Institute for Social Research in Zagreb, Centre for Research in Social Inequalities and Sustainability invites you to attend the final conference of the project “New Paradigms in Sustainability Research: Green Economy and the Well-being of Youth” where project research will be presented.

The Conference will be held on Friday and Saturday, September 23rd-24th 2016 at the Chilloutka hall (Ilica 15, Zagreb).

The timetable as well as guest lecturers will be published later. The language of the Conference will be English.

Please, confirm your attendance to the Conference by Tuesday, 20th 2016 on e-mail: kgrbavac@idi.hr.

Except project results, the main theme of the Conference will be the sustainability and green economy:
Despite the first attempts in the early 90-ies to conceptualize policies for a green economy, a new socio-economic concept that tackles environmental and existential problems of unprecedented scale, green economy had not become a prominent topic of political and academic debates until the most recent global crisis. Expansion of credit and its consequence in sharp rise in debt-to-GDP ratios, job losses and business failures, agricultural yield stagnation and its consequence in rising fuel and food prices, and increasing evidence of widescale environmental degradation and climate change propelled the green economy concept to the global political agenda. According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) green economy should result in “improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities”. Whilst this notional goal is acceptable to all social actors tacking the aforementioned issues, interpretation of the structures engendering those problems, and perspectives on paths leading to the said goal differ. Most notably in degrowth, one of the fastest rising social movements, thinkers and activists advocate a green, caring and communal economy with the goal of securing a good life, but are sceptical of high-tech projects of ecological modernization and green growth which are often present in various definitions and perspectives on green economy.

Yet from a global and millennial perspective, to avoid a whole-scale collapse of the civilisation-supporting ecosystems within this century we need to change the social metabolism, as well as expectations, aspirations, behaviours and attitudes of the majority of the global population. The required social change could unfold through revolutionary or evolutionary social dynamic, but should hold on to widening and deepening democratization upheld by the existence and formation of specific personal and social orientations. The role of science in general, and social science in specific, is to shed a light on the future scenarios and to provide us with knowledge required to envisage and realize the social metabolic change.

Some of the questions which we would like to examine at the conference are:
– Does the current economy provide sufficient wellbeing for most?
– How much of the environment can we humans appropriate? Where are the limits?
– What does greening the economy mean for us in everyday life?
– Is economy without global growth feasible?
– Why are people engaged in different economic practices? What is their motivation?
– What values are required in changing the economy and society to avoid widescale collapse?
– Is it hard to change personal behaviour to help planetary environmental stability? And what behaviours should we change?

Conference programme and book of abstracts.