First De-growth conference in North America – April 29 to May 2nd

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada – With the global economy crumbling and traditional policy solutions falling short of addressing the roots of the problem, evidence is everywhere that a new approach to the economy is required.

Responding to these realities, a large group of bright minds are gathering in Vancouver for the 3rd International De-growth Conference April 29-May 2nd. This is the first De-growth conference in North America. Over the course of four days, the conference assembly will work to determine how to downscale the economy, without increasing poverty and unemployment, in order to reduce the burden on the environment and our citizens.

Featuring films, presentations and dialogue on the subject of de-growth, the conference includes the work of internationally known proponents of the De-growth movement including: Brian Czech, president, Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy; Anita Burke, Founder of the Catalyst Institute, and former advisor to Shell International on sustainable development; economist Mark Anielski, author of “The Economics of Happiness”; Peter Victor, an economist who has worked on environmental issues for over 40 years; Vanessa Timmer, One Earth Initiative, redefining the “good life”; Bill Rees, originator of the "ecological footprint" concept; David Hughes, on peak oil with 32 years with the Geological Survey of Canada; Rex Weyler, ecologist and journalist, co-founder of Greenpeace International; Jane Sterk, Leader, Green Party of BC; and Conrad Schmidt, Workless Party, De-growth Vancouver, author of “Workers of the World Relax.

Conference goals are to further develop understanding of the concept of de-growth as well as to create a De-growth Society, and see other De-growth conferences staged in North America


De-growth is a political, economic, and social movement based on environmentalist, anti-consumerist ideas. De-growth advocates for the downscaling of production and consumption—the contraction of economies—as overconsumption lies at the root of long term environmental issues and social inequalities. Key to the concept of de-growth is that reducing consumption allows individuals to maximize well-being through non-consumptive means—sharing work, consuming less, while devoting more time to art, music, family, culture and community.

At the individual level, de-growth is achieved by voluntary simplicity. Global solutions, for de-growth, involve a relocalization of economic activities to reduce our ecological imprint. De-growth opposes sustainable development because, while sustainable development aims to address environmental concerns, it does so with the goal of promoting economic growth which has failed to improve the lives of people and inevitably leads to environmental degradation.

De-growth conferences have previously been held in Paris, April 18-19, 2008, and

Barcelona March 26-29, 2010, drawing 500 scientists, civil society members from more than 40 countries in attendance.

The Vancouver Conference has more that 200 registered participants and runs from Thursday April 29 through May 2nd, 2010 at W2 Storyeum, 151 Cordova Street in Vancouver. For more information:

Media inquiries:    

Jennifer Campagnolo 778-928-9697

Conrad Schmidt 604-346-1328

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