Summary of 2023

As the year draws to a close, we, at Research & Degrowth International, would like to say thank you. Your support has been and continues to be indispensable in advancing our mission, both as an organization and in our pursuit of a degrowth transformation.

At R&Di, we have embarked on a new journey in the field of policy advocacy. We are thrilled to announce that our organization won a significant grant from the EU Horizon program for a call on “Transformations towards a Sustainable Economy Policy Paradigm”. As part of the MERGE Project – Measuring what matters: Improving usability and accessibility of policy frameworks and indicators for multidimensional well-being through collaboration -, a three-year project coordinated by our new Community and Stakeholder Dialogue Coordinator, R&Di will bring research on post-growth to policymakers in Catalonia and Spain. In collaboration with the Wellbeing Economy Alliance, we will be developing co-creation workshops on alternative well-being indicators, seminars with representatives of political parties on new ideas emerging from post-growth research, and co-design workshops on policies beyond GDP.

In line with our new policy advocacy direction, R&Di is launching the Barcelona Action Circles. The project will bring together scientists, activists and changemakers from various sectors to develop actionable policies, alliances, and implementation strategies for just transitions towards a post-growth society. Each circle will focus on a different sector, movement or political context. We are starting with a circle on post-growth finance, and will soon be launching a circle on feminisms and degrowth, as well as a circle of Spanish politicians and policymakers engaged with post-growth.

Furthermore, we are excited to announce the start of R&Di’s collaboration with the local Government of Girona, led by the progressive Catalan party CUP and its allies in government. Girona emerges as a pioneer city for post-growth policies in response to the eco-social crisis, and R&Di will provide advice on policy development testing some of our research ideas in practice.

The 6th cohort of the Master in Political Ecology, Degrowth, and Environmental Justice and the 3rd cohort of the online Master in Degrowth, Ecology, Economics, and Policy have successfully started their academic year. We are delighted to share the launching of a very important project, the Degrowth Alumni Network, designed to keep the over 350 alumni of the six years of our Master programs connected. We have started an online platform for former students to share their research, activism, and professional development, to discuss up-to-date topics around degrowth, and to or develop new collaborations. Regular initiatives flourish out of this network, such as the two inspiring Degrowth festivals, AltShift in Austria and Metamorphosis in our Living Lab Can Masdeu here in Barcelona, organized by our former students this summer. Our masters‘ graduates include people from different walks of life who follow different careers and develop trajectories in different positions of influence – coordinating action and facilitating collaboration among this emerging network of “degrowthers” is a major strategic priority for us.

As R&Di, we continued to strengthen our regional and international connections. In August, we participated in the Zagreb International Degrowth Conference, where the International Degrowth Network and the International Degrowth Assembly were launched. We took part in the Beyond Growth Conference Follow-Up Event in Brussels and discussed the new green and social deal for Europe with political stakeholders. Additionally, we presented Degrowth to the Catalan “Memòries de la Terra“ movement, introduced Degrowth as a transformation strategy to the global climate justice movement at the Milan World Congress for Climate Justice, and connected with the Australian Degrowth movement at the Australian Degrowth Network Conference.

As ever, our researchers persist in their pioneering scientific work. Recent publications from our members include research on the perceptions of degrowth among elected members of the European Parliament, post-growth scenarios for 1.5 °C warming, estimates of how much the Global North should compensate countries of the Global South for past carbon emissions (see media coverage of this research here), new research on the social determinants of health and disease, a novel sociological theory of the caring class as a new social and political subject and new thinking on the connections between urbanization and degrowth.

Thank you once more for your crucial support, and our warmest wishes to you and your loved ones for the upcoming year!

The R&Di Team