Logo degrowth
Scientific paper


Convivial and Emancipatory Technologies – suitable conceptions for Technology in a Degrowth Society?

Andrea Vetter, Bettina Barthel

Entry type:
Scientific paper

Year of publication:

Degrowth Conference Leipzig 2014


Abstract: A degrowth society, like all human societies that ever existed, will need technology. But which conceptual frameworks could be suitable to denote such a “degrowth technology”? We look at two different proposals: first the idea of “Convivial Technologies”, coined in the 1970ies by the dissident thinker Ivan Illich and recently newly adapted in the “manifest for conviviality” written by a number of French intellectuals. Second at the notion “emancipatory technology” used mainly by some german anarchist thinkers like FabLab-organizer and activist Niels Boeing and the AG SPAK. What do these propositions have in common and what keeps them apart? We will examine both concepts regarding two crucial aspects: First, how they speak about the relations between technology and dominance. And secondly we will delineate connections to the current degrowth debate. Coming from different decades are both concepts suitable to apply to a wide range of thinkable degrowth technologies from FabLabs to compost toilets?
Keywords: Conviviality, Emancipatory Technologies, autonomy, appropriation, open technosphere

This media entry was a contribution to the special session "Technology and degrowth part 1: Theoretical perspectives" at the 4th International Degrowth Conference in Leipzig in 2014.

Share on the corporate technosphere