After reading this book, I have become obsessed with the idea of 'less is more' and whether it's possible for society (in developed, industrialised nations) to thrive in a post-growth economy. I have no doubt that the environment will benefit.
Ever since studying Economics at A level, I along with everyone else have been told that GDP growth is good. More jobs, higher productivity, everyone better off. Both main political parties have a growing economy as one of their 5 main aims. But hasn't this growth led us to the social (massive inequality) and environmental (climate emergency) mess we find ourselves in today?
This book urges us and policy-makers to consider changing direction and look for an economy based on prosperity for all, rather than pure economic growth. It offers practical ideas, not fluffy, idealistic concepts. It is easy to read and my copy is now covered in highlighted sections and I find I refer to it often.
At the end of May 2023, there was an innovative Beyond Growth 2023 Conference in Brussels. The conference aimed to challenge conventional policy-making in the European Union and to redefine societal goals across the board, in order to move away from the harmful focus on sole economic growth – that is, the growth of GDP – as the basis of our development model. Delegates discussed the idea of a post-growth future-fit EU that combines social well-being and viable economic development with the respect of planetary boundaries.