Degrowth Workshop

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The degrowth workshop held in Can Decreix on 20th July was my first ever fully bi-lingual workshop where we translated the who discussion between Spanish and English and some French when it was needed :-)

After a few fun warm up games and a spectrum line of previous knowledge about degrowth to get a sense of what we understand by it already we broke off into groups to come up with; 1. A short definition of Degrowth 2. Practical applications of degrowth 2. Difficulties with and barriers to degrowth

Here is what we came up with;

What is degrowth? Reducing in all levels of life Living within the planetary limits Redistributing wealth and questioning what we mean by 'growth' or 'wealth' and what factors indicate this Critique of markets - not just anti-capitalist but concerned with consumption. It can also be critical of socialism Empowering individuals in society against capitalism to improve quality of life, food, social groups and education Deconstruction of mass corporate industry Emphasis on local communities, exchange and trade Being aware of real needs, real values and independence, values based on sharing and respect Question the definition of development and consumption and a more rational organisation of society Radicalise anticapitalist movement Social equality Construction of world past oil Problem wanting too much (individualism and always more more more) Work is too big of a virtue, lazy or doing nothing very pejorative. Nothing wrong with working less It's necessary for the world - a reconnection with environment and things which link people to the world Reduce material construction and growth social production Degrowth - drive for happiness instead of drive for more

2. Practical applications of Degrowth Renewable energies decentralised energy systems Stop coal mining Permaculture Less babies social enterprises Recycling Stop using so many mobile phones More local currencies Urban agriculture Reparing things Not support the mainstream economic system Degrowth political party Compost toilets Local democracy Open source technologies Vegetarianism Veganism More balanced consumption - produce for yourself Conscious use of resources Sharing more with social groups - less personal possession Travel less Less cars - live without cars Live without fridges Reskilling Look at the psycological root causes and also needs Food cooperatives Local trade Choosing the right technologies Living in communities Share houses Autotonomy, independent of super structures job/skill exchange circles Job sharing Education Sharing information and showing by example Raising awareness

3. Difficulties Unsustainable infrastructure, cities, houses etc. Poorer countries dealing with development Difficulty with social divides, north south and social inequality Fear of loosing priviledge Availability of cheap unsustainable produce and products People think technology will save us Over population - biological need to reproduce but there are too many people Green wash and fake solutions People choose the easy or safe just to fit in. This means they do nothing. Voluntary aspect of degrowth (we have the option to make positive decisions or wait for the collapse Media Hard to change concept of growth away from money and towards meaning a new and better way People who want it to happen become frustrated °tension° Against status quo and cultural assumptions Our idea of happy means consumption at the moment The role of the state and social organisation Behaviour change Growth mentality - this is a big thing to change - Growth is seen as positive Degrowth has a negative image (back to the dark ages) Education systems feed into status quo (we learn consumption)