jueves, 20 de mayo de 2010


Adjunto las decisiones de los grupos que estudiaron la posibilidad de crear una Red Mundial o Internacional de Descrecimiento, reunidos en la comunidad okupa, Canmasdeu, a las afueras de Barcelona, despúes de la 2a. Conferencia Internacional sobre Decrecimiento Económico del 26-29 de marzo. Les ruego enviarme sus comentarios, para enviarlos a los organizadores de la red. Saludos

Miguel Valencia

Tuesday 30 March, Barcelona



I. The Identity of the Degrowth Network

Basic shared ideas developed by participants.


The network would be based on degrowth both as a slogan and as a process.


Degrowth  involves producing and consuming less. It calls for social justice: for more equality between genders, cultures, colour, North/South, generations. In this respect there should be clear limits to inequality and upper and lower limits to property, income and power.


Degrowth is based on a diveristy of principles, including :

-         Conviviality/buen vivir (or "Sumak Kawsay" in Kichua)

-         Open localism: reduction of distances instead of creation of borders, connection with diversity within all locality

-         Voluntary simplicity

-         Non violence

-         Deep democracy (inclusive, radical, direct, participative)


The degrowth process seeks socially, ecologically, economically responsible, safe and soft transition and transformation looking both at short and long term (example can be the ban the use of private cars in urban areas).


See Paris and the Barcelona declarations.



II. The Objectives of the Degrowth Network


General remarks:


The dynamics of modern civilisation are threatening social and natural means. The objective of the network is to bring forward a cultural change and to strengthen degrowth throughout the world.


It is about:



  1. local fights (where mutual strengthening, without patron-client relationship, is promoted)
  2. exemplary positive examples
  3. research/theory
  4. the connection/the dialogue between society and research


Promoting dialogue and making connections (not only in the web, also REAL)


1.     within the degrowth-community, people with similar circumstances/concerns

      => share, cooperate, support


2.     between people/organisations with different concerns/circumstances (for example activists and scientists, civil society and grass roots movements...)

      => it is important to accept the difference and to „identify in difference", this is what makes us strong


How to achieve this?

·         Visiting other groups/networks (with bicycle, collective transport, walking).....=> Share food, experiences...

·         Collective actions (for example picnic day, critical mass...)

·         Web

·         Conferences

·         Translate Articles/books



  1. experiences
  2. documents
  3. news
  4. information about events


Education and expansion

In order to reach more people/initiatives we need Education means



1.     It was unclear how political parties have to been seen? On a local/regional level it seemes to be important, but on national level it is at least „difficult".

2.     The point came up, whether a degrowth-network exits allready: A degrowth network already exists, and this is made of the people and links created around the two conferences on degrowth.  There have been other attempts for creating an international network after the social forum in Malmo. www.degrowth.net/wiki

Also a website for international networking has been created after a French meeting:

http://www.r-m-o-c.net (Global Network for Growth objection)



III. Organization of the specific Network



§  Geographically

§  Thematically – researchers, civil society, practitioners


2 WAYS of organizing




Website as a hub of network (Bob as facilitator?)

§  Mapping of groups/subjects, a gateway of networks

§  Entrance to groups' websites

§  Billboard for news/agenda

§  Multi-lingual and simple

? Secretariat on rotating principle or a committee of each group

§  Facilitator needed +National representation

Groups are sent invitation to join. They join if they endorse the "identity".

Groups should link their website with the international one.

Sorting by group/region and by profile/topic




(Bi)annual meetings

Conferences, forums, events

Be present in other forums to meet other networks




·         Funding obtained from sustainable/"good" organisations only

  • No centralised funding for building international network, but funding on a co-operative basis
  • Good to have a physical place to meet, i.e. for local or national
  • Democratic organisation to choose international events
  • International network should be approved by a wider assembly



IV.  Project proposals of the network



Organizing Degrowth related Events:


§  Multiplication of conference / workshops / public debates / summer school at local level

§  Organize one common action, the same day, in many different cities (E.g. Global Pic-Nic for degrowth on the 6th of June)

§  Organize marche or caravan to strengthen local groups & dynamics

§  Organize more degrowth cultural events (film, music, etc)

§  Create a fund for the next international conference to invite more people with no resources to travel


Strengthen the advocacy work:


§  Create a working group to assess all local degrowth groups' assets & see how they can help each other.

