Circular Economy and Degrowth Principles
The conventional economic model is based on the hypothesis of infinite growth, made of virtual bank money. Nonetheless it also requires considerable inputs of energy and materials, which are not infinite have an impact on our planet and often fail to deliver social wellbeing. In order to cope with environmental limits, much is said about the need to make the economy more circular: a more circular economy, although necessary, might not be enough as we learn from ecological economics.
The course aims at presenting a new perspective in the economic field by relating it to the environment (planetary boundaries) and sustainable development goals. It considers the limits of the green circular economy, growth’s main dilemmas and its implications for society and the environment. You will contrast the trade-offs between economic growth (and job creation) and environmental protection with social justice and will learn about the new perspective of Degrowth.
The course will adopt Team-Based Learning a novel teaching method in which as students you have to read and watch compulsory material before coming to the class; you will work in teams and be evaluated with a series of closed-answer quizzes, with the presentation of documentary videos and of book extracts or brief reports.
The first hour of class will be dedicated to these evaluations or to interactive discussions based on the assignments given in preparation for the class. The second hour will normally consist of a taught class. In the third hour tutorials will be offered and your doubts resolved. A couple of hours of guided activities will follow, mainly related to watching videos or learning about the environmental justice atlas, the economics of the Donut and its application at city level or to social multi-criteria evaluation.