*Submission is closed*

Contemporary societies face unprecedented ecological, social and economic crises that call for an immediate and radical transformation of the dominant, growth-dependent mode of production and living. Degrowth, as a social movement and a burgeoning academic field of research, has focused on conceptual discussions, concrete utopias and case studies for a social-ecological transformation. What is missing, however, is an in-depth discussion on the strategies to achieve such a transformation.

The conference will have a participatory design, including a thorough documentation process to generate tangible outcomes for the degrowth movement and research community. 

The conference consists of two main parts, firstly understanding past and future transformations and the role of strategies and secondly, strategies in practice.

The conference: structure & topics

Part 1: Transformations and the Role of Strategy

Part 1 of the conference seeks to explore transformation processes, theories of change and approaches to strategies (for degrowth). Contributions are welcome that focus on theories or concepts of (social-ecological) transformation, historical analyses of social change, or the role of strategy in transformation processes. The aim is to examine pathways, potentials, obstacles and leverage points for social change, and how strategies are developed to affect these transformations. Questions include, but are not limited to: What are the key insights from recent transformation research? How to account for uncertainty and complexity when formulating and evaluating strategies? What are the strategies of the ‘political opponent’, e.g. multinational corporations? What can be learned from successful or unsuccessful actors or ‘change agents’, e.g. social movements?

Part 2: Strategies in Practice

Part 2 of the conference will build on the theoretical and conceptual insights of Part 1 (see above). Part 2 brings together scholars, practitioners, artists, and activists of various thematic  fields to collaboratively discuss and work on strategies towards degrowth in a more concrete manner. Contributions that present concrete strategies in thematic  fields (e.g. mobility, food, energy, etc.) are desired to showcase the diversity of existing strategies for social ecological transformation. The aim is to also critically react on these strategies, to better understand obstacles and leverage points in different contexts, and, where possible, to further advance or develop existing strategies.

  • Thematic Fields

    The conference will cover the following sectors and thematic fields in Part 2. Please indicate your thematic focus in the submission process. Choose „Other“ for a eld we have missed. If your work on concrete strategies is non-field specific and more broad, e.g. strategies for policy interventions, then please choose the last option in this list.

  • mobility
  • food
  • energy
  • built environment & housing
  • work & production
  • health & care
  • technology & digitalisation
  • finance & money systems
  • global justice/North-South relations
  • diversity & social justice
  • other fields
  • non-field specific strategies (e.g. institutional change or policy interventions)

Forms of Contributions

We warmly invite scholars, practitioners, activists and artists to send proposals for one or more of the three different forms of contributions: 

1. Standard Session, 2. Workshop Session, and 3. Consecutive Sessions. Within these forms, different formats are welcome, and we would like to encourage you to develop the format which  ts your purpose best. Each session lasts 90 minutes.

Presentations have a frontal design and are limited to 10-15 minutes for each single contribution plus discussion on the topic. Each session will contain 3-4 contributions. In order to advance dialogue, we will structure these sessions according to the received contributions. 

Possible Formats: Individual paper sessions, poster presentations, special session, short movies, debate with contentious positions, performances, etc.

Requirements for submission: Title and Abstract (600-1200 words)

On Special Sessions, please provide the following information: session title/theme, session convenor(s), abstract (ca. 400-600 words) on the overall session theme, and more detailed info about each single contribution (short abstract of around 100-150 words each), including title, author(s), content.

Workshops should have a participatory design and last 90 minutes.

Possible formats: panel discussion,  shbowl, World Café, living libraries, theatrical performances, wal- king tours, manifestations and  ash mobs, collec- tive (mind)-mapping, Pro Action Café (encouraging activities and actions related to a concrete questi- on), appreciative inquiry, etc.

Requirements for submission: Title and Abstract: provide a detailed description of the format and content (600-1200 words) including a short description of materials, space requirements, and max. size of audience.


Consecutive Sessions include up to three 90-minute sessions within a specific thematic  field of your choice. All consecutive sessions will be held on the day dedicated to strategies in practice (Part 2) . Your group or organisation can decide how to use the time and space to bring together various scholars and practitioners of the thematic  eld, to exchange, discuss and further develop strategies. Your role, as a group or organization, is both concept development in advance and facilitation of these sessions , with support from the organising team of the conference. For example, if you’re an expert or civil society organisation working on urban mobility and want to convene practitioners and activists to consider strategies for leveraging ‘smart city’ policies in depth across three sessions then this is for you. 

Requirements for submission: Title and Abstract: provide a detailed description of your target group, possible formats and goal of the consecutive session (600-1200 words) including a short presentation of your civil society or scientific organisation, indication of possible  financial or personnel support for session development, possible contacts and networks, clear objective of strategy development, and a short description of materials, space requirements, and max. size of audience.

Find all the important information on the Call for Contributions here:
PDF Call for Contributions – to download

Application Procedure

We look forward to receiving your submission and would be happy if you spread this call widely. 

If you have any questions about this process then please write us directly at info@degrowthvienna.org.


Please make your submissions before December 31st, 2019. Keep in mind, this conference has a thematic focus on strategies for degrowth, which requires that only submissions closely related to this theme can be accepted.