Beyond Growth 2023 Conference – Towards Local Community-Led Transformative Policies

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

  1. 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.
  2. By amplifying their voices, we can foster inclusive and participatory decision-making processes that prioritize the well-being of all.
  3. 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:

Some key speeches from the conference:

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