Waste is an inevitable outcome of the economy geared on growth – with its overproduction, overconsumption and disposability. While we keep creating waste, the problem is that it does not disappear, even when the various recycling and waste management systems are in place. The circular economy comes with a promise to change this. In this lecture, however, it is argued that this promise is illusory. Hervé Corvellec (Service Management, Lund University) will take us through the promises and pitfalls of the circular economy to address the crucial question: what can be done with waste?
Even when knowing of problems with waste, it is not so easy to avoid it as an individual, with so much packaging and disposable items surrounding us everywhere. How does one even start? We thought visiting the very space that creates such an opportunity in practice is the way to go. At this event, we will visit Gram – a zero-waste shop in Malmö – and its founder, Rowan Drury, who will share her long-term knowledge and experience.
Mikael will give a lecture on the topic, followed by Q&A. Please find the description of the lecture below.
Orthodox economists have usually assumed that technology alone can create economic growth without increasing the use of resources, a proposition supported by microeconomic production functions which have been in use since the 1930s. The association of growth with good economic performance can also be traced back to the same period with Keynes and the depression economics. Since the 1950s economic growth has been an official policy objective in most western countries. Low or negative growth is usually associated with hardship and economic instability. From this viewpoint degrowth is hardly compatible with a healthy economy.
Mainstream economics, however represents a very narrow view of the economy. In fact, neoclassical (microeconomic) production functions are not suitable for understanding the macro economy and the proposition that technology can fuel economic growth without increasing the use of material resources lacks empirical support. There is also limited theoretical support for the view that economic growth is necessary for economic stability. A broader understanding of the functioning of the real economy makes a much stronger case for degrowth, which will be further discussed at the events in Malmö and Lund.
Check up Mikael´s presentation here.
This is a participatory format, where the degrowth movement and the economist’s perspective on it will be introduced, followed by participants’ discussion.