Degrowth Week

The 9th International Degrowth Conference in Zagreb has an extensive program, only a part of which is reserved for registered participants. The rest is free and open to all. The entire program you can explore here, while keynote talks, panels, workshops and cultural events open to the public you can discover scrolling down this page. We encourage you to join us and the movement for a just and sustainable future for all!

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Wednesday 30/8

15:00-16:00 Zagrebački velesajam
Kongresni centar 1

Keynote speaker:
Roland Ngam

Degrowth in an African Periphery: Recentering Decoloniality around Ecocentric and Circular Ontologies

The hegemonic capitalist system likes to argue that endless growth is possible, that if you work hard enough, you too can have your mansion with blue swimming pool and lush green lawns, gas-guzzlers in the garage and maybe a football team in one of the top European leagues. Unrelenting cultural hegemony messaging is churned out to co-opt enough people to join the impossible rat race to the top of the consumerism matrix. But make no mistake: hegemonic capitalism is both the creator and consequence of brutal exploitation of black, brown and white bodies, women’s backs, nature and all the commons that we were all meant to enjoy equally.
There is no doubt that the climate crisis we are witnessing today is a direct consequence of hegemonic capitalism. The pervasive hegemonic anthropocentric ontology powered the British-centred food regime, the industrial revolution, post-World War II expansionism, the American-led food regime, the modern financialised food-regime and everything else in-between. Far from being limited to the Global North, capital and corporatisation has expanded its frontier of accumulation to so-called emerging and underdeveloped countries in the Global South.
In this perspective, the degrowth debate invites itself to the Global South, not in the sense of litigating levels of consumption in affluent societies, but rather to dismantle the global architecture of exploitation that sucks the lifeblood of the Global South in order to provide the Global North with cheap meat and cheap electronics. This taken argues that the current anthropocentric ontology is quickly taking us to the edge of a cliff – the point of no return – and the only thing that can help us avert certain disaster is an ethnocentric degrowth ontology within a new internationalism.

18:00-19:30 Zagrebački velesajam Kongresni centar 1

Speakers: Nessim Achouche (RLS Bruxelles), Ana Maria Boromisa (IRMO), Pablo Sanchez (EPSU), Darko Šeperić (UATUC), Ludovic Voet (ETUI), Thomas Würdinger (IGM)

Moderated by: Daniel Chavez (TNI)

Industry, Labour, Work – Degrowth Perspective on Political Economy for Global Periphery

There are legitimate but also unjustified fears related to the future of industry and the future of work in a post-growth society. In our debate we will focus on the political economy of a degrowth society on the global periphery. Regardless of geographical position, we will focus on the most vulnerable aspects of the industry that need to be transformed and search for ways how working conditions can be further improved. Challenges related to automation or digitalisation of work will be considered through the role of technology while carbon and environmental impacts of the industry will be closely examined. An exchange between trade unionists, workers and the degrowth movement will be essential in defining the framework of discussion that is not yet taking place.

18:00-19:30 Zagrebački velesajam Kongresni centar 2

Speakers: Olha Boiko (CAN EECCA), Gwendoline Delbos (MEP, Green group in the EP), Hajar Kamlichi (Mediterannean Youth Climate Network), Richard Wouters (WB GroenLinks)

Moderated by: Jamie Kendrick (Green European Journal)

Geopolitics of Degrowth

It makes sense for the EU to be a frontrunner in the transition to a degrowth society. This is a matter of ecological justice: EU countries bear the greatest historical responsibility for the crises of climate and biodiversity, and can free up natural resources for the Global South without loss of wellbeing. But what would degrowth mean for geopolitics? Can a Europe that is the first to renounce economic growth still remain (or become) a global player? Will it be able to defend itself, its allies, democracy and the international rule of law against aggressive autocrats? After all, the power of countries and alliances is largely determined by their wealth and military capabilities. Without billions in Western support, both money and arms, Ukraine would not be able to hold out against the Russian aggressor.
This panel brings together policymakers, experts and practitioners for a frank conversation on the geopolitical risks and opportunities for a degrowth Europe. What concepts, alliances, or alternative forms of power might answer to the challenge of combining ecological, democratic, and geopolitical resilience?

