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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!

Postgrowth and Degrowth

2016/03/11 at 14:03

tl;dr: Degrowth is just one postgrowth approach, not the postgrowth approach. Since Serge Latouche in 2004 threw in »décroissance« as a missile word into the sustainability debates, growth criticism regained its 1970s strength while connecting strongly to issues of social justice and equality, emancipation and democratic renewal, as well as a critique of capitalism. Degrowth, the English translation of the term, has then occupied the center stage in this newly emerging discourse. In Germany, the term »Postwachstumsökonomie« (postgrowth economy) has been introduced by Niko Paech in 2006. Before 2009, the terms »postgrowth« or »post-growth« have not been used in English for describing something related to the economy. It was in an HBR article by James Spaeth in which postgrowth became an economic issue: Soon, developed countries will begin the move to a postgrowth world where working life, the natural environment, communities, and the public sector will no longer be sacrificed for the sake of mere GDP growth, and where the […]

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 […]