The Beyond Growth Conference held at the European Parliament from the 15th to the 17th of May 2023 was a groundbreaking event, organised by 20 Members of the European Parliament, brought together esteemed researchers, passionate activists, engaged citizens, and visionary politicians.
Called by some the “Woodstock of Economics,” the conference boldly challenged the prevailing paradigm of endless economic growth and highlighted the urgent need to transcend GDP growth as the sole measure of societal well-being. Instead, it advocated for a profound shift toward prioritising collective well-being, recognizing the existence of planetary boundaries and the need for social justice to drive transformative change.
If you missed the conference or would like to re-watch some of the sessions you can do it here.
You can find the visual summary of the main highlights of the conference below:
Key take-aways for community led initiatives
- Community-led initiatives (CLIs) often represent the grassroots movements that embody sufficiency as a guiding principle. They are promoting alternative definitions of prosperity, engaging citizens, implementing models of collective ownership, decentralised decision making and localised at the bioregional scale.
- By amplifying their voices, we can foster inclusive and participatory decision-making processes that prioritize the well-being of all.
- Social Justice needs to be at the heart of the transformation, deeply listening, joining forces and standing in solidarity with the Global South / Global Majority.
Outcomes and commitments
At least two petitions were published before the conference, an open letter calling for a well being economy led by academics Timothée Parrique, Kate Raworth and Vincent Liegey and a manifesto for an intergenerationally just post-growth society from Generation Climate Europe.
Next steps: Towards Local Community-Led Transformative Policies
Looking ahead, the conference has created political momentum that can synergize with ECOLISE’s policy flagship project – the #10theses process on making a better European Green Deal a reality on the ground, with the power of community-led initiatives. It is time to build alliances to replace policy frameworks that incentivize growth-based activities, with policies that support practices grounded in sufficiency, cooperation, participatory democracy and collective action, Community-Led Initiatives can reshape the European Green Deal to reflect a post-growth agenda.
Further resources from the conference can be found below:
- Interview with Giorgos Kallis in Horizon Magazine: Once unthinkable, the prospect of society driven by wellbeing gains traction | Research and Innovation (europa.eu)
- EEB and Oikos Special issue on Imagining Beyond Growth with a variety of authors:Imagining Europe Beyond Growth Magazine (eeb.org)
- ZOE’s Beyond Growth special issue: Future-fit Economies Update #10 – ‘Beyond Growth’ special (sendibm1.com)
- A critical perspective on the conference: The radically unradical ‘Beyond Growth’ conference: Disclosing Eurocentric and colonial narratives – Environmental Politics Journal
- A briefing and study on the Beyond Growth conference by the European Parliamentary Research Service:
Some key speeches from the conference:
- Beyond growth: opening plenary speech by Sandrine Dixson-Declève – Club of Rome
- #BeyondGrowth2023—Post-Growth Conference at EU parliament, Brussels 15-17 May 2023 (cusp.ac.uk)
- Best of #BeyondGrowth 2023 – Jason Hickel – YouTube
- Best of #BeyondGrowth 2023 – Timothée Parrique – YouTube
- Best off #BeyondGrowth 2023 – Adelaïde Charlier – YouTube
- Best of #BeyondGrowth 2023 – Kate Raworth – YouTube
- Best of #BeyondGrowth 2023 – Vandana Shiva – YouTube
- Imagining a postgrowth world | By Tim Jackson (cusp.ac.uk)
- AURELIEN BARRAU – “SORTIR DE NOS ADDICTIONS” | LIMIT #BeyondGrowth – YouTube
- Anuna de Wever https://twitter.com/anunade/status/1659486023615643649?s=61&…
- Beyond Growth – Club of Rome
- Beyond Growth Conference 2023 – Earth4All