17:00, 19:00 & 21:00 on Wednesday, Thursday & Friday, Muzej suvremene umjetnosti


Showings run for 70 minutes and receive up to 7 audience members. Make sure you reserve your seat in advance at

Video: Hrvoslava Brkušić
Animation: Marko Tadić
Sound: Hrvoje Nikšić
Costume: Silvio Vujičić
Screens: Alan Vukelić
Child’s voice: Priska Pia Pristaš
Technical Support: Branimir Štivić

Co-production: Domino Cooperative (Zagreb), The New Post Office (Slovenian Youth Theatre and Maska Ljubljana) and Museum of Contemporary Art (Zagreb)

CO2: Undecidable Question

“Way back when things had a predictable growth, friends from Ljubljana invited us to prefigure the future, to propose a project for 2023. We decided to perform a turn: instead of predicting future, we tried to return to historical moments of expression of collective will… to mythical moments of uncertainty… to the murmur of undecided pasts. What we didn’t forsee was that from then on we would try to practice the impossible. Some things happened we thought were impossible. Some impossible things still could happen. Nailed in the permanent present of poetry, we are still looking for voices from the future that announce answers to so far undecidable questions!”

CO 2… a couple of artists is a new artistic formation entangling Nikolina Pristaš and Goran Sergej Pristaš in a series of encounters with artists, experts and students which may or may not happen, whose swerves may or may not generate series of new encounters and
relations between art, bodies and climate.

19:00-21:00 Centar mladih Ribnjak

Film screening + discussion

Environmental Film Festival

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Faced with both her hot-tempered father’s fading health and melting ice-caps that flood her ramshackle bayou community and unleash ancient aurochs, six-year-old Hushpuppy must learn the ways of courage and love.

Director: Benh Zeitlin
Stars: Quvenzhané Wallis, Dwight Henry, Levy Easterly

Thursday 31/8

15:00-16:00 Zagrebački velesajam
Kongresni centar 1

Keynote speaker:
Françoise Vergès

Breathing: A Revolutionary Act

How do we turn the right to breathe into a struggle that is decolonial, feminist, queer, anti-racist, pro-Indigenous, anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, and internationalist? 
The right to breathe is a call for revolutionary action.

16:30-18:00 Zagrebački velesajam Kongresni centar 1

Speakers: Marwa Arsanios,
farid rakun/ruangrupa

Moderated by: Ana Dević & Pablo Martínez

Part of the WHW program: Artistic Ecologies: New Compasses, Tools and Alliances

Artistic Ecologies: New Compasses, Tools and Alliances

How can artistic and cultural practices put forward new eco-social practices committed to sharing resources and creating open infrastructure? How can artistic ecologies renew alliances between communities, institutions and new forms of activism for social and environmental justice? Artistic practices with their transversal thinking are rich in examples of self-sufficiency, international solidarity and conviviality in the face of adversity. Thus, we look for concrete examples of practices that apply principles of commons outside and inside of the art field, or are developed in collaboration with ecology, ecofeminism, land struggles and environmental defenders, as well as in dialogue with communities they settle in.

Marwa Arsanios will talk about her project and research Who is Afraid of Ideology? that looks at different strategies of deprivatizing land spread across geographies. How can we shift the relation to land from ownership to usership? Property becomes the central point of discussion, while going beyond its mere legal significance and trying to expand the imagination into various forms of collective ownership.  
As their mode of operation (and borrowed for the title of the last edition of documenta in Kassel, DE, in 2022), ruangrupa—with other Jakarta-based collectives, notably Serrum and Grafis Huru Hara—has been stubbornly pushing themselves, playing, experimenting with, and continuously improving the notion of lumbung. Translated literally as a rice barn in Indonesian, it refers to a deeper understanding of time, space, friendship, care, and—to a certain extent—(non) productivism. Using this non-concept as basis, farid rakun from the collective will share experiences brought by this ongoing attempt to sustain their situated collective practice.

