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News
ICTA-UAB to organize the sixth edition of the Summer School on Degrowth and Environmental Justice

Date: 2019-02-14




Proposing pathways outside the growth, closure and depressive narratives


June 23rd – July 5th July 2019
Barcelona (Spain)/Cerbère (France)



The Institute of Environmental Science and Technology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) (http://ictaweb.uab.cat) and Research & Degrowth (http://www.degrowth.org) will organize the sixth edition of the Summer School on Degrowth and Environmental Justice, taking place in Cerdanyola del Vallès and Barcelona (Spain) and Cerbère (France), June 23rd – July 5th July 2019!

Societal ever-expanding requirements have led to global competition for resources, and wealth being concentrated in a few hands. Dramatic societal crises and environmental conflicts emerge both in the South and in the North. The growth narrative builds on a very important belief: the idea that if we consume and possess more, we will be happier. However, from farmers’ protests in Delhi to buy nothing days, people stand against the present growth narrative and demand a different way of life that does not associate consumption with happiness.

As a response, degrowth develops other narratives and ideas. Over the last ten years, they have become more and more recognized. Recently a post-growth petition was signed by 90000 people. Scientific publications and special issues on degrowth are not rare anymore. We now count 10 major international conferences on degrowth, and more to come.

On this basis, this year the summer school will focus on the concrete responses that degrowth can give, and aims to prepare the next policy makers, activists, and academics to discuss degrowth alternatives. We will explore the various sources of degrowth, and their need to be integrated. The summer school will bring visions of degrowth in different sectors such as housing, transport, food, low-tech and energy, building new exciting stories. We also aim to practice horizontally governance and take account of all important perspectives, be it from the grass-roots or from policy makers. We believe that a stable collaboration, trust, and coordination between activists, practitioners and researchers leads to mutual learning towards a new path of socio-ecological transformations and inspiring narratives.

The 2019 version of the summer school builds upon our previous experience and also includes many new discussions. We aim to respond to the challenges of our present context (climate change, economic crises, rise of extreme rights, “Gilets Jaune” demonstrations…) by disseminating cutting-edge research on degrowth and environmental justice. While the course will have a strong academic orientation, there will be a dedicated space for practice, activism and art. It becomes more evident that practice helps to think, art helps to explain, and activism helps to connect and challenge current thinking.

The first week of the course will take place at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona), where the theoretical foundations of environmental justice and degrowth will be laid out. This will be followed by going deeper into particular pressing problems and potential solutions of our times along with visiting exemplary projects and initiatives based on the principles of degrowth and relevant for environmental justice.

The second week of the course will take place in Cerbère, in association with Can Decreix (see also Blog) a project of Research & Degrowth dedicated to put degrowth into practice in everyday life and habits. In this small village, the course gets deeper into degrowth transformation integrating the ideas of the first week.

This summer school will propose alternatives to the standard teaching methods. Participants will work in small groups and use methodologies that enhance the collective wisdom through knowledge sharing, and visits to meaningful places.

This year we encourage participants to come with some background on commons, eco-feminism, non-violence, north-south relations, environmental justice, open localism, or anti-extractivism.

Particularly welcome are different strategies when confronting the growth world: alternative/opposition/adaptation… These will be supported by resources persons throughout the course. We expect participants to take part in the collective building of degrowth narratives in different sectors, as well as in organisational and emotional dynamics.

Further information here: https://summerschool.degrowth.org/

Closing deadline for participants: 15th March 

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