Version 3.2

Discussing degrowth climate utopias with diverse stakeholders

Lessons from using the backcasting method to explore 1.5° pathways in 5 EU countries

Backcasting is an effective, goal-oriented, participatory and problem-solving method for developing solutions to the multiple societal crises. It focuses on a vision for the future and developing steps to reach this vision. It also encourages collaboration between different stakeholders for a common cause, who might find it hard to collaborate in their day-to-day lives, as the method allows for deep dialogue and the exchange of ideas. Backcasting is thus a promising method for research into degrowth transformations, as it helps participants think beyond the boundaries of current possibilities and “Capitalist Realism”. In the EU 1.5° Lifestyles project, backcasting was used in workshops with stakeholders from business, NGOs, municipalities, media and other decision-makers in society. In this special session, we will present lessons from using the method in 5 European case countries, as a tool for facilitating dialogues with multi-stakeholder groups without falling into the usual traps (doomism, nihilism, greenwashing, technological utopias). We discuss both the potential for using backcasting for degrowth pathways, as well as challenges, country variations in its application, and tips on how to develop concrete plans for backcasting.
Plan for the special session:
*10 Minute Intro to backcasting and the session
*15 Minute Visioning exercise.
*10 Minute Reflection: Private reflection of conference attendees, discussion with a conference attendee.
*25 Minute Presentation from the 3 Case Countries.
*30 Minutes Discussion on how to get people on board with degrowth through backcasting (incl. initial audience Q&A).
*** Not all potential co-authors are listed due to the limit. Doris Fuchs, Kristof Vadovics and other project partners will join the special session, if also attending the conference. ***


Day: 2023-08-31
Start time: 12:00
Duration: 01:30
Room: ZV-8-7
Type: Special Session
Theme: Communicating degrowth within a consumerist common sense


Concurrent Sessions