16:30-18:00 Zagrebački velesajam Kongresni centar 2

Donna Andrews (University of Johannesburg), Shrishtee Bajpai (Global Tapestry of Alternatives), Natalie Bennett (Green member, House of Lords), Arpita Bisht (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Bas Eickhout (MEP, Green group in the EP) and Maritza Islas (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México).

Moderated by: Vedran Horvat (Institute for Political Ecology) 

Decolonisation and Degrowth – Degrowth Narratives from the Global South Perspective

In this debate we want to tackle controversies and contradictions related to the reception and perception of the degrowth in the Global South. While the main principles of degrowth highly resonate and share some direction with various principles and philosophies such as Buen Vivir in Latin America, the language of ‘degrowth’ is far from ideal when it comes to terms of climate justice, emancipation or right to development. Coined for the developed and industrialised North, the concept of degrowth sometimes appears as an unjust – and again – neocolonial project which could be misused in order to normalise poverty or disable development. With our conversation we will try to unlock the debate which is captured in the tension of conflict between consumption-oriented exctractivism of natural resources and the degrowth narrative often misinterpreted as a new sacrifice or imposed austerity. Last but not least, the panel will also address the role of EU trade and investment policy in the Global South and its responsibility in shaping growth and degrowth debate.

18:00-19:30 Zagrebački velesajam Kongresni centar 1

Speakers: Marija Bartl (University of Amsterdam), Alessandra Giannessi (UNICARE), Valeria Graziano (Pirate Care), Jelena Miloš (Croatian MP, Možemo!), Nithi Nesadurai (Climate Action Network South East Asia)

Moderated by:
Tomislav Medak (Multimedia Institute)

Care and Degrowth: Old Acquaintance, New Friendship

Degrowth is premised on reducing material extraction while increasing societal wellbeing. This inversion implies a shift away from the production of material goods toward the provision of care to enable individual, collective and environmental flourishing. In order to achieve that, post-growth societies will need to see both an expansion of public care provision and its embedding into communities, extending care to those to whom its denied and improving conditions under which care is provided. However, the present realities of care provision is that it is frequently performed as an unwaged form of labour or by workers, mostly women and migrants, who can expect the least protection in the labour market. While the pandemic was an opportunity to begin to transform the systems of care, the failure to institute change is now resulting in an evisceration of the sector and an exodus of workers. Starting from this crisis, in this panel we want to explore how the vital function of care can be restored and strengthened through community action, expansion of public services and redistributive practices. It is through the struggles around care that we can begin to envision what contours the future post-growth societies might actually take.

18:00-20:30 Zagrebački velesajam Kongresni centar 2


Part one:
City of Zagreb representative (TBC),
Eric Piolle (Mayor of the City of Grenoble,
FR / online)

Lucia di Paola (ICLEI), Imogen Hamilton-Jones (LSE Cities), Ana Méndez de Andés (University of Sheffield), Chloe Pottinger-Glass (Stockholm Environment Institute), Elisabeth Richardson (University of Manchester)

Part two:
Ada Amon (Climate Advisor to the
Mayor of Budapest), Sophie Bloemen (Commons Network), Dirk Holemans (GEF/OIKOS), Cléo Mieulet (Transformation House) 

Moderated by:
Branko Ančić (Institute for Social Resarch Zagreb) &
Vedran Horvat (Institute for Political Ecology)

Cities in the Post-Growth Era – Theory and Practice (two parts)

In the post-growth debates, there is a growing number of arguments around what degrowth a state can provide. While the issue of scale sometimes is discouraging for larger states to consider post-growth as an alternative, the same cannot be applied to cities which are in principle closer to principles of conviviality, self-provisioning or decentralisation. At the same time, most recently we were able to observe that cities were much faster in declaring climate emergency, engaging in various re-municipalisation measures, local deliberations etc. In this debate, we want to explore if cities already do develop post-growth scenarios for their future and how they translate these ideas into policies and actions at the local level. We will focus both on transformative practices but also on opportunities through which cities can untie themselves from the obsessive growth-orientation that supposedly defines their financial planning and stability and accordingly public services they are expected to provide. Also, as long as cities stay the playground of hyperconsumption, any other transformative policies will hardly be sufficient for a real overall needed transformation.

