Before going on vacation, I’ve decided I’d download some papers about degrowth in order to learn more about what’s actually going on in the topic, instead of relying on the gossip. After a short visit to Research Gate, I was ready to go offline for the two weeks I had to take some rest.

I really enjoyed reading these papers and I’m definitely going to read more.

Degrowth Politics and Policies for Degrowth

The first paper (also available online) gives an outline of 19 policies we could use, from regulating taxes with the aim to encourage certain behaviours, to changing social norms related to consumption. It also gives a very important hint: that degrowth movement should build alliances with other movements (e.g. veganism). Several other movements I could think of were: philosophical minimalism (as opposed to aesthetical one), zero-waste and solarpunk, because each of these movements is already trying to solve at least some of the problems that degrowth is focusing on.

Matrix of Convivial Technology

The other paper describes Matrix of Convivial Technology (MCT), a tool designed to qualitatively assess impact of technology. There are several possible uses for this tool, among which there are:

  • self-assessment of our own development of degrowth-oriented technology;
  • as an educational tool to help the young ones make better decisions about the technology they use.

I haven’t tried it yet, but I think I will — quite soon — because I’m planning to start a little project of my own, with the purpose of allowing zero-waste and degrowth communities to record and exchange ideas and knowledge. (At the moment of writing, I’m thinking about a wiki, but it might change over time.)