What made the Degrowth conference special?
We tried to organize a conference which corresponds to the idea of degrowth:
Grass roots democracy and gender equality
> In the organizing group, we made decisions by consensus, using methods of grass roots democracy. In order to do this, we also took time for the well-being of all individuals in the group.
> We tried to distribute responsibilities conscious of gender-implications. For example, our main coordinators were a woman and a man, we also had a spokeswoman and a spokesman.
> We strived for a gender-sensitive language in all our documents.
> We ensured a balance of our invited speakers regarding gender and perspective: It was important to us that different perspectives could be heard on the concept of degrowth at the conference, especially from the global South.
Free access to knowledge
> The rooms of the University of Leipzig and the Werk 2 (closing event) are barrier-free.
> To enable everyone to participate in the conference, regardless of their budget, the participation fee was free to choose, starting from 15€.
> The conference was partially translated into German, English and a romanic language in order to make the conference understandable for as many people as possible.
> Through live streaming of many events, people that did not come to Leipzig could participate in the conference.
> An extensive archive has been established on this website (the degrowth web portal) , with numerous videos and text posts from the conference.
> We didn’t aim to make a profit with the conference. The surplus we made went to paying people who had volunteered for the conference and were in need of money, to non-commercial follow-up projects of the conference as well as the Degrowth Conference 2016.
> Where possible, we tried to use non-commercial and low-resource-solutions. For example, the organizational group met in local house projects. During the conference, in addition to beds in hotels and hostels, accomodation was provided in private rooms of Leipzig locals and there was a campsite.
Partners and Supporters
> We did not accept any money from profit-oriented companies or organizations that are associated with fossil-fuel and capital-intensive production methods.
> The actions of partners and supporting organizations had to pursue solidary, ecological and emancipatory goals.
> At the conference we offered vegan, organic, seasonal and regional food – cooked by non-commercial kitchen collectives. A large part of the vegetables used was grown at the local vegetable cooperative “Rote Beete”.
> Where possible, we avoided long journeys or used comparatively environmentally friendly means of transportation. For example, many lectures were transmitted via video, free use of trams and busses within Leipzig was included in the conference ticket and participants were able use a local bicycle rental system for just one euro during the conference.
> We also tried to encourage the participants of the conference to travel in the most environmentally friendly way possible to the conference. For example, several bicycle tours to the conference were organized by participants and open for people to join.
> Emissions of CO2 due to travelling to the conference were compensated and paid by the Selbach Environmental Foundation. Therefore, all participants were asked during the registration from where and how they travel to the conference.
> To enable people with children to attend the conference and therefore to have access to a political process, we also offered a full-day childcare. Also in our preparatory meetings we had childcare, as some young parents were involved in the conference organization.
Printing and information technology (IT)
> Our documents were printed at Hinkelsteindruck in Berlin, a collective print shop with feminist and ecological standards. We tried to use printed matter sparingly. For example, we printed our flyers as bookmarks, so that they can serve a purpose after the conference.
> Our IT requirements were met by about:source, a Leipzig-based collective company whose servers run on renewable energies. Our website is based on the open source technology of WordPress, our internal communication was done via the open source platform co-munity, which is developed by the IT collective ecobytes. The fonts used are open fonts.