This book is the result of a two-year exploration of the post-growth movement, merging planetary health thinking, feminist economics and fieldwork from Dutch healthcare and caring commoning practices. Degrowth is about societies that become slower by design, rather than by disaster. It describes a shift to a world that is more autonomous, ecologically sufficient and caring. We argue that a careful degrowth transformation requires a new discourse of health and care, guided by different dynamics and practices.
In this book, we show that the ideology of ‘growth as good’ – and the growth-focused system it upholds – is the lead cause of rising inequalities and ecological destruction. We explore what it means to move beyond growth, towards a vision for a society that is centered around care, autonomy and sufficiency.
Throughout the book, we ask the question: If a growth-centered economic system is making us and the planet sick, what can we do to transform it? We introduce the reader to the key features of the degrowth narrative and explore what we can learn from the growing movement of self-organizing caring citizen collectives – or commons – that display various facets of degrowth. We show that degrowth envisions a world that is already in the making in places where these commoning practices are flourishing.
About the authors
Living Well on a Finite Planet: Building a Caring World Beyond Growth was written by Winne van Woerden, who works as Lead Researcher Degrowth and Caring Economy at Commons Network in Amsterdam and Thomas de Groot, co-director at Commons Network.
Contributing authors: Dr. Remco van der Pas, Senior Research Fellow Global Health at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp and Sophie Bloemen, co-director at Commons Network.
Expert reviewers: Stacco Troncoso, Commons Advocate and Co-founder of DisCO.coop and Guerilla Translation and David Hammerstein, senior advisor at Commons Network.
Copy editor: Luke Bailey.
Artwork and formatting: Mick van Dijk.
This report is published under the Creative Commons license CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0.