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Policy Talk Series: "Degrowth or barbarism?"

Photo of Vincent Liegey. Pictured smiling in a dark grey t-shirt which says "Degrowth [...]" and a light grey scarf.
Wednesday, November 22, 2023, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

The Department of Public Policy brings you the Policy Talks Series as a way to engage critically with today's global and local issues. Our speakers range from policy practitioners and researchers to diplomats and agency leaders to NGO and social responsibility leaders. The events feature a panel discussion, followed by a Q&A session, and a reception.
Drinks and snacks will be offered.


Degrowth is an invitation to question our model of society addicted to growth. The physical limits to growth have been reached and even crossed for at least six planetary boundaries out of nine. But degrowth is also, and even first, about the cultural limits to growth. Our economic model of society is facing a deep convergence of existential crises. An infinite growth on a finite planet is not only impossible, it is also not desirable. How to get out of the growth paradigm and invent and implement new models of society based on sustainability and wellbeing, social and environnemental justice, meaningful lives and conviviality.
Reaching a crossroad, our thermo-industrial civilisation has to decide between degrowth or barbarism. Degrowth pathway proposes to democratically and fairly move out of capitalism and productivism. Barbarism would be the result of maintaining a growth society without growth facing social, democratic and environmental collapse.


About the Speaker

Vincent Liegey is an engineer, interdisciplinary researcher and one of the coordinators of the international degrowth conferences and the Observatoire de la Décroissance. 

He is the co-author of several books on Degrowth including Exploring Degrowth: A Critical Guide (Plutot Press, 2020), Décroissance, Fake or Not (Tana Editions, 2022), Sobriété (la vraie) Mode d’emploi (Tana Edition, 2023), Un Projet de Décroissance (Utopia, 2013). 

He is also the coordinator of Cargonomia — a center for research and experimentation on degrowth, a social cooperative for sustainable logistical solutions and local food distribution using cargo-bikes in Budapest.

Read more publications by the author