19:00-21:00 Centar mladih Ribnjak

Film screening + discussion

Environmental Film Festival

The Seeds of Vandana Shiva

How did the willful daughter of a Himalayan forest guard become Monsanto’s worst nightmare? The Seeds of Vandana Shiva tells the remarkable life story of Gandhian eco-activist Dr. Vandana Shiva, how she stood up to the corporate Goliaths of industrial agriculture, rose to prominence in the food justice movement, and inspired an international crusade for change.

Directors: Camilla Denton Becket, James Becket

Friday 1/9

15:00-16:00 Zagrebački velesajam
Kongresni centar 1

Keynote speaker:
Alexandra Köves

The Role of Utopia in a Degrowth Transition

Degrowth activists and researchers are often dismissed on account of pursuing a utopia. But why should that be a problem in a world where it seems easier for people to imagine a planet on fire where we kill each other for fresh water and the remainder of our resources than an economy that transcends the current mainstream? Humankind seems to be acting like rabbits in the headlights, frozen by the prospect of complete annihilation and the incapability of moving towards adequate solutions to avert total destruction. The presentation will rely on the combination of behavioural science and systems thinking to suggest why the Cambridge dictionary’s definition of utopia, “a perfect society in which people work well with each other and are happy” is a great way to prod humanity out of this inactive state. Beyond the theory, the experience of a series of backcasting projects will be presented to show how diverse groups – even those untouched by Degrowth concepts – end up imagining Degrowth scenarios when given the time and space to deliberate on a normative future and to suggest ways to get there.

16:30-18:00 Zagrebački velesajam Kongresni centar 2

Danijela Dolenec (Zagreb Deputy Mayor, Možemo!), Vincent Liegey, Judith Pape (activist, Berlin), Sonja Schirmbeck (FES Zagreb Office)

Moderated by:  Mislav Žitko

Degrowth and the Political Left

The degrowth movement shares many values with other left-oriented political movements and parties. Yet, until recently, the degrowth movement has been very distant from the political, or even policy arena, mainly operating within the academic community and social movements. Given the constantly shifting boundaries of political identities of left parties – social democrats, greens and the left – in this debate we want to explore experiences of exchange between the degrowth movement and institutional politics. Needless to say, most of the abovementioned parties still don’t integrate post-growth into their political programs. Therefore, we want to identify convergences and divergences that currently exist between main degrowth demands and political programs (and degrowth-friendly policies). The debate will also aim to identify potential continuities and legacies of left politics which can strengthen the connection with contemporary claims of the degrowth movement.

18:00-19:30 Zagrebački velesajam Kongresni centar 1

Introductory talk:
Philippe Lamberts
(MEP, Green group in the EP)

Giovanni Allegretti (University of Coimbra), Manon Aubry (MEP, Left in the EP / online), Sandra Benčić (MP, Možemo!), Mario Munta (European University Institute), Philip Pochet (ETUI), Julia Steinberger (University of Lausanne), Milan F. Živković (SDP)

Moderated by: Vedran Horvat (IPE)

Postgrowth Pluriverse(s) in Policy Sphere(s): European Green Deal and Beyond

During this high-level panel the intention is to provide a critical and post-growth friendly ‘reading’ of the European Green Deal. European Green Deal is a complex and multi-layered program of the European Commission to implement a green transition across the EU. Yet, it faces great challenges. The most important one in this context is that it relies on the paradigm of green growth, which implies that new technologies and re-direction of financial flows will be sufficient to deliver a sustainable future for European citizens. It completely ignores the social dimension of the Green Deal and accordingly the need for a broad re-distribution. It is also a top-down policy-driven program which lacks a great deal of democratic legitimacy and support from deliberative processes. In the world of a poly-crisis, we will aim to explore to which extent various post-growth debates can reach and make an impact on policy-making spheres both at the European and national levels. One of the main focuses of our conversation will be how European Green Deal can -or can not – ensure just climate transition.

