The relentless pursuit of economic growth is the defining characteristic of contemporary societies. Yet it benefits few and demands monstrous social and ecological sacrifice. Is there a viable alternative? How can we halt the endless quest to grow global production and consumption and instead secure socio-ecological conditions that support lives worth living for all? In this presentation, leading expert Giorgos Kallis makes the case for degrowth – living well with less, by living differently, prioritizing wellbeing, equity and sustainability. Drawing on emerging initiatives and enduring traditions around the world, he advances a radical degrowth vision and outline policies to shape work and care, income and investment that avoid exploitative and unsustainable practices. Degrowth, he argues, can be achieved through transformative strategies that allow societies to slow down by design, not disaster.
Giorgos Kallis is an ecological economist, political ecologist, and Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA) Professor at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, Barcelona. He is the author of ‘Limits’ (Stanford University Press, 2019) and ‘The case for Degrowth’ (Polity Press, 2020). His research is motivated by a quest to cross conceptual divides between the social and the natural domains, with particular focus on the political-economic roots of environmental degradation and its uneven distribution along lines of power, income, and class. His current work explores the hypothesis of sustainable degrowth as a solution to the dual economic and ecological crisis. He was previously a Marie Curie Fellow at the Energy and Resources group at UC Berkeley, and he holds a PhD in Environmental Policy from the University of the Aegean, an MSc in Economics from Universitat Pompeu Fabra, and an MSc in Environmental Engineering and a Bachelors in Chemistry from Imperial College, London.