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Circular Economy and Degrowth Principles

Circular Economy and Degrowth Principles - Claudio Cattaneo

The conventional economic model is based on the hypothesis of infinite monetary growth, made of virtual bank money. Nonetheless it also requires considerable inputs of energy and materials, which are not infinite and have an impact on our planet. Environmental signals show us we are on the edge of a crisis and the uncertainty about our future environment relates to the development of a new discipline: ecological economics. 

The course aims at presenting a new perspective in the economic field by relating it to the environment: it will consider the possibility of green economic growth, the main dilemmas and implications for the environment; students will be able to contrast two economic visions, that of growth-based economics and of ecological economics and the real-world implications of each one: the trade-off between economic growth (and job creation) and environmental protection and social justice. As well it aims to re-embed economic analysis with social and human dimensions. 

The course will adopt Team-Based Learning, a novel teaching method in which the students have to read and watch compulsory material prior to the class, and will be evaluated with a closed-answer quiz, presentation of video or book extracts or brief reports done at the first hour of some classes.  

Other days, the first hour will be dedicated to interactive discussions based on the assignments given in preparation to the class. The second hour will normally consist of a taught class. In the third hour a tutorial will be offered to each student, individually or in a small group, on a weekly base. A couple of hours of guided activities will follow, mainly related to watching videos or learning about the environmental justice atlas, or the social multi-criteria evaluation.  

Homework assignments will mainly consist of reading written documents (books and papers) and the preparation for the group presentations of the next morning, or the writing of short reports based on the activities and exercises done in class.  

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