Building Alternative Livelihoods
in Times of Ecological and Political Crisis
International Online Joint Conference of the international degrowth research networks, the International Society for Ecological Economics, and the European Society for Ecological Economics, hosted by University of Manchester, UK,
July 5-8, 2021
A virtual conference inevitably means the conference will be less tied to our regional location and its agendas. However, we are reviewing options for continued exploration of conference themes here in Manchester, including via arts and activist elements and possible follow up events.
Building Alternative Livelihoods in times of political and ecological crisis is the overarching theme of the conference.
Economic systems have always co-evolved with social, environmental, and technological systems. The worsening ecological and climate crisis means we must urgently abandon practices of production and consumption associated with ecological degradation or relying on unsustainable extractivism. We must develop alternative livelihoods that are harmonious with planetary limits and safeguard material living conditions. We must invent and trial new ways of working, providing for everyone’s needs, caring for each other, and democratising the economy. We must seek clarity about the systems of provisioning which will be utilised in a society beyond growth where states and markets play more peripheral roles in the allocation of resources. In short, we must ask what are the alternative livelihoods which ensure the future conditions of societal wellbeing.
The construction of alternative livelihoods entails a radical transformation of economy, culture, and society. What are the institutional arrangements which safely provide for basic needs, social stability, and democratic legitimacy in the transition to environmental sustainability? How can both social justice and ecological justice for the populations of the Global North and the Global South be ensured? How can political support be mobilised for the necessary transformations? How can a socially just transition to environmental sustainability be made politically viable and democratically legitimate?