§  Map the potentials allies  at national level & international level: politicians, journalists, NGOs, trade unions, etc

§  Contact potentially interested civil society groups at national level : Collective buying  vegetables groups (AMAP, GAS, etc), Local exchange Trading Systems (LETs), cohousing/ecovillages networks, Green activists groups, Esperanto,...



Communication ideas:


§  Create a didactic kit – educational manual for teachers

§  Create a web based info page on how to facilitate degrowth workshops

§  Create a list of all the degrowth related radio programmes at the national levels >> 24h international degrowth radio show

§  Write & Translate degrowth textbooks



V. Website related to the network


Group 1

Flip Chart sheet

§  Multilingual/Translation - very important

§  Tools

1.     Email, forums, lists, blogs, video

2.     Group planning (Doodle, Skype, Surveys)

3.     Webinars

§  Issue: how to filter / reduce email volume


Bob's detailed notes

§  should be multilingual, many languages

§  translations should be possible

§  tools: blogs, twitter, lists, viral video, email, web pages, facebook, interactive (learning tools, games)

§  meeting planning and preparation (doodle, survey monkey, skype conerence calls)

§  how to manage the volume of email

1.     filters,

§  web site should have areas for events, documents

1.     a newsletter or index every 15 days to summarize what's been posted

2.     make it easier to organize by having criteria for information synthesis

1.     e,g, for events: when, where, what; for docs: author, keywords, data. language

2.     e.g. translate only the subject line and first paragraph of each email

3.     have fields for time, date, location of events

4.     have contact names for contacts about the article/event

5.     use forums for posting or sharing

§  Needs to be lite (i.e. or people will hold back in a big or heavy theme group

§  Where to find volunteer translators

1.     get translation school professors to assign degrowth network documents for translation for free

2.     use Babblefish/Systran for computer translations (only good for a few keywords and not for whole pages)

§  See Friiends of the Earth International site as an example


Group Two

Flip Chart sheet

§  Defining the web before defining the network is like putting the cart before the horse

§  Web site should be a space to share events, documents, experiences

§  The design should be simple and based on open source software and principles

§  Who decides what gets posted?

§  There should be country/language nodes and one central node


Bob's detailed notes

§  the web site should reflect the network, i.e. diversity (language,cultures, countries)

§  each node should be responsible for their national/language content

§  a place to share info re events, documents, experiences

§  but who decides what gets posted, or what gets put at the top of a page and therefore gets "priority" attention

§  too many things posted means nothing gets read

§  lots can be done without the web

§  India: The web is a supplement, face to face content is more important, web is for public documents and we don't track what gets read

§  we need to define the network before designing a web site (otherwise it's the cart before the horse)

§  we need to be aware that single key nodes in the internet "cloud" network of computer servers can close off traffic, threatening freedom of exchange of information

§  use direct FTP file transfers rather than HTTP

§  we need a simple site with simple tools

§  we should use open system software, e.g. Open Office

§  in addition to areas for events, documents and experiences, there should be one over bulletin board



Group Three

Flip Chart sheet

-         The web site should be a space for sharing of information about

-         Events, Documents, Experience, Contacts, Reading lists, Bibliographies

-         What is the potential for parallel physical spaces as well

-         Research, facilitation, training, resources for applied simplicity

-         Internet Radio

-         Set up criteria for keywords and fields for information (e.g. where, when, what for events)

-         Information should be based on action – not empty shells

-         Global and/or local

-         There should be a capacity to search for information by country/theme, etc.


Bob's detailed notes

§  we want a place to see what's going on or what they're doing and how to reach them

§  if it's not theirs, they won't visit the site; if they don't help build the