Day 1, Session 1: On the possible alliance between degrowth and ecological economics
Day 2, Session 1: Indigenous and Black communities and the impact of Covid I
Day 3, Session 2: Reflections: Making change happen
Day 1, Session 2: Gender, livelihood and the impact of Covid
Day 2, Session 2: Indigenous and Black communities and the impact of Covid I
Day 3, Session 3: A special intervention - Stuart Scott
Day 1, Session 3: Post COVID-19 challenges and options for green recovery in sub Saharan Africa
Day 3, Session 1: Class, livelihoods and alternative production
Day 4, Session 1: Decentralising Political Economies
Day 4, Session 2: Art and Degrowth. Reflecting on DegrowthFest, a community art exploration
Day 4, Session 3: Altamira 2042

Economy and livelihoods after Covid-19

A global on-line symposium of the international degrowth network and the International Society for Ecological Economics.

September 1 to September 4th, 2020, University of Manchester.

The Covid-19 pandemic and responses to it have had deeply  unequal impacts on lives, livelihoods and well-being across race, gender and class.  At the same time it has opened up the space for new possibilities for building alternative livelihoods and economies that can take us beyond a capitalist economy that requires ever expanding growth.  Will we go back to business as usual with all the ecological, social and economic risks that will bring or take the path towards a new kind of economy that provides for human needs of all while restoring and protecting the natural world that we all depend on?


Tuesday 1st September

Session 1: On the alliance between degrowth and ecological economics.

What are degrowth and ecological economics and how can they help us think and work for a different future, post Covid?

  • : Rationale of the roundtable by Joshua Farley and Federico Demaria Would an alliance between ecological economics and degrowth help both communities achieve their shared goals? Why or why not? If yes, how do we strengthen it?

  1. Ecological economics: Bina Agarwal, Julia Steinberger and Emanuele Campiglio

  2. Degrowth: Ekaterina Chertkovskaya, Ksenija Hanacek, Matthias Schmelzer

Session 2: Gender, livelihood and the impact of Covid . 

This session is organized by the Feminisms and Degrowth Alliance (FaDA). It contains intersectional feminist reflections on Covid-19 and the politics of social reproduction, the Care Income, and the politics of care and commons in a context of ecological crisis. After a brief introduction to FaDA by Corinna Dengler, who hosts this session alongside Katy Wiese, we are looking forward to mini-inputs (7-10 minutes) by:

  • Anna Saave on the pandemic as an opening for a care-full radical transformation;

  • Susan Paulson on Covid-19, care & masculinities;

  • Selma James and Nina López from the Global Women's Strike on the Care Income; and

  • Manuela Zechner on the politics of care and commons in a context of ecological crisis.

Session 3: Post COVID-19 challenges and options for adjusting Africa’s strategic vision and policy practice in pursuit of the SDGs (exact title TBD).

  • Rashid Hassan, 2020 Boulding Prize Winner

Introduced by Peter May.

Wednesday September 2nd

Sessions 4 and 5: Indigenous and Black communities and the impact of Covid

These session is drawn from members of indigenous and black communities.  Themes include: consideration of the impact of Covid, environmental injustices and the new authoritarianism on black and indigenous communities; perspectives on creating and strengthening social and economic alternatives.

Session 4


  • Ailton Krenak (Brazil)

  • Felipe Milanez (Brazil)

  • Zulma Zamora (Perú)

Session 5


  • Manuel May (Mexico)

  • Annie Moon (Navajo Nation)

  • Kevin Williams (Black American)

  • Josefina Skerk (Sami rights advocate, Norway)


Thursday September 3rd

Session 6: Class, livelihoods and alternative production

This session considers the impact of Covid and an ecological economy after Covid through class and livelihood.  It draws on movements by labour to shift to alternative systems of production.  How can production be redirected in more democratic ways to meet human needs?  It draws on the experience of the Lucas Plan, applying the lessons to the present context.


  • Hilary Wainwright (editor of Red Pepper)

  • Phil Asquith (Lucas Workers Combine)

  • Mick Cooney (Lucas Workers Combine)

Further speakers to be confirmed

Chair: Maeve Cohen

Session 7: Reflections: Making change happen

This session reflects on the colloquium discussions.  The panel is drawn from authors of recent books on degrowth and ecological economics.  Themes include: strategies and policies; incumbent interests and power; political mobilisation; responding to the new authoritarianism; social movements.  


  • Vincent Liegey

  • Susan Paulson

  • Neera Singh

  • Bathsheba Demuth

Chair:  Mark Burton,  co-moderator: Valeria Andreoni

Further speakers to be confirmed

Friday September 4th

Interventions from the Arts

Session 8: Decentralising Political Economies

 Decentralising Political Economies is an open-source research platform launching in September 2020. Set up as a long-term collaboration between The City Lab at Liverpool John Moores University, the Whitworth Art Gallery and The Association of Arte Útil, it explores the idea of usership in art through the implementation of real-world 1:1 scale projects in which artworks are themselves open-ended and functioning projects in the real world.

This session introduces notions of ‘usership’ and the ‘constituent-led’ in art and art institutions. In discussion with artist Owen Griffiths, whose recent projects include a community growing garden, the session considers alternative modes of ownership and rethinking livelihood in the context of civic space and urban landscapes.


  • Poppy Bowers (The Whitworth, The University of Manchester)

  • John Byrne (Liverpool John Moores University, School of Art and Design/City Lab)


Session 9: Reflecting on DegrowthFest, a community art exploration

From August 14 through 16, art installations and happenings emerged throughout the Old North End neighbourhood of Burlington, Vermont. Through these art pieces, community members explored what crises reveal, and what we want to bring forward toward desirable futures and leave behind along the way. Many contributions also engaged with degrowth as a concept and movement. They are all available in a virtual gallery, for which we are seeking more contributions.


In this session, some of DegrowthFest's organizers reflect on the event and open space to discuss community art projects as a way to learn together about degrowth and other important ideas for transformation.


Participants, all from DegrowBTV, Vermont, USA.

  • Meg Egler

  • Sam Bliss

  • Kristian Brevik

  • Lindsay Barbieri (to be confirmed)


Session 10 Altamira 2042


Gabriela Carneiro da Cunha introduces an on-line showing of Altamira 2042.  She leads a discussion following the showing.


‘In the excellent Altamira 2042… Gabriela Carneiro da Cunha turns a meditative jungle sound installation into a documentary study of people displaced by the ongoing construction of the massive Belo Monte hydroelectric plant on the Xingu river, a tributary of the Amazon. Warning of environmental catastrophe ahead, she sees the rainforest region of Altamira as “the energetic centre of a world war”. In a polarised world, it feels like the naked truth.’ (Mark Fisher, The Guardian, 29 March, 2019)