Welcome to our blog which aims to shed light on different aspects of the degrowth discourses and movement. In our older articles, there are also impressions and news from events such as the 2015 summer school on climate justice and the 2014 Degrowth conference. If you would like to comment on or contribute to the blog, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Steffen Lange
The fifth international Degrowth Conference is over, the call to host the sixth has been opened. A lot could be said about the conference, yet I do not intend to give a comprehensive overview, nor examine how it stands in relation with the former conferences. Instead, I want to share five aspects of the conference, which I found particularly insightful.
By Stella Veciana
One of the most controversially discussed key tracks during the 5th International Degrowth Conference 2016 in Budapest was “Degrowth and other social movements”. Can degrowth be considered a movement? Does degrowth embrace all kinds of movements struggling for a sustainable future? On one hand, the notion of “degrowth movement(s)” was rigorously criticized for fragmenting the political struggle.
By Corinna Burkhart
The picture above shows some of the statues decorating the northern entrance of the Corvinus University in Budapest where the recent Degrowth Conference took place. The building has not always been a university. It once was a place of trade, and the statues over the entrance depict virtues which, back then, were considered central to trade. Virtues like courage, faith, love and honesty. When did trade loose them? And how could the bear and the bull become dominate images for trade instead, like those in front of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange?
By Christiane Kliemann
As Vincent Ligey, coordinator of the Budapest Conference organizing team mentioned in the closing plenary, it was an experiment to hold an international degrowth conference in a former socialist country where the soil for degrowth ideas is not particularly fertile. The more it came as a surprise that the conference had received a widespread coverage in Hungarian media.
When our book Post-Growth Society was published in 2010 in German, the term was entirely unheard of. Today, Post-Growth is the harsh reality in many countries, but this phenomenon is considered to be transitory. Governmental investment subsidies and infrastructure spending, consumer incentive programs and a generous monetary policy are supposed to re-stimulate growth.
by Christiane Kliemann
In his welcome address at the opening plenary of the 5th International Degrowth Conference, Federico Demaria from Research and Degrowth made explicitly clear that immigrants, refugees and their struggles must be integral part of the degrowth community: “Refugees and the other oppressed shall always be kept in mind while imagining degrowth and the socio-ecological transformation we are walking. They, we, are very much part of the degrowth community. Welcome and enjoy!”
Impressions from the degrowth summer school and the Rhineland climate camp
By Christiane Kliemann
It’s now for the second time that the Degrowth Summer School took place at the climate camp in the coal-mining region of the German Rhineland with around 800-900 participants. Last year it had mainly focused on the topic of climate justice and on bringing the two movements – degrowth and climate justice – together. This year this seed has grown into a solid partnership and both concepts were integral part of the overall programme.
A Study on Transformative Social Innovation
By Iris Kunze
There are numerous grassroots movements and initiatives worldwide with the ambition to contribute to transformative change towards more sustainable, resilient and just societies. Many of them have a specific vision on the economy and relate to alternative visions of a ‘New Economy’. The research project TRANSIT highlights four prominent strands of new economy thinking in state-of-the-art discussions: degrowth, collaborative economy, solidarity economy, and social entrepreneurship.
The wider degrowth-community is asked to participate in a short survey on sustainable mobility which should not take more than 10-15 minutes: The results will be used as a part of Justin Hyatt´s academic work at the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS), Erasmus University, Rotterdam (Netherlands). It is also intended to publish and widely disseminate a separate report.
By Frank Adloff
The concept of convivialism has attracted some attention in recent years. When giving it a closer look – even superficially – it soon reveals its proximity to the degrowth concept and movement. But what exactly constitutes this proximity and where are the differences? Below I will give a short summary of what we can understand by degrowth in practical and theoretical terms. Then I will continue with the general introduction of convivialism and conclude by highlighting the – in my view – advantages of a convivialist perspective.
It´s now the second time that the Degrowth Summer School will take place at the Climate Camp in the Rhineland. While last year´s event was under the banner of climate justice, this year it is called „skills for system change“. We´ve asked Christopher Laumanns from the organizing team about the reasoning behind it and what to expect at the camp.
Degrowth aims at undoing growth. Undoing growth both at the level of social structures and social imaginaries. Although the focus is very often on the latter, i.e. the “decolonization of imaginaries” as put by Serge Latouche, the degrowth perspective still seems to lack a comprehensive understanding of the role of ideology, the path dependencies and the power that shape these imaginations. Degrowth and related transition ideas sometimes appear as a rather naïvely idealistic perspectives, in which “we” simply have to understand, reflect and overcome our “mental infrastructures” and our personal addictions to consumerism and material expansion.
The Call for the 6th International Degrowth Conference is now open.
The international conferences on degrowth are central landmarks and moments of convergence of the international degrowth intellectual and social movements. They offer an unique opportunity for bringing together scholars with other members of civil society and demonstrating a different way of organizing conferences. A central feature of the conferences has been direct participation and collaboration among participants.
Research & Degrowth (R&D) together with the Support Group (SG) offers to facilitate and sustain the organization of the Sixth International Conference (foreseen for 2018).
Please find more information on website of Research & Degrowth (R&D)