Imagine a New Society

science, technology and innovation in a post-growth world

Imagining Post-Growth Societies

What would Science, Technology and Innovation look like in a world that is not dominated  by the pursuit of endless economic growth? What futures would begin to unfold in front of us if we  refocused technoscientific practices away from growth? What new worlds would be possible to build by placing a concern for human wellbeing and the natural environment at the centre of innovation?

The purpose of our work is precisely to answer these and other important questions concerning the role of Science, Technology and Innovation in a post-growth world. Innovating without growth means to image a future created by science and technology that care about people and things.

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A snail, after adding a number of widening rings to the delicate structure of its shell, suddenly brings its accustomed building activities to a stop. A single additional ring would increase the size of the shell sixteen times. Instead of contributing to the welfare of the snail, it would burden the creature with such an excess of weight that any increase in its productivity would henceforth be literally outweighed by the task of coping with the difficulties created by enlarging the shell beyond the limits set by its purpose. At that point, the problems of overgrowth begin to multiply geometrically, while the snail’s biological capacity can at best be extended arithmetically.

Ivan Illich