Degrowth is a paradigm that emphasizes that there is a contradiction between sustainability and economic growth. Although around since the early 2000s, until now there has been relatively little engagement from Dutch academia and civil society. In June Utrecht University researchers hosted a symposium on degrowth, the first of this kind in the Netherlands.
The 1st Utrecht Degrowth Symposium attracted over 300 participants from academia, non-governmental organizations, and the public and private sectors, with stimulating discussions on the theme: Living on a finite planet – Alternatives to economic growth. We interviewed co-organiser Dr. Giuseppe Feola, Associate Professor of Social Change for Sustainability in the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University.
Firstly, what is degrowth?
Degrowth emerged in the early 2000s as a paradigm that emphasizes that there is a contradiction between sustainability and economic growth. It signifies a ruthless critique of the ideology of economic growth and of its material effects, as well as a search for alternatives beyond a ‘one‐way future consisting only of growth’.