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RESPONDER final conference:

Austerity, Stimulus or Post-growth for Europe?

Revisiting Sicco Mansholt's Vision

The RESPONDER conference "Austerity, Stimulus or Post-growth for Europe? - Revisiting Sicco Mansholt's Vision" was held on 21 March 2014 at the European Parliament in Brussels. It was the final event of the RESPONDER project, funded by the European Commission, DG Research & Innovation, under the 7th Framework Programme. The event highlighted the successful outcomes of core RESPONDER project activities, including the outputs of three EU Dialogues that served as arenas for debate between European policy makers and researchers on the challenges and contradictions of sustainable consumption.

At the heart of the conference was a call to revisit the vision of Sicco Mansholt in building European strategies for achieving more sustainable societies, and to encourage dialogue between three different perspectives (neo-Keynesianism, austerity and post-growth/beyond growth) on the relationships between sustainability, society and economy, and the European crisis. This was accomplished by reviewing Mansholt’s calls as President of the European Commission in 1972  for „growth below zero“, by highlighting RESPONDER findings indicative that a greening of business as usual will only serve to exacerbate the unfolding crises, by exploring alternative narratives to the current economic, social and environmental crises and the solutions they imply, by debating the question „Where do we go from here?“ with scientists and policymakers coming from the three perspectives, and by holding smaller group discussions focused on finding practical ways to address the contradictions inherent in policy, research and civil society thought and action on sustainable consumption.

The one day conference, held in the European Houses of Parliament, was attended by over 140 researchers, parliamentarians and policy makers, representatives of civil society and non-government organisations, and project partners.

>> Click here for a documentation of the RESPONDER conference

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Vienna University of Economics and Business, Welthandelsplatz 1, A-1020 Vienna

The RESPONDER project is funded by FP7 under
the Environment (including Climate Change) theme.