The Manchester 7th International Degrowth and 16th International Society for Ecological Economics Joint conference was due to be held in September 2020. It will not come as a surprise to you that given the global Covid 19 pandemic we have been forced to postpone the conference. We do so with deep regret. The conference is now planned to go ahead in the week of July 5th 2021. The conference will retain is existing overarching theme of ‘Building Alternative Livelihoods’. It will also keep existing subthemes. However, clearly the overarching theme has new importance in the light of the global pandemic. We will be sending out a new additional call in September 2020 looking more specifically at the implications of the Covid 19 pandemic for building and rebuilding alternative livelihoods. It is planned that the conference in July 2021 will have a much larger virtual component than the original conference planned for September 2020. Given the new arrangements we those who submitted proposals for contributions the following options for their proposals
1. leaving their proposal as it is for consideration for the 2021 conference in Manchester; 2. resubmitting a revised version of their proposal for the 2021 conference in Manchester 3. submitting a new proposal for the 2021 conference in Manchester 4. withdrawing their proposal.
Those choosing the first option will not need to do anything. It will be automatically considered for the July 2021 conference in Manchester. Anyone wanting to pursue one of the other options please let us know by April 30th. We will leave the call open for resubmissions and new submissions after this date. Please also let us know if you would like to present your session virtually or at the site in Manchester.
We do deeply regret having to postpone the conference until next year. The team at Manchester did explore the possibility of doing the conference as a virtual conference in September 2020. However, given the lockdown in the UK and after discussion with the conference administration at Manchester University, it become apparent that the capacity did not exist to do this in September 2020. The plan is to have a larger virtual component to the conference in 2021. We do plan to offer a small online symposium in September 2020 specifically on the implications of Covid19 for ecological economics and degrowth. We will announce further details about this colloquium later this year.
We would like to thank you for your patience in waiting for this update. We are sorry we could not get back to you sooner. As you can imagine it has been very difficult to reorganise the dates of the conference in current conditions. We look forward to hearing from you. Best wishes
The call for subthemes generated a great deal of interest. We have consolidated them into 14 themes: see the conference website. The open call for contributions will be announced there in later January / early February.
The 7th International Degrowth and 16th International Society for Ecological Economics Joint Conference – Manchester
Building Alternative Livelihoods in Times of Ecological and Political Crisis
Call for sub-themes
updated with some missing text, 19/9/19
We are delighted to announce that the first ever joint conference between the International Degrowth Research Network and the International Society for Ecological Economics will take place 1-5 September 2020 in Manchester, UK. This conference will 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 aims to break down silos and stimulate dialogues between and within different perspectives, disciplines and social movements.
Building Alternative Livelihoods in times of ecological and political crisis is 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 that drive ecological degradation and that 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 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?
We list below some of the topics that the conference could cover. We also look forward to ideas beyond these, which would expand the geographical and thematic scope of degrowth, as well as advance and further substantiate current debates and dialogue within and between degrowth and ecological economics.
the economy beyond states and markets
the future of employment, work and care
debates on degrowth, green growth, the circular economy, and decoupling
the democratisation of the economy and alternative models and forms of organisation
the production and conservation of energy
low carbon and low energy futures
forms of decommodification and non-capitalist modes of resource allocation
money, debt and the financial system
financing the (transition to a) post-growth society
monetary and non-monetary measures of prosperity and well-being
a universal basic income or universal basic services
the green new deal
the decentralisation of power
decolonization and feminist economics as challenges to power
post- growth policy-making, law and governance
how to respond to the ethno-nationalist environmentalism and anti-environmentalism of ascendant populist groups
the politics of transitions to sustainability and the lessons to be learned from past socio-economic and cultural transformation
spatial issues: planning, housing and the future of cities
diversity: class, race, gender, abilities
Sustainable Development Goals
conflict resolution processes and socio-ecological transformations
biodiversity, ecosystem services, and sustainable livelihoods
political economy and ecological economics/degrowth
sustainable livelihoods and ecological sufficiency
languages of valuation and ecological conflicts
extractivism, environmental justice and illicit activities
social ecological economics
production and consumption
slow science and degrowth of publication economy
strategies for degrowth transformation: lessons from the Vienna conference
There will be two stages for the call for academic and activist contributions. The first stage is a call for sub-theme conveners. Academics and activists who wish to actively participate in these sub-themes or suggest new sub-themes for inclusion in the conference should submit a proposal by 30th September 2019. Descriptions of the sub-themes should speak to the overall conference theme. It should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Each sub-theme can go from one to four sessions, with up to four papers or other contributions per session. There are many formats which a session can adopt, including the traditional format of paper presentations with a specific thematic focus, roundtable discussions, and participatory sessions encouraging reflection on a particular topic using an open format (e.g. discussion workshops, dialogical/reading/planning sessions, walks, etc.). Sub-theme conveners will be given full autonomy and responsibility for the organisation of sub-themes.
