RESPONDER Final Conference in Brussels, April 2014

Expressions of Interest

The European project RESPONDER ( deals with potential political, social and economic contradictions between sustainable consumption and economic growth. Contradictions are dealt with by trying to link 4 different communities: scientists and policymakers on the one hand, and on the other, what could be called the “pro-growth community” (mostly mainstream economists and policy makers oriented towards the EU Lisbon Strategy) and the “beyond-growth community” (mostly scientists and ecological economists highlighting biophysical limits to growth, social movements in several European member states and policy makers involved in the sustainable development debate). In order to do so, the European project RESPONDER is based on Knowledge Brokerage Events (KBE) that use the technique of System Mapping with participation of academics, civil society activists and policy-makers. Ten KBE have taken place since 2011 on a variety of topics in the framework of a discussion on sustainability and economic growth and two European dialogues. Neo-liberal, Keynesian and Post-Growth perspectives are welcome in the analysis on 1) the food system, 2) ICT technologies 3) transport, mobility, 4) housing and urban planning   5) household savings, financial and environmental sustainability.

The project is coordinated by André Martinuzzi (RIMAS, Research Institute for Managing Sustainability, WU), and work packages are lead by several European ecological economics groups. Participants in RESPONDER include Tim Jackson (CES-University of Surrey), Paula Antunes and Nuno Videira (FFCT/UNL), Inge Ropke (DTU), Sigrid Stagl (WU), Joan Martinez-Alier and Giorgos Kallis (ICTA-UAB), Gerd Scholl and Frieder Rubik (IÖW), Friedrich Hinterberger and Jill Jäger (SERI), Richard Filcak (IF SAS).

The ICTA UAB is in charge of organizing the two-day final conference in Brussels in April 2014 (tentative date 3-4 April,  tbc). We aim at a conference in which not less than one fourth of participants will be policy makers from various countries in the EU, willing to engage with civil society organizations and academics geared to policy proposals on sustainability and economic growth (or non-growth).

In the conference we wish to commemorate Sicco Mansholt’s strong engagement (as president of the European Commission in 1972) with post-growth perspectives.

The ICTA UAB can give a subcontract for a tentative maximum of 29,000 € to a local organizer (NGO, university department, consulting firm…) of the conference in Brussels which has good contact to policy makers and who  1) will secure an appropriate location for no more than 80 participants, who will break out into smaller groups, 2) will pay for travel costs and lodging for 5 plenary speakers chosen in agreement with ICTA-UAB and the coordinators of RESPONDER, 3) will pay for the work of a professional facilitator during the conference, chosen in agreement with ICTA UAB, 4) will provide the catering for participants, 5) will ensure together with ICTA UAB and the coordinators of RESPONDER the running of the conference as regards the programme, facilities, and also in collecting the papers and minutes, and doing some videotaping of the conference for further dissemination 6) will make a substantive contribution to the scientific and policy contents, and civil society engagement in the conference.

Expressions of interest (including name of organization and responsible person, postal address, email address; the organization’s curriculum, maximum 5 pages) should be sent to Professor Joan Martinez-Alier ( and to Viviana Asara ( before July 20th, 2013.

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