PROJECTS + IDEAS COURSES that integrate a post-growth lens
Our global, highly networked industrial society is confronting the limits to growth in materials and energy use. As change accelerates, industrial society will become less networked, less wealthy, and less secure.
WHAT IS "POST-GROWTH THINKING?"
Ecological economics is a trans-disciplinary field that acts as a bridge across not only ecology and economics but also psychology, anthropology, and history. The field considers how economics is embedded in the broader ecosystem that supports all human activity. The limits to economic growth are considered along with opportunities to improve the well-being of the human and the non-human.
For decades, it has been challenging to consider how society can simultaneously consume less but improve overall well-being. The term "post-growth" is an umbrella for various approaches to this unifying emphasis on well-being: degrowth, steady-state economics, political ecology, voluntary simplicity, among others. Each of these approaches is an attempt to animate sustainability and social-ecological resilience. At their best, these ideas support one another.
In practice: the transition to well-being over income
Today, the world is suddenly experiencing a slower pace of life. While the conditions are less-than-ideal, this moment presents us with an opportunity to put life in perspective:
While responsible business practices, policies, and appropriate technology may all serve to address contemporary constraints, we've also proven that we can shift our behaviour when life is at stake. How can this shift in behaviour and culture be sustained in ways that maintain peace and transcend old political divides?
PhD researcher (McGill University) and instructor (Canadian Mennonite University) in the fields of ecological economics and social entrepreneurship.