September Colloquium ISEE/DeGrowth

Economy and Livelihoods after COVID-19

A global online symposium of the International Degrowth Network and the International Society for Ecological Economics.

September 1 to September 4th, 2020, University of Manchester.

The sessions will be in the afternoons BST.

Registration is Now Open

Due to very high demand, the organizers have now doubled the number who can register for the colloquium next week.

When Zoom attendance is full, registrants will be directed to YouTube Live to access the sessions.

Cost: Free

September Symposium

Join us for this symposium over four days. We will be considering the implications of the global Covid-19 pandemic for economy and livelihoods. The Covid-19 pandemic and responses to it have had deeply unequal impacts on lives, livelihoods, and well-being across race, gender, and class.  At the same time, it has opened up the space for new possibilities for building alternative livelihoods and economies that can take us beyond a capitalist economy that requires ever-expanding growth.  Will we go back to business as usual with all the ecological, social, and economic risks that will bring or take the path towards a new kind of economy that provides for human needs of all while restoring and protecting the natural world that we all depend on?

Provisional Outline Programme

Tuesday, September 1st
Session 1: On the alliance between degrowth and ecological economics, 12.00-14.00.

What are degrowth and ecological economics and how can they help us think and work for a different future, post-COVID?

Introduction: Rationale of the roundtable by Joshua Farley and Federico Demaria Would an alliance between ecological economics and degrowth help both communities achieve their shared goals? Why or why not? If yes, how do we strengthen it?


  1. Ecological economics: Bina Agarwal (Confirmed), Julia Steinberger (Confirmed) and Emanuele Campiglio (TBC)
  2. Degrowth (Confirmed): Ekaterina Chertkovskaya, Ksenija Hanacek, Matthias Schmelzer

Session 2: Gender, livelihood, and the impact of COVID. 14.30-16.30

This session is organized by the Feminisms and Degrowth Alliance (FaDA). It contains intersectional feminist reflections on Covid-19 and the politics of social reproduction, the Care Income, and the politics of care and commons in the context of ecological crisis. After a brief introduction to FaDA by Corinna Dengler, who hosts this session alongside Katy Wiese, we are looking forward to mini-inputs (7-10 minutes) by:

  • Anna Saave on the pandemic as an opening for a care-full radical transformation;
  • Susan Paulson on Covid-19, care & masculinities;
  • Selma James and Nina López from the Global Women’s Strike on the Care Income; and
  • Manuela Zechner on the politics of care and commons in the context of ecological crisis.

Following these inputs, there will be time to discuss the question of how care can be organized in a degrowth society that strives for both intersectional gender and environmental justice first amongst the panelists and later on with the audience.

Session 3: Post COVID-19 challenges and options for adjusting Africa’s strategic vision and policy practice in pursuit of the SDGs (exact title TBD). 16.45-17.30

  • Rashid Hassan, 2020 Boulding Prize Winner
  • Introduction by Peter May

Wednesday, September 2nd

Sessions 4 and 5: Indigenous and Black communities and the impact of COVID. 12.00-14.00 and 14.30-16.30

This session will be drawn from members of indigenous and black communities.  Themes will include consideration of the impact of COVID, environmental injustices, and the new authoritarianism on black and indigenous communities; perspectives on creating and strengthening social and economic alternatives.

Session 4. 12.00-14.00

Confirmed speakers

  • Ailton Krenak (Brazil)
  • Felipe Milanez (Brazil)
  • Zulma Zamora (Perú)
  • Chair: Tamara Goddard (TBC)

Session 5. 14.30-16.30

Confirmed speakers

  • Manuel May (Mexico)
  • Annie Moon (Navajo Nation)
  • Kevin Williams (Black American)
  • Josefina Skerk (Sami rights advocate, Norway)
  • Chair: Carolyn Finney (TBC)

Thursday, September 3rd

Session 6: Class, livelihoods, and alternative production. 12.00-14.00

This session will consider the impact of COVID and an ecological economy after COVID through class and livelihood.  It will draw on movements by labour to shift to alternative systems of production.  How can production be redirected in more democratic ways to meet human needs?  It will draw on the experience of the Lucas Plan, applying the lessons to the present context.

Confirmed speakers

  • Hilary Wainwright (editor of Red Pepper)
  • Phil Asquith (Lucas Workers Combine)
  • Mick Cooney (Lucas Workers Combine)
  • Chair: Maeve Cohen

Further speakers to be confirmed

Session 7: Reflections: Making change happen. 14.30-16.30

This session will reflect on the week’s colloquium discussions.  The panel will be drawn from authors of recent books on degrowth and ecological economics.  Themes might include strategies and policies; incumbent interests and power; political mobilisation; responding to the new authoritarianism; social movements.

Confirmed speakers

  • Vincent Liegey
  • Susan Paulson
  • Neera Singh
  • Bathsheba Demuth
  • Chair: Mark Burton co-moderator: Valeria Andreoni

Further speakers to be confirmed

Friday, September 4th

Sessions 8 and 9: Interventions from the Arts

Session 8: Decentralising Political Economies. 12.00-14.00

Decentralizing Political Economies is an open-source research platform launching in September 2020. Set up as a long-term collaboration between The City Lab at Liverpool John Moores University, the Whitworth Art Gallery and The Association of Arte Útil, it explores the idea of usership in art through the implementation of real-world 1:1 scale projects in which artworks are themselves open-ended and functioning projects in the real world.

This session will introduce notions of ‘usership’ and the ‘constituent-led’ in art and art institutions. In discussion with artist Owen Griffiths, whose recent projects include a community growing garden, the session will consider alternative modes of ownership and rethinking livelihood in the context of civic space and urban landscapes.


  • Poppy Bowers (The Whitworth, The University of Manchester)
  • John Byrne (Liverpool John Moores University, School of Art and Design/City Lab)
  • Owen Griffiths (Owen Griffiths Studio)
  • Alessandra Saviotti (Asociación de Arte Util)

Session 9: Reflecting on DegrowthFest, a community art exploration

From August 14 through 16, art installations and happenings emerged throughout the Old North End neighbourhood of Burlington, Vermont. Through these art pieces, community members explored what crises reveal, and what we want to bring forward toward desirable futures and leave behind along the way. Many contributions also engaged with degrowth as a concept and movement. They are all available in a virtual gallery, for which we are seeking more contributions.

In this session, some of DegrowthFest’s organizers will reflect on the event and open space to discuss community art projects as a way to learn together about degrowth and other important ideas for transformation.

Participants, all from DegrowBTV, Vermont, USA.

  • Meg Egler
  • Sam Bliss
  • Kristian Brevik
  • Lindsay Barbieri (TBD)

8 Responses

  1. Hello, I am an INSEE member. I would like to attend this seminar. How do I go about it?

    1. There is a registration link in the post. Click on “Registration is now open”. Thank you.

  2. Dear Committee,

    I am an ISEE member. To attend this meeting do I need to register first?

  3. Hi,
    I am an INSEE member. How do I connect digitally to this meeting.

  4. Livelihood security depends on ecosystem services not only economic balance.covid 19 thought us natural imbalance can harm the livelihood so nature is the best teachers. This material and mechanical life’s are utterly waste .balance among nature will gives us livelihood food fuel and nutrition security.

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