25-28 March, 2010
Conference on Economic Degrowth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity
Barcelona, Spain

Call for abstracts
(PDF - 71.8 kb)

This is a call for a second conference on socially sustainable economic degrowth, linking economic, environmental and social perspectives, with emphasis on practical policies & concrete proposals.

Thirty years ago, Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen published a book in French (edited by Jacques Grinevald and Ivo Rens) with the title “Demain la Décroissance” (Degrowth Tomorrow) (1979). We say, “Aujourd’hui la Décroissance” (Degrowth today).

The economic crisis of 2008-09 has actually implied unplanned economic degrowth in Europe, United States, Japan, Latin America. A positive side effect has been a small decrease in CO2 emissions, breaking the totally unsustainable trend until 2007. Material flows mobilized by the economy have also decreased in 2008-09. This brings a new perspective. Economic degrowth can be good for the environment but it must be socially sustainable.

The 2nd international conference on economic degrowth for ecological sustainability and social equity follows the first international conference (Paris, April 2008, http://events.itsudparis.eu/degrowthconference/en/), that took place with the support of the European Society for Ecological Economics, Club of Rome (Brussels/Europe), Telecom Sud-Paris and SERI (Sustainable Europe Research Institute) and was attended by 150 participants, involving presentations by some 90 scientists.

The first conference was a breakthrough and opened the way to a change of paradigm (see the declaration of the conference). The second international conference on degrowth will focus on the new conditions posed by the economic crisis and work to develop clear policy proposals and strategies for action on degrowth and define the key open questions and research agenda. The conference will foster interaction between participants and put emphasis on the development of cooperative research.

This second conference builds on the success of the first conference and the momentum of a community of scholars and scholar-activists developing research on degrowth. The proceedings of the first conference was downloaded by thousands of people and a special issue is under preparation for the Journal of Cleaner Production. The need for research on degrowth is even higher than two years ago. Managed well, the current slowing down of the economy may be a good opportunity to avert climate and environmental catastrophe and at the same time improve human well-being and social equity, if the right actions are undertaken. Local organizing committee: Joan Martinez-Alier, François Schneider, Mario Giampietro, Giorgos Kallis.

Provisional International Scientific Committee: Mauro Bonaiuti, Richard Douthwaite, Fabrice Flipo, Valerie Fournier, Mario Giampietro, John Gowdy, Fritz Hinterberger, Gjalt Huppes, Giorgos Kallis, Sylvia Lorek, Joan Martinez-Alier, Wendy Proctor, Inge Ropke, Christer Sanne, Wolfgang Sachs, François Schneider.The NGO committee is being set-up with Leida Rijnhout of ANPED (Northern Alliance for Sustainability). This conference will follow a novel format. The conference will include selected keynote speeches and roundtables by distinguished degrowth scholars. But the conference will mainly be based on paper presentations with posters and participatory workshops.