ecological economics: solutions for the future

This book results from the 2019 ANZSEE conference, which explored appropriate approaches and techniques for re-balancing the human–nature interactions that are central to the study and practice of ecological economics — solutions now and in the future.  Escalating impacts of climate change and ecological crises have created an urgency to address significant local to global environmental and social problems — degrading forests and agricultural land, polluted waterways and oceans, and dislocated social and cultural systems. A number of presenters to the conference including executives on the board of ANZSEE have contributed chapters to the book.

The stories Michael Shellenberger tells

“Men in power have rationalized all those forms of domination by claiming that they facilitate economic development, which is purportedly great for people and nature. Sound familiar?”

Degrowth and the emerging mosaic of alternatives

After decades on the defensive, the left has once again started to embrace positive visions of the future.

First North-South Conference on Degrowth-Descrecimiento, México City 2018 – Supervivencias de un mundo mágico

Conferencia de la Plenaria del Martes por Homero Aridjis: “Supervivencias de un mundo mágico”

Is this the moment for a global ‘degrowth’ movement?

An archaeologist’s perspective on degrowth.

Die Zukunft lässt sich nicht er-warten

Nicht gescheitert, aber falsch erzählt. Was Degrowth vom Demokratischen Sozialismus von Corbyn und Co. lernen kann.

Tourism, Degrowth, and the COVID-19 Crisis

The COVID-19 crisis shows what degrowth in the global tourism industry could look like. But it would need much more concerted planning to address the social impacts of this transition.

Clarity at this crucial moment – a webinar with the Post Growth Institute

Donnie Maclurcan Ph.D. and Crystal Arnold from the Post Growth Institute ( explore how the coronavirus is affecting both global and local economies, and what you can do to help to ensure we manage this moment wisely. Short presentations are followed by questions and answers.

Beyond the growth gospel

Aaron Timms shares his impressions of the Degrowth Summer school, and life at Can Decreix in Cerbère.

This article appeared in The New Republic, on January 27th 2020

Capitalism and Climate Breakdown with Gareth Dale

A new podcast by “Political Economy for the End Times”, interviewing Gareth Dale. The topics discussed are capitalist time vs. ecological time, catastrophism and civilisation collapse, ideologies of economic growth, green growth, socialist techno-utopianism, degrowth, and the Green New Deal.

LowGrow SCF: A stock-flow-consistent ecological macroeconomic model for Canada

This working paper presents a stock-flow consistent (SFC) simulation model of a national economy, calibrated on the basis of Canadian data. LowGrow SFC describes the evolution of the Canadian economy in terms of six financial sectors whose behaviour is based on ‘stylised facts’ in the Post-Keynesian tradition. A key feature of the model is its ability to provide a systematic account, not only of economic and financial variables, but also of key environmental and social dimensions of the economy. In particular, it tracks the evolution of carbon emissions and the distribution of incomes over time, under various policy assumptions.

The World We Made – An urgent new play about our future

A dramatisation of Jonathon Porritt’s book The World We Made—adapted for the stage by CUSP fellow Beth Flintoff—received its ‘world premiere’ at the Change Festival in October 2019. The play takes a retrospective look (from the year 2050) of the changes that took (will have taken) place to combat climate change and achieve sustainability. With support from the ESRC and local citizen groups, the production is taken on tour across the UK as a stimulant to discussion and debate.

Degrowth and the Green New Deal

Radical action on climate change is at last on the agenda. The emphasis is on urgency and action and – for XR notably – ‘truth.’ Questions of long-term strategy are less clear, but strategy platforms have been advanced. Foremost among them are the Green New Deal (GND) and degrowth. This article provides a comparison and sketches lines of convergence


Post-Growth Conference, Brussels 2018 – Workshop Future of Work

Chair: Guillaume Balas, MEP (S&D)
Panellists: Viktorija Smatko-Abaza (Principal Adviser, European Commission, Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion), Monika Kiss (European Parliamentary Research Service), Pascal Lokiec (Sorbonne University, Author of “Il faut sauver le droit du travail !”), Aida Ponce (European Trade Union Institute, Senior Adviser)