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Social Innovations for Economic Degrowth

Author: Andreas Exner and Christian Lauk
Published Date: 17 August 2012

By Andreas Exner andChristian Lauk

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, we find ourselves in a peculiar situation: although hardly anyone would deny the deep ecological crisis facing humankind, we seem to be caught in a net of assumptions that impede a practical solution. Having acknowledged that we need to reduce consumption of energy and materials drastically,we still often think that adjustments within the current system of production and consumption will accomplish this formidable task.

At the same time, it is widely recognized that the results of the dominant approaches to solving the ecological crisis are far from satisfying. Thus, a growing community of scientists and social activists, sharing the basic insight that a reduction of energy and material use implies a reduction of gross domestic product (GDP), is gathering under the heading ofsustainable degrowth.Degrowth obviously entails a fundamental transformation of economic structures. But what precisely are the necessary steps?

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