Towards an International Degrowth Network
- Politics and Degrowth - Dr. Mauro Bonaiuti, University of Turin (Italy)
- Civil Society and Degrowth in Europe - Leida Rijnhout, ANPED (Belgium)
- Degrowth and the Firm - Dr André Reichel, Stuttgart University (Germany)
- Policies for Sustainable Economies - Dr. Stephen Spratt, New Economics Foundation (UK) and Professor Tim Jackson, University of Surrey (UK)
While tickets are free, there will be an opportunity to donate to nef and CEECEC at the event to help continue our work.
Faced with widespread ecological, social and political crisis, with injustice, insecurity and possible collapse of the economic system itself, civil society, academia, government and the general public are searching for new and fair sustainable economic models. In many parts of Europe, a strong movement has emerged around the concept of Decroissance (Degrowth). Sustainable economic degrowth has been defined as ‘a smooth, voluntary and equitable downscaling of production and consumption to ensure human well-being and ecological sustainability locally as well as globally in the short and long term’; Kallis, Schneider and Martinez-Alier, 2008).
Serge Latouche, French economist and founder of the Decroissance movement, emphasises that Degrowth is above all a slogan, and that there are no “ready-made political solutions”. Indeed, overcoming today’s model to develop a truly just, sustainable social system based on Degrowth raises vast, complex problems that cannot be solved by simplistic solutions. However, with considerable academic progress in recent years, Sustainable Degrowth is far more than just a criticism of neo-classical economics.
The concept of Decroissance shares many features with better-known approaches such as steady-state economics, and prosperity without growth The goal of this event is to bring together these visions and contribute to the establishment and consolidation of an International network, one that values the complementarity and diversity of the many emerging European movements, and encourages and enables collaboration between researchers, CSOs and policymakers in order to move toward realizing a Degrowth society.
Mauro Bonaiuti was one of the first scholars to focus on the field of bioeconomics and sustainable Degrowth. President of the Italian Degrowth Association he has published more than 30 papers and three books on the subject. He has taught Economics at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, and Environmental and Territorial Economics at the University of Bologna. He has given more than a hundred talks on Degrowth, complex systems theory and alternative economies.
André Reichel has a PhD from the Institute of Economics and Law at the University of Stuttgart where his research focused on management systems for regional sustainability programs. He is scientific coordinator of the Graduate School for Advanced Manufacturing Engineering in Stuttgart and responsible for its Sustainable Manufacturing programme. Andre is also a member of the Stuttgart regional assembly where he holds a mandate for the Green Party (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen).
Leida Rijnhout has an extensive history of collaboration with researchers on issues of environmental justice and ecological debt. She initiated the debate on Degrowth in Belgium and the Netherlands and co-organised a recent debate in European Parliament. As Acting Secretary General to ANPED (The Northern Alliance for Sustainability), an umbrella organisation for sustainable development in the global North, Leida works to stimulate debates on Degrowth, redistribution of wealth for poverty reduction, and environmental justice.
Stephen Spratt is Research Director and Chief Economist at nef (the new economics foundation), chairing its Research Design Group and directly overseeing work on Business, Finance and Economics. His areas of work include: building social and environmental value into public and private decision making, economic modelling of sustainable economies, business and financial sector reform, innovative financing mechanisms, and national and international regulation. Prior to joining nef, Stephen was Head of Research at Intelligence Capital Limited, and an advisor to the Commonwealth Business Council.
Tim Jackson is Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of Surrey and Director of the newly-awarded ESRC Research Group on Lifestyles, Values and Environment (RESOLVE). RESOLVE aims to develop understanding of the links between lifestyle, societal values and the environment by providing evidence-based advice to policy-makers who are seeking to understand and to influence people's energy-related behaviours and practices. Tim sits on the UK Sustainable Development Commission and chaired their Economics Steering Group. He is the author of Prosperity without Growth (2009).
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