Is degrowth a realistic alternative to today’s profit imperative?

At 18:30 EET (16:30 GMT / 17:30 CET) on Wednesday the 9th March 2016, The Red House hosted a debate on economies of sharing and solidarity.

This debate took place in Bulgarian and you can find a full length Bulgarian recording by clicking here or you can watch the English-language highlights here on this page.

Topic / Speakers / Location / Links 

About the debate:

The possibility of creating sustainable and prosperous societies outwith the confines of traditional perceptions of economic growth has occupied and energised the minds of civil and environmental activists since the late seventies. Typically, proponents of degrowth look at the social and environmental burdens of a growth based economy and call for a change of focus. Instead of the primacy of GDP, efficiency and production, degrowth looks to build communities around sufficiency, sustainability and a more equal distribution of resources. Shifting away from the ubiquitous drive to boost profits, degrowth looks to prioritise the well-being of societies and the environment through reinvigorated democratic institutions and improved human co-operation.

But, could such an approach actually work and would a non-growth economy, divested of its profit imperative, provide a real alternative to our liberal market economies? Won’t the idea of negative growth actually harm the possibilities for redistribution and thus paradoxically destroy the idea of social solidarity? And, is it not unrealistic to envisage a non-consumerist society, based on solidarity and sharing? What of related concepts, such as the drive for minimum basic income, are these and degrowth solutions for a better world or distractions whose pursuit will only serve to worsen the positions within which we find ourselves?



Stefan Krastev – Political and Social Programmes Coordinator, The Red House


Vania Grogorova – Chairwoman of Solidarna Bulgaria

Boyan Rashev – Co-Manager of denkstatt Bulgaria

Filka Sekulova – Environmental Economist and Researcher at the Autonomous University of Barcelona and for Research & Degrowth

Event series:

This debate took place with the support of the European Union’s Europe for Citizens Programme and is one debate of many taking place as part of an international series of debates on the same theme in cities around Europe, including Barcelona, Bratislava, Brussels, London, Sofia and Warsaw.



Има ли алтернатива икономиката на консумеризма, възможна ли е икономика „без растеж“ (degrowth)?

9. март (сряда) 2016, 18:30. Червена зала, Центърът за култура и дебат “Червената къща”, ул. “Любен Каравелов” № 15, София. На български език.

На български език. Вход свободен.

Дебат / Лица / МестоположениеВръзки


Темата за постигане на устойчивост и просперитет чрез икономическо смаляване занимава умовете на граждански и екологични активисти от десетилетия. Дали икономиката без растеж и без фокусиране в печалбата е реална алтернатива на либералния пазар? Доколко  идеята за отрицателен растеж няма да препъне преразпределението и съответно парадоксално да унищожи идеята за солидарността? Солидарност и споделяне отвъд консумеризма?! Проблем или решение е концепцията за минимален базов доход и икономика без растеж?

Дебат с участието на:

Филка Секулова – Доктор по екологична икономика от Автономния университет на Барселона

Боян Рашев – Икономиста

Ваня григорова – председател на „Солидарна България“.


Този дебат се осъществява с подкрепата на програмата Европа за гражданите на Европейската комисия и е част от международна серия от дебати (Барселона, Берлин, Братислава, Брюксел, Лондон, София и Варшава) върху предизвикателствата, на които са подложени европейските ценности и бъдещето на Европа.


Location / Местоположение:

Useful links, in English / Bulgarian / German:

(German-language link)

Degrowth: der Beginn einer Bewegung? By Ulrich Brand (in German)

(English-language links)

Boom or bust time for critical thinking? Almantas Samalavicius in conversation with Richard Heinberg

An interview with the nobel laureate professor of economics, Joseph Stiglitz, on the driving forces behind inequality

A website devoted to research and raising awareness about the possibilities of degrowth approaches

The website of an international network of students, thinkers and citizens, coming together to demystify, diversify, and invigorate economics

5th international degrowth conference in Budapest, 30.08-03.09.2016

An excerpt from a film looking at free market capitalism, degrowth and the commons – mostly dubbed in English with Bulgarian subtitles

(Bulgarian-language links / На български език )

Actualno interview with Vania Grogorova on the TTIP

A Capital article about Boyan Rashev and sustainable development in business

A film on Filka Sekulova’s story and her research for The Economics of Happiness

Tema News article by Filka Sekulova on degrowth and the Leipzig conference in 2014

An Off News interview with Filka Sekulova about happiness in Bulgaria and the Empatheast conference in Plovidv in 2014

Strandja National Park page on the concept of degrowth

An excerpt from a film looking at free market capitalism, degrowth and the commons – mostly dubbed in English with Bulgarian subtitles