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Degrowth movement assembly

Some members of the degrowth realities that are represented on the map met for the first time on the 20th of August 2018 in Freetown Christiania (Copenhagen, Denmark). They exchanged good practices around ecological sustainability and social equity, discussed about the future of the planet, and initiated several international working groups (activists and practitioners; researchers; politics; artists; collective actions; communication; education; etc.) that later met throughout the 6th international degrowth conference, which took place in Malmo, Sweden (August 21-25). Those groups work in order to provide opportunities for many people in the world to engage in the degrowth movement locally as well as to diffuse degrowth (theoretically and practically) globally. As an example, the “Global Degrowth Day – Good Life for All” took place for the first time on the 1st of June 2019, with multiple actions all over the world. To organise this movement, that connects both people active in local degrowth groups (showed on the map) and people engaged in international working groups, there is a mailing list that you can find here.

On 23th August 2021, the 2nd assembly of the international degrowth movement was held online as a preconference event to the 8th International Degrowth Conference (The Hague). 30 to 40 representatives of degrowth groups worldwide participated in the meeting. Due to the impossibility to meet physically, we did not take decisions, but we discussed several key issues for the degrowth movement: who we are; our mission and our priorities; international conferences and the structure of the movement.

Here you will find the minutes of the meeting: https://cloud.degrowth.net/s/xs32NYZga94rZsw.

We did not agree specifically on a name (reflecting on whether we are a movement, network or a community), but we agreed on the fact that we are "Degrowthers" and the word “Degrowth” is good and strong and it is more and more needed in this fragile and ever changing world.

Most of the participants stressed the need not only to organize academic conferences but also to engage in (political) actions ("a lot of people are active on small practical nowtopias, the action part is the weakest part at the moment"); run concrete projects (e.g., actions at the COP, a European degrowth bike tour); and further disseminate degrowth (e.g. less scientific papers and more articles in newspapers, open letters, etc.). For the majority of people, in this phase, it is also crucial to establish stronger strategic alliances with movements that are engaged in similar struggles (e.g., Fridays for Future, Extinction Rebellion, Transition Towns & Ecovillages, indigenous and anarchist groups), in particular building some practical projects together. Similarly, it would be important to support the flourishment of new degrowth local groups, in particular in the Global South.

There was a consensus that in order to achieve these goals, in the near future it will be fundamental to better structure our network (with some coordination bodies) and to clarify our proposals (two groups proposed to write an updated manifesto). This should not to be a hierarchical, solid structure, but an informal and decentralized network - maybe inspired by holacratic models - with more clarity on structure and functioning (principles, methodology, roles, etc.).

At the third degrowth assembly in Vienna, in Spring 2022, we discussed about the future structure and functioning of the movement.

Summarizing we decided that an open collective (open to everyone in the world) will be created and it will take the place of the actual “network coordination group”, where since to now they were only people from Support Group which called and organized the assemblies of degrowth movement. The open collective, called “organizing the degrowth network” (ODN), would operate transitionally for 1 year with the following mandates:

  1. A) Mapping the network and explore the needs of the different nodes
  2. B) Management of the map of degrowth groups and movement mailing list
  3. C) Following the guidelines that  will emerge from the Vienna meeting develop a clear proposal for the new structure and functioning of the degrowth network (composition and functions of the assembly and the coordination group, methodology, nomination/election, etc.). That proposal will be presented, discussed and approved (or not, or with modifications) at the next movement assembly that will be held within an year at the next international degrowth conference (Zagreb - August 2023)."
  4. D) To call and organize the next degrowth assembly that will be held in Zagreb, where some kind of elections of the new "coordination groups" will be done.


We encourage people active in Degrowth to engage with this group! You can participate writing an email to: jean.aillon@gmail.com.

For the movement assembly organising team

Jean-Louis Aillon

Alexandra Köves