From green growth to ‘degrowth’


by GoodUp Info

A week or 2 ago  we wrote about the tragedy of the commons, and more specifically about how we can prevent it from becoming worse than it currently is.

Two lines of thought have dominated this discussion (source):

  • Garrett Hardin’s top-down approach: in his essay, Hardin explained that there was no way to manage communal property sustainably. The only solution was to obliterate the communal aspect. Either the commons could be nationalised and managed by the state – a Leviathan for the age of environmentalism – or the commons could be privatised, divided up into little parcels and handed out to individual farmers, who would then look after their own land responsibly.
  • His rival Lin Ostrom thought that the problem with Hardin’s logic was the very first step: the assumption that communally owned land was a free-for-all. It wasn’t. The commons were owned by a community. They were managed by a community. These people were neighbours. They lived next door to each other. In many cases, they set their own rules and policed those rules.

Now, new research has shown that both approaches are probably not enough to prevent further tragedy. Even when our way of governing our increasing consumption improves drastically, there is no such thing as green growth.

Green growth is only possible when we decouple economic growth from ecologic deterioration. But a new, extensive scientific analysis by a group of systems scientists and economists who have advised the United Nations shows ‘no evidence of the kind of decoupling needed for ecological sustainability’ .

So we need to move to an impact-first purpose economy. And we need to do it now (this is how GoodUp works towards it).

But we need more. According to Simon Kuper from the Financial Times, If green growth doesn’t exist, the only way to prevent climate catastrophe is “degrowth” now, not in 2050. Or, in the words of this brand new article in Nature Communications: Any transition towards sustainability can only be effective if far-reaching lifestyle changes complement technological advancements. However, existing societies, economies and cultures incite consumption expansion and the structural imperative for growth in competitive market economies inhibits necessary societal change.

At GoodUp we’re convinced that a society where wellbeing and balance outweigh wealth and economic growth is better for all, but we’re also aware that our existing structures block a transformation towards it on a national, organisational and individual level.

Question is: how can we change this together? Let us know on our LinkedIn post!

The rest of this article will cover some fresh articles on going green and activating purpose.

The world needs more solutionaries

Our friend Afdhel Aziz pointed us towards an insightful new article by Zoe Weil M.A. Weil coins the term solutionary. Maybe solutionaries are the answer to our question above?

“A solutionary is someone who is able to identify inhumane and unsustainable systems, then develop solutions that are healthy and just for people, animals, and the environment.”

📖  Full Psychology today article here

How Capgemini plans on saving millions of tons of CO2 by 2030

In this article in businessgreen, Capgemini’s head of corporate sustainability James Robey says that “Sustainability is very much at the forefront of the chief executive and chief experience officer’s agenda. We are less worried about the detailed business case, because actually we recognise that there is no business case for not being sustainable.”

📖 Read the full article here

Masterclass “Building social entrepreneurship within your organization” (Dutch)

You can now subscribe to join an amazing 6-day masterclass organised by our purpose-driven partners at Outside Inc in collaboration with Universiteit Utrecht and Social Entrepreneurship Initiative.

It’s aimed at managers who want to offer employees space to bring in ideas with regard to the social objectives of the organization. You will acquire the latest academic knowledge in the field of social intrapreneurship and corporate social entrepreneurship, and you will learn how to leverage this knowledge to increase the innovative capacity of your organization.

📃 Click for more information
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