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Walk the line: Transformative practices for post-growth

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Post-growth practices are already developing within business and consumer contexts. In the workshop Walk the line: Transformative practices for post-growth offered by the European Center for Sustainability Research (ECS) at Zeppelin University and the Institute for Ecological Economy Researach (IÖW) we discussed their transformative potentials and power as well as how they can be protected from being hijacked, watered-down and turned into mere business cases by growth-driven companies.

In their introductary inputs, Angelika Zahrnt (BUND), André Reichel (new: Karlshochschule),  Martin Schweighofer (ECS), and Jana Gebauer (IÖW) outlined vital changes in political framework conditions, that would support post-growth practices; the chances and risks of those practices as they require cooperative economic action within a competitive economic setting; supportive practices of co-production that would also help to establish a new social imaginary; as well as the common features and transformative claims of various entrepreneurial actors ranging from collective economy to sustainability-driven companies. In all four inputs, collaboration within and between sectors turned out to be a crucial aspect to support, scale and sustain post-growth practices.

In the following world café session,  there was a vital exchange of ideas about how to evolve post-growth practices into becoming transformational for both business and consumers. During the debate, a variety of different proposals was mentioned centering around aspects of authenticity, consistency, innovation, and of cource collaboration.

For those interested in the results:  a brief online reader will soon be available on the Degrowth website. For those interested in further discussions on the role and options of post-growth business: We started an email list as a first step that might lead us to a joint platform and you are very welcome to mail to jana.gebauer[at]ioew.de if you want to join in.

Jana Gebauer ist Fellow am Institut für ökologische Wirtschaftsforschung (IÖW), für das sie zuvor als wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin tätig war. Ihre inhaltlichen Schwerpunkte sind: Rolle von Unternehmen in der (Postwachstums-)Gesellschaft sowie Ziele, Prozesse und Instrumente für nachhaltiges und verantwortliches unternehmerisches Handeln.

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