Thirty years ago, Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen published a book in French (edited by Jacques Grinevald and Ivo Rens) with the title “Demain la Décroissance” (Degrowth Tomorrow) (1979). We say, “Aujourd’hui la Décroissance” (Degrowth today). The economic crisis of 2008-09 brings a new perspective. Economic degrowth can be good for the environment but it must be socially sustainable.
The 2nd international conference on economic degrowth for ecological sustainability and social equity in Barcelona follows from the first international conference (Paris, April 2008), that took place with the support of the European Society for Ecological Economics, Club of Rome (Brussels/Europe), Telecom Sud-Paris and SERI (Sustainable Europe Research Institute) and was attended by 150 participants, involving presentations by some 90 scientists (see the declaration of the conference).
The second international conference on degrowth intentio was to develop clear policy proposals and strategies for action on degrowth and define the key open questions and research agenda. The conference fostered interaction between participants and put emphasis on the development of cooperative research.
This conference followed a novel format. It included selected keynote speeches and roundtables by distinguished degrowth scholars. The conference however was mainly based on paper presentations with oral sessions, posters and working groups.
Commissioned steering papers from experts were discussed in working groups and assembly meetings. The goal was to come up with concrete proposals for policy and action and with a research agenda for degrowth.