Post-growth concerns us all
Policies based on post-growth are not only about questioning GDP growth. They encompass a range of visions on how our societies should be today, so that the future generations can thrive in the future.
How should our economies be structured to ensure we produce, trade and consume sustainably?
Questioning the supremacy of economic growth as a policy objective is at the heart of post-growth policies but it must not be considered the only goal. The economics of post-growth is also about just distribution of wealth, sustainable trading practices and economic policies that encourage activities with positive environmental and social externalities. Post-growth is not only about producing less but also producing better.
During the conference, we will debate the power of modelling in economic research and policy-making, the sustainability of the EU single market and the opportunities provided by cooperatives and other social economic models.
Climate change and widespread environmental degradation showcase that our current societies prosper at the cost of the environment and its natural resources. Especially climate-talk has come to the forefront in many high-level political debates but still, we have not challenged the root cause for these externalities – the continuous pursuit of growth.
Recent efforts have focused on improving the efficiency of production by reducing energy and material input for the same output. This is a dangerous path. History has shown that efficiency leads to more production and consumption in absolute measures, although it might be relatively efficient. Post-growth ideas go beyond this and instead aim at reducing the absolute material output.
Money and finance
Post-growth involves not only finding favourable economic models but also setting up financial services and norms that support it.
Our current system relies on debt and is inherently prone to financial crashes. But there are alternatives. For instance, a greater role of local economies, healthier financial regulation and more transparent financial markets are already major steps towards a more stable monetary system.
Less growth does not contradict well-being and good life. Social questions, such as income and employment are an essential part of the post-growth debate.
Post-growth policies cover topics such as sharing of work and resources, collective decision-making in companies and communities and different models of universal income.
The workshops will provoke discussion on the role of collective bargaining of wages, basic income and social protection, the impact of income on ecological footprint and fiscal consolidation and sustainability.