An international degrowth conference is coming up next week in Leipzig in Germany, and it looks likely to be a seminal event. All 2500 places were filled up some weeks ago. There will be a livestream of conference proceedings for those unable to make it there.
Feasta members Willi Kiefel, Seán Conlan and Brian Davey will be attending. Willi will be presenting a paper that he prepared with Seán on Feasta co-founder Richard Douthwaite’s contribution towards a material degrowth society in Ireland.
According to the conference literature, “the focus of the Degrowth 2014 conference is on concrete steps towards a society beyond the imperative of growth. The conference will give room for scientific debates, exchange between activists and economic pioneers as well as artistic approaches to the subject. Both scientific insights and concrete projects and policies will be presented, experimented with and discussed.”
It’s part of an international cycle of events: so far, there have been conferences on degrowth in Paris in 2008, in Barcelona in 2010 and in Venice and Montreal in 2012. Richard Douthwaite and David Korowicz gave a paper entitled “Economic growth cannot continue” at the 2008 conference, which had 300 participants. It’s interesting to note how much more interest there is in in degrowth now.
The Leipzig conference is to include a session which will focus on the Richard’s work in Ireland towards a material degrowth society, especially his work within Feasta and his activities in “seed projects” coming from civic society or grass roots level. In addition to Willi Kiefel’s presentation mentioned above there will be a presentation by Hans Diefenbacher on the scientific work of Richard Douthwaite and one by Roman Juriga on the influence Richard had on local renewable energy systems in the Czech republic.
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