On Friday 15 May, University of Utrecht organises her second symposium on Degrowth: From circular economy to circular society. During the event, it will be explored what a circular society can look like and how it can be achieved from the perspectives of practitioners and academics alike.
Experts warn of the high risk of climate change, resource scarcity and mass extinction of species if we continue on the current path of increasing resource extraction and dependence on fossil fuels as the main source of energy. Wholescale transformations are thus needed to keep the Earth within the safe limits of 1.5 degrees temperature rise, and preserve resources and ecosystems for the future, while providing for the needs of a rising human population.
The concept of the circular economy so far has been largely promoted as a solution that would enable the decoupling of economic growth from environmental degradation. Many scholars, on the other hand, argue that a democratic and equitable sustainability transformation cannot be achieved in conditions of continuous economic growth.
The following questions are at the core of this symposium:
- What does a de-growing circular society mean?
- Why do we need to transition from a circular economy to a circular society?
- How can a circularity transition address social and environmental well-being while reducing humanity’s global environmental footprint?
- What are policy solutions for a circular economy and society that stays within the planetary boundaries?
Socrates Schouten of Waag's Commons Lab will discuss opportunities and barriers for the circular society in practice, in a panel with Joey Hodde of De Ceuvel and Martine Postma of Repair Cafe. This discussion will take place at 14:50 hrs. The symposium will be held online.