The Great Transition Montreal May 18-22

La Grande transition 2023 / The Great Transition 2023
Public · Event · by Collectif La Grande transition

Concordia University May 18-21 2023

I only heard about this this morning through a completely unrelated Facebook post! 😟 I haven’t been able to find out what the cost might be but apparently there are people who have had to cancel and are selling their tickets.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Degrowth at the EU Parliament: A post-growth Europe critical to survive and thrive, urged by over 400 civil society groups and experts

Degrowth is at the heart of the debates at the EU Parliament in Brussels, in the framework of the Beyond Growth Conference organised by 20 European MP’s from several political families, supported by more than 60 partner organisations and opened by the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola and the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.

Find here the Open Letter published yesterday in several languages and medias all around Europe: A post-growth Europe critical to survive and thrive, urge over 400 civil society groups and experts:

Authored by: Timothée Parrique, Kate Raworth, Vincent Liegey
Friends of the Earth Europe, European Environmental Bureau, European Youth Forum, Wellbeing Economy Alliance.

As political leaders gather for a second conference at the European Parliament on how to move “beyond growth”, we, the undersigned academics and civil society organisations, see the geopolitical crisis as an opportunity to disengage from the socially and ecologically harmful growth competition and instead embrace a wellbeing cooperation.

There is no empirical basis indicating that it is possible to globally and sufficiently decouple economic growth from environmental pressures. The pursuit of endless economic growth by high income nations is a problem as it either reduces or cancels the outcomes of environmental policies. The current climate chaos and unraveling web of life on which our society depends is an existential threat to peace, water and food security, and democracy.

Advancing to a post-growth economy is not only to survive, but also to thrive. This calls for a democratically planned and equitable downscaling of production and consumption, sometimes referred to as ‘degrowth’, in those countries that overshoot their ecological resources. This is Europe’s global peace project, because its current economic growth is causing conflicts both in and beyond Europe.

In the context of high-income nations, a smaller footprint does not mean worse living conditions. Sufficiency policies focusing on frugality, resource reduction, and work time reduction can significantly increase wellbeing and decrease environmental pressures, therefore creating the possibility for sustainable prosperity without growth.

In order to ensure the highest quality of life with the lowest footprint, we must completely change the goals and rules of the economic game. In a post-growth economy, the current focus on quantitative growth would be replaced by the aim of thriving in a regenerative and distributive economy, one that delivers qualitative wellbeing by meeting the needs of all people within the means of the living planet – as elaborated in the framework of Doughnut Economics.

The markets have proven to be ill-equipped to make the most crucial decisions in our society. For the economy to serve the people, rather than the other way around, people must be given back control over the economy. To change the rules of the game, we need to learn from already existing initiatives. For example, upscaling across the EU the model for not-for-profit cooperatives.

In light of these pressing challenges and stimulating opportunities, we call on the European Union, its Institutions, and Member States to implement:
Post-growth European Institutions: constitute permanent structures at the Commission, the Council, the Parliament, and within Member States to assess post-growth strategies and pathways.
A European Green Deal beyond growth: design a new flagship programme shaped around a systemic change approach that aspires to create a thriving future within planetary boundaries, with degrowth as a necessary transition phase towards a post-growth destination. Beyond growth policies based on the four principles of: – Biocapacity: fossil fuel phase-outs, limits to raw material extraction and nature protection and restoration measures for healthy and resilient soils, forests, marine and other ecosystems. E.g., a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, a Resource Justice and Resilience Act including a binding material footprint reduction target and real, area-based nature restoration. – Fairness: fiscal instruments to foster a more equal society by eradicating income and wealth extremes, as well as super-profits. E.g., a carbon wealth tax, both minimum and maximum incomes. – Wellbeing for all: secured access to essential infrastructures via an improved, ecologically-sensitive welfare state. E.g., Universal Basic Services (including the human rights to health, transport, care, housing, education and social protection etc.), job guarantees, price controls for essential goods and services. – Active democracy: citizen assemblies with mandates to formulate socially acceptable sufficiency strategies and strengthen policies based on ecological limits, fairness and wellbeing for all and a stronger role for trade unions. E.g., local needs forum, climate conventions, participatory budgeting.

It has been five years since the first “post-growth” conference. Within civil society and academia, growth-critical ideas have been getting ever stronger. The details of these ideas are being discussed in the European Parliament and with the European Commission right now. Scientific knowledge and policy insights are available to make the ideas of degrowth and post-growth a reality. The crises we face are also opportunities to create a new system that can secure wellbeing for all while allowing for a thriving democratic life and a slower yet sweeter mode of living.

Signed by, among others:
Milena Buchs, Eloi Laurent, Ekaterina Chertkovskaya, Julia Steinberger, Camille Étienne, Adélaïde Charlier, Nick Fitzpatrick, Olivier De Schutter, Giorgos Kallis, Robert Costanza, Jason Hickel, Dominique Méda, Eva Fraňková, Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Tim Jackson.
(see pdf for complete signatories)

Also find here the Open Letter published last week by 18 MEP’s: Moving beyond growth is not only desirable — it is essential.


Vincent Liegey
Co-auteur de Sobriété (La Vraie) : Mode d’Emploi et de Décroissance, Fake or Not (Tana Editions, 2023 et 2021).
Ingénieur, chercheur interdisciplinaire, essayiste et conférencier autour de la Décroissance – Co-coordinateur de la coopérative sociale Cargonomia.
Co-author of Exploring Degrowth (Pluto Press, 2020). Interdisciplinary researcher, lecturer and freelance writer on Degrowth, coordinator of Cargonomia, Degrowth research and experimentation center.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Has the ocean heat bomb been ignited? | Climate & Capitalism

The oceans are a gigantic heat sponge, absorbing 90% of planetary heat, enabling life to go on within its 10,000-yr Goldilocks Holocene cycle, not too hot not to cold. But times are changing very rapidly. For the first time that scientists recall, sea surface temperatures that always recede from annual peaks are failing to do so, staying high “with scientists warning that this underscores an underappreciated but grave impact of climate change.”[2]

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Attention: Change in address

We are changing the web site which <<>> takes you to.

