Interparliamentary Workgroup for Post-growth

More and more people are realizing that a growth-oriented economy is ecologically unsustainable and socially undesirable on the long run, even within politics. Conversations about the need for systemic transformation and a radical new economic narrative that puts the well-being of people and planet instead of economic growth at its core, are becoming ubiquitous.

In June 2022, Commons Network took the initiative to establish an Interparliamentary Workgroup for Post-growth. The group will form a cross-party group of parliamentarians from the Senate and House of Representatives in The Hague, and will function as a working group, sounding board, inspiration hub and incubator of the post-growth narrative and post-growth policymaking within the Dutch political landscape. The group will meet on a regulatory basis where the composition will remain open and vary depending on projects taken up and coalitions being formed. There will be close collaboration with civil society partners such as  Oxfam NovibThe Wellbeing Economy Alliance NLPostgroei Nederland and Ontgroei.

The occasion was the publication of our most recent book Living well on a Finite Planet, Building a Caring World beyond Growth, in which we bring together ideas from the international degrowth movement, planetary health thinking and the practices of the commons, to build an economy that is more just, caring and sustainable. We received many responses from politicians from political parties such as Groenlinks, Bij1 and PvdD, and feel there is a shared need to strengthen the post-growth voice in parliament.

Intended outcomes:

  • Parliamentary hearings on post-growth with international and national speakers (the first one being planned in late October)
  • A series of expert meetings with academics, policy makers and activists from the post-growth movement in the Netherlands
  • A series of reports “How do we get out of the growth trap?”, discussing current societal topics using the post-growth framework
  • A series of round tables within parliament to keep MPs outside the Interparliamentary group informed and inspired

Duration: June 2022 – June 2025

Project lead: Winne van Woerden

Related publications:

Degrowth: Building a New Discourse of Health and Care

Degrowth and Health: Caring as an Ethic of Non-Exploitation

Degrowth, Health and Commoning Practices

Launching our new series “Debunking Degrowth Myths”

‘We can decouple economic growth from ecological impact’ and other myths

‘We need growth because otherwise our economies will collapse’ and other myths

Wanted for Planetary Health: A degrowth transformation rooted in caring commoning practices (External publication at Resilience.com)

Why the climate movement should put decoloniality at its core (External publication at Resilience.com)

Voor een Avondje Weg van de Groei (Dutch) (Based on Common In Happening Stop de Groei with Harriët Bergman, Jaap Tielbeke en Winne van Woerden)

Related presentations:

Booklaunch at Fearless Cities Conference, Barcelona, July 2021

Presentation ISEE-ESEE Conference “Building Alternative Livelihoods in times of ecological and
political crisis”
 (International and European Society for Ecological Economics), Manchester, July 2021

Presentation 8th International Degrowth Conference “Caring Communities for
Radical Change”
, Den Haag, August 2021

Presentation Be-Cause International Conference “Climate Justice & Health Equity”, Antwerpen, November 2021

Presentation XIV ESEE Conference “Will Achilles catch up with the Turtoise?”, Pisa, June 2022

Presentation summer school “Global Health between ethics and economisation”, Berlijn, July 2022

Podcast “Een bloeiende samenleving heeft geen economische groei”, (Dutch) Het Redelijke Midden, February 2022

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