Sunday Aug. 28, 2022
4:30pm – 5:30pm

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What Comes After Consumption and Waste?

With Niko Paech/ Germany, Friederike Habermann/ Germany, Florian Schlederer/ Austria

Moderation: Juliane Schumacher

Languages: German, English

Even the environmental movements of the 1980s addressed the same systemic issue, claiming an ecological way of life was not compatible with the capitalist mode of production and its need for permanent growth. This changed with the concept of “sustainable development”, which became the dominant narrative of the 1990s: “green growth” could serve the economy, ecology, and social welfare in equal measure.

The automotive industry shows us how green growth works: private fossil-fueled transportation with its ever-growing product range is replaced by electric goods, now lithium and other raw materials for battery production become the sought-after commodities on the world market, and the German economy can revolve around cars as before. But the health, environmental, and social costs continue to be offloaded onto the impoverished and the Global South.

What alternatives are there to green growth? Movements advocating post-growth and alternative ways of living and doing business have been gaining momentum for years but remain marginal so far. Why? What resistance do they encounter and how can this be overcome?

On the Podium

Niko Paech is an economist, author and adjunct professor at the University of Siegen, where he researches and teaches in the area of Plural Economics. He is credited with coining the term 'post-growth economics' in Germany and advocates for an economic system that respects planetary boundaries and does not rely on permanent growth.

• 2020 All you need is less
• 2012 Befreiung vom Überfluss (Liberation from Abundance)

Friederike Habermann is an economist and historian with a PhD in political science. She is a freelance academic, the author of seven books and has been an activist for over 40 years. For decades she has been conducting research, both in theory and practice, on how a society based on solidarity can become a reality.

• 2018 Ausgetauscht! (Replaced!)
• 2016 Ecommony
• 2014 Geschichte wird gemacht (History Is Made)

Florian Schlederer is a science journalist, author and curator. Active with Fridays for Future since 2018, he was one of the organizers of the climate referendum in Austria and founder of the international initiative “Museums for Future”.

• 2021 Ändert sich nichts, ändert sich alles (If Nothing Changes Everything Will Change)