05 – 08 July 2021
Here is some material available from the conference:
Given the continuing pandemic the joint conference between the international degrowth research networks and the International Society for Ecological Economics, together with the European Society for Ecological Economics (ESEE), was turned into a virtual conference. It took place 5-8 July and was hosted by the University of Manchester, UK. This conference built on the experience of the joint colloquium of September 2020 to bring together academics from the Degrowth and Ecological Economics communities, voices from the Global North and Global South, civil society actors, activists, artists and policy-makers. It aimed to break down silos and stimulated dialogues between and within different perspectives, disciplines and social movements.
Building Alternative Livelihoods in times of political and ecological crisis was the overarching theme of the conference. Economic systems have always co-evolved with social, environmental and technological systems. The worsening ecological and climate crisis means we must urgently abandon practices of production and consumption associated with ecological degradation and rely on unsustainable extractivism. We must develop alternative livelihoods which are harmonious with planetary limits and safeguard material living conditions. We must invent and trial new ways of working, providing for everyone's needs, caring for each other and democratising the economy. We must seek clarity about the systems of provisioning which will be utilised in a society beyond growth where states and markets play more peripheral roles in the allocation of resources. In short, we must ask what are the alternative livelihoods which ensure the future conditions of societal wellbeing.
The construction of alternative livelihoods entails a radical transformation of economy, culture and society. What are the institutional arrangements which safely provide for basic needs, social stability and democratic legitimacy in the transition to environmental sustainability? How can both social justice and ecological justice for the populations of the Global North and the Global South be ensured? How can political support be mobilised for the necessary transformations? How can the transition to environmental sustainability be made politically viable and democratically legitimate?