If you wish to continue reviewing my “blog” that has been hosted here since 2011, please change the address to <<>>

Be sure to include the hyphen – as there is another site which has an almost identical address without the hyphen.


Nous changeons le site Web qui vous amène à <<>>.

Si vous souhaitez continuer à consulter mon “blog” hébergé ici depuis 2011, veuillez changer l’adresse en <<>>

Assurez-vous d’inclure le trait d’union – car il existe un autre site qui a une adresse presque identique sans le trait d’union.


Estamos cambiando el sitio web donde <<>> le lleva.

Si desea continuar revisando mi “blog” alojado aquí desde 2011, cambie la dirección a <<>>

Asegúrese de incluir el guión, ya que hay otro sitio que tiene una dirección casi idéntica sin el guión.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

From creative destruction to convivial innovation – A post-growth perspective

In this paper, we argue that the notion of Creative Destruction underpinning classical innovation management theory as well as having crystallised into technological determinism and productivism has come to a dead-end. Framing innovation’s ultimate goal as the endless pursuit of economic growth is unrealistic if we wish to address pressing environmental challenges. We show that Creative Destruction historically emerged as an ideology from a specific set of values and worldviews at the cradle of Western capitalism and its need for valorisations. Capital valorisation imposes its logic on innovation, definition of needs, consumption, and organisation of work. The mantra of ‘innovate or die’ and its underpinning values represent a hegemonic view on technology aligned with the capitalist mode of production. We argue that a counter-hegemonic view emphasising conviviality and use-value is possible instead and needed to address the environmental and social challenges of our time. We posit that the (re-)emerging mode of production, commons-based peer production (CBPP) has such potential. Indic­ative cases show that innovation underlined by counter-hegemonic values already exists, albeit in the cracks of the dominant system and in constant danger of co-optation. Governmental institutions need to support these alternative practices of innovation.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Life After Consumerism

Gregory Claeys
Life After Consumerism
Princeton University Press
Claeys examines the ways that utopian thought, from its origins in ancient Sparta and ideas of the Golden Age through to today’s thinkers, can offer moral and imaginative guidance in the face of catastrophe. The utopian tradition, which has been critical of conspicuous consumption and luxurious indulgence, might light a path to a society that emphasizes equality, sociability, and sustainability. He offers a radical program that combines ideas from the theory of sociability with proposals to withdraw from fossil fuels and cease reliance on unsustainable commodities.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Universal public services: The power of decommodifying survival – Jason Hickel

On top of all the other obvious reasons to want universal services, they will be critically important to ensure a stable and just allocation of resources when climate breakdown starts to drive shortages and inflation. We need to start building them now.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

15-17 May 2023 – Beyond Growth 2023 Conference

The Beyond Growth 2023 Conference in Brussels is a multi-stakeholder event aiming to discuss and co-create policies for sustainable prosperity in Europe, based on a systemic and transformative approach to economic, social and environmental sustainability and its encompassing governance framework.

The Beyond Growth 2023 conference is an initiative of 20 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from five different political groups and non-attached, with the support of the President of the European Parliament, Roberta METSOLA. They are supported by about 50 partner organisations.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

IPCC report fails on equity and urgency | Climate & Capitalism

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) synthesis report recently landed with an authoritative thump, giving voice to hundreds of scientists endeavoring to understand the unfolding calamity of global heating. What’s changed since the last one in 2014? Well, we’ve dumped an additional third of a trillion tonnes of CO₂ into the atmosphere, primarily from burning fossil fuels. While world leaders promised to cut global emissions, they have presided over a 5% rise.

The new report evokes a mild sense of urgency, calling on governments to mobilize finance to accelerate the uptake of green technology. But its conclusions are far removed from a direct interpretation of the IPCC’s own carbon budgets (the total amount of CO₂ scientists estimate can be put into the atmosphere for a given temperature rise).

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How Today’s Technology Can Save Our Climate and Clean Our Air

No Miracles Needed
How Today’s Technology Can Save Our Climate and Clean Our Air
CAD$16.95 (T)

Author: Mark Z. Jacobson, Stanford University, California

Date Published: February 2023 : Paperback
isbn: 9781009249546

The world needs to turn away from fossil fuels and use clean, renewable sources of energy as soon as we can. Failure to do so will cause catastrophic climate damage sooner than you might think, leading to loss of biodiversity and economic and political instability. But all is not lost! We still have time to save the planet without resorting to ‘miracle’ technologies. We need to wave goodbye to outdated technologies, such as natural gas and carbon capture, and repurpose the technologies that we already have at our disposal. We can use existing technologies to harness, store, and transmit energy from wind, water, and solar sources to ensure reliable electricity, heat supplies, and energy security. Find out what you can do to improve the health, climate, and economic state of our planet. Together, we can solve the climate crisis, eliminate air pollution and safely secure energy supplies for everyone.

Lays out the framework for how to solve the climate, air pollution and energy security problems of our times, including an honest analysis of what we should not be doing
Shares up-to-date information on the technologies available to solve these problems, providing actionable solutions to help fight the climate crisis
Provides suggestions on what individuals, communities and nations can do to solve energy issues, helping the reader take steps to save our planet
Explores the implications of the policies needed to fight climate change, providing insights into the current landscape and the solutions available

Length: 454 pages

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment