Visiting Venice and de-growing!

Last week the 3rd International Degrowth Conference took place in Venice. At least 600 growth objectors, coming from 50 countries and the five continents participated to this great get-together!

Many public events had been organised in conjunction, such as a movie festival or a debate in the Basilica Di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frare with Serge Latouche, some practical, study or academic workshops, but also meetings of activists and some convivial moments.

France was represented by Entropia, S, Latouche, Y. Cochet, as well as by some Growth Objectors who introduced the UAA (Unconditional Autonomy Allowance), our political strategy and many other things. We caught up with our Swiss friends and their fantastic new magazine Moins [Less! – Swiss Political ecology magazine in French)! And our friends from Barcelona Research & Degrowth, as well as Majid Rahnema, Jacques Grinevald, Gilbert Rist, Joan Martinez-Alier, Rob Hopkins, Arturo Escobar and many more.

The atmosphere reflected the self-management nature of the event, dialogues, and conviviality. We did notice how all share the self-searching permeating the French movement: How can we spread Degrowth whilst remaining true to our ideas? How can we respect and nourish the diversity of approaches, initiatives, and strategies? How can we create a convergence with the movements such as the Indignados Movement, Occupy, and the Leftist movements and political groups, and the ecologists? What projects? How can we reach each other? What kind of inter-generational relationships? What type of open relocalisation? Etc.

We are aware that we are facing  concurrent crises, a real civilisational crisis, but we are energised by the dynamism and the creativity of the transition initiatives all around the world. This is why we launched an appeal to develop some communication tools to improve communications and the sharing of our experiences: an internet site, a mapping in order to facilitate local meetings, a wiki site, an expanded Research & Degrowth Newsletter and mailing lists.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you want more information on these initiatives that we will forward.

You can also find videos of the plenary sessions, some pictures, texts, etcÉ

See you at in 2014 at next International Degrowth Conference. By then our Snail would have gone a long way!

Vincent Liegey

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