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Welcome to my website!

2010/07/30 at 15:12

On these pages you can find my publications and talks on sustainability, degrowth, ecological economics, corporate responsibility, systems theory and organizational change within the next society. I also started a science blog in which I will post ideas, thoughts and notes from the field of sustainability science, research and education. Particularly I am interested in research collaborations and new ideas for sustainability research and practice. Enjoy and feel free to contact me!

The Future of Climate Change: What to make of the Paris Agreement

2015/12/13 at 21:22

The climate deal in Paris might not save the planet from human-made climate change as it falls short on questioning the expansionist logic of the growth economy but it is nevertheless a surprising achievement of a global climate change discourse that defies all divisions and crises we currently witness. It is a sign of hope but the true discussion of how to achieve the 1.5C target is now on. The Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (its full name) was welcomed by the Economist with the headline »History is here«. George Monbiot, surely not a globale climate talk appeaser, opened his follow-up article in the Guardian with the words »By comparison to what it could have been, it’s a miracle.« Only to harden the stance by further arguing that by »comparison to what it should have been, it’s a disaster.« So what has happened in Paris and what […]

Re-taking Sustainable Development for Degrowth

2015/11/07 at 14:06

In the discourse on degrowth – the deliberate and planned downscaling of production and consumption that increases human well-being and enhances ecological conditions and equity on the planet – the notion of »sustainable development« has sort of a bad rap. In fact, sustainable degrowth is intended to replace sustainable development as the central concept under which ecological and social minded activists and researchers might rally. Serge Latouche, the one who first fired the »missile word« of décroissance into the pubic realm, once held a talk titled »Down with sustainable development! Long live convivial degrowth!« at a conference in Paris in 2002. What are the reasons for such disregard of sustainable development? And could this be a somewhat foolish mistake? Sustainable development has failed First of all, the concept of sustainable development is critically judged by degrowth researchers and activists due to its lack of success in truly delivering on its […]

What’s NEXT? Wirtschaften jenseits des Wachstums

2015/09/17 at 15:42

Unsere heutige Art des Wirtschaftens basiert auf der Unterstellung fundamentaler Knappheiten: Zeit, Geld, Aufmerksamkeit – das alles ist knapp und Unternehmen versuchen, mit diesen Knappheiten umzugehen, indem neue Produkte entwickelt, neue Märkte erobert und neue Kunden gewonnen werden. Diese NOW ECONOMY ist eine Wirtschaft der Expansion, der permanenten Flucht aus der Knappheit, die aber nie richtig zurückgelassen werden kann – sonst hörte ja auch die Flucht auf. Das Ergebnis ist ein historisch bis vor kurzem nicht gekanntes Wirtschaftswachstum gepaart mit einem ebenso historisch einmaligen Energieverbrauch und CO2- Ausstoß. Kann die NOW ECONOMY auf Dauer funktionieren, ist sie nachhaltig? Was geschieht, wenn doch alle Knappheiten überwunden sind, wenn nicht beliebig das Heil in der Flucht, also im Wachstum gefunden werden kann? Diese Studie ist gedacht als Handreichung und »Manual« für eine andere Art des Wirtschaftens. Sie dient als Spürhund für Innovationspotenziale und strategische Handlungsoptionen, die auf eine andere Wirtschaft verweisen: die NEXT […]

Austerity and Degrowth

2015/07/16 at 14:45

I have to start with Greece. For many vocal advocates of a more leftwing economic policy, most notably (and notoriously) Paul Krugman), the prolonged debt crisis in the Mediterranean country has its roots in austerity politics imposed by the ‘Troika’ of the ECB, IMF, and the Eurozone Group. Without another haircut, i.e. write-off of Greek debts, and a stimulus program, Greece will not manage to recover. And recovery, of course, means GDP growth. I could argue about the deeper meaning of austerity politics in the case of Greece (or Portugal, or Spain, or Ireland for that matter) – to actually build a coherent fiscal framework for the Eurozone with shared understandings of political economy, something that has not been there in the first place and what is desperately needed in a common currency area. I could argue about the unsustainability of Greek GDP growth between 2005 and 2010 that was first and foremost […]