18:00-19:30 Hrvatski dom likovnih umjetnika

Organised by Multimedia Institute & Museum of Contemporary Art.

A conversation between Françoise Vergès and Maja Solar on the occasion of the Croatian publication of “Un féminisme décolonial”

A Decolonial Feminism grapples with the central issues in feminist debates today: from Eurocentrism and whiteness, to power, inclusion and exclusion.

Centring anticolonialism and anti-racism within an intersectional Marxist feminism, the book puts forward an urgent demand to free ourselves from the capitalist, imperialist forces that oppress us.

20:00-22:00 Hrvatsko društvo likovnih umjetnika

Marwa Arsanios, Željko Beljan, Marina Naprushkina, Rupali Patil, Dan Perjovschi, Selma Selman, Marko Tadić and Cecilia Vicuña

EXHIBITON OPENING: Planet, People, Care-It Spells Degrowth!

Under the same title as the conference, Planet, People, Care-It Spells Degrowth! is an exhibition conceived in dialogue with the conference. The focus of the exhibition is on potentialities of socio-metabolic transformation that our societies need to undertake to return to their fair share within planetary boundaries, and to maintain emancipation and solidarity for all in their population. The artists included in the exhibition are preoccupied with reconfiguring new subjectivities through reimagining commons, reusing, repurposing, agitating and sharing, as well as igniting new imaginaries through collective desire, joy and solidarity.

Curated by: Ana Dević/WHW
In collaboration with: The Croatian Association of Visual Artists (HDLU), Zagreb
Produced by WHW: Ana Kovačić, Gordana Borić, Sara Mikelić
Exhibition design: Marko Tadić
Technical support and set up: Marin Kovačević, Vedran Grladinović

WHW activities are realized in conjunction with the two-year collaborative project Artistic Ecologies: New Compasses, Tools and Alliances implemented in collaboration with the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam and Neue Nachbarschaft/Moabit.

Saturday 2/9

10:00-17:00 Centar za mlade Ribnjak


Degrowth Meets Ecological Renaissance

A full day of parallel performative and interactive workshops, all part of the Degrowth Conference’s official programme, will be hosted within Youth Centre Ribnjak’s Ecological Renaissance series. Experience feminist and alternative economies, community and environmental care, art and sustainability…

09:30-17:00 Centar za mlade Ribnjak

talks and workshops

Nithi Nesadurai,
Eunice Asiedu,
Maritza Islas,
Olha Boiko,
Mirela Holy

Degrowth in the Global South

A full day of talks and workshops organised by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung reflecting on environmental struggles, ecological sustainability and justice across the Global South.

10:00 Centar za mlade Ribnjak

a round table

Speakers: Jamie Kendrick (Green European Journal), Edouard Gaudot (Green European Journal), Natalie Benett (Green member, House of Lords), Predrag Momčilović (Center for Green Politics)

Green European Journal: Can degrowth rescue climate politics?

Climate politics is facing a backlash. From mining to migration, everywhere we look new conflicts and dilemmas are emerging around the climate crisis and the green transition. Media partner of the International Degrowth Conference, the Green European Journal invites you to a discussion on its latest print issue on the new environmental divides reshaping politics and the role of degrowth.

10:00-17:00 Centar za mlade Ribnjak


Confederalism and Municipalism

Join discussions in the park on democratic confederalism in Rojava, degrowth proposals for meeting everyone’s basic needs for the city of Vienna, experiences of municipalist government in the city of Zagreb.

14:00-15:30 Centar mladih Ribnjak


GEF Knowledge Communities: Mike Duff “Cities and Degrowth”

19:00-20:00 Centar za mlade Ribnjak

open air concert

CONCERT: Rundek Degrowth Trio