Sub-theme conveners should present the following information in their proposal:
presenters/roundtable participants anticipated;
subtheme abstract (1 paragraph, maximum 250 words);
how does this subtheme relate to the overall conference theme (maximum 100 words);
format (paper presentation, round-table debate, etc.);
live or remote or both;
number of 1-2 hour sessions anticipated.
Successful sub theme proposers will hear by 30th October 2019
Once sub-themes have been selected, we will announce a second deadline for individual papers. The main language of the conference is English, but we will review submissions in other languages also. For any questions, please contact us at: email@example.com
Come to Manchester in September 2020 to meet with other activists, artists and scholars to explore how alternative livelihoods can respond to the worsening ecological and climate crisis.
We face a worsening ecological and climate crisis and that requires an urgent transformation of the the ways we organise, produce and consume. Alternative livelihoods could be the key to this in a democratic society that has gone beyond economic growth.
How can we ensure both social justice and ecological justice for the peoples of the Global South and North? How can we mobilise political support for the necessary transformations? How can we make the transition environmentally and socially sustainable, politically viable and democratically legitimate?
This conference will bring together academics, policy-makers, artists and activists in order to discuss these many challenges. There will be workshops, debates and discussions, artistic performances, walking tours and installations on the themes of the conference. It will also seek to contribute to local activist initiatives. It will strive not only to demonstrate and explore cutting-edge thinking on alternative sustainable livelihoods but also encourage political mobilisation amongst academics, activists, artists and policy practitioners.
The conference will include events and discussions, all underpinned by the search for social and ecological justice, will include topics such as,
The future of states and markets,
The future of employment and work,
Cutting carbon emissions: degrowth versus green growth,
The production and conservation of energy
Non-capitalist modes of resource allocation
Democratising the economy and alternative forms of business ownership
Re-commoning and de-commodifying resources,
Non-monetary measures of prosperity and well-being,,
Welfare arrangements such as basic income or jobs guarantee
How to respond to the threat of racist, nationalist populism,
The politics of transitions to sustainability
The lessons to be learned from past socio-economic and cultural conflicts.
We are also looking for researchers conversant in Degrowth matters to collaborate with architects, artists and designers to create objects and experiences for this architecture library.
If responding to the open call makes sense to you then please go ahead and do that through the lovely online form in the link above. However, if you’re interested in contributing but aren’t too sure how your research relates to architecture, then just email me on maria.smith[AT]interrobang.london (replace the [AT] with the usual symbol) and please include:
“OAT Degrowth Research” in the subject line
c. 200 words on your Degrowth-related research
c. 200 word bio of yourself generally including which institutions you’re affiliated with, if any
Where you are based (so that if there are architects geographically near you we can take this into account when pairing people up, though this will of course only be one factor)
Please contact us before 19th November after which we will be doing a big pairing up exercise connection researchers with architects.
We look forward to hearing from you!
p.s. Another strand of the Triennale is a book of short stories. If you or anyone you know are writing fiction about degrowth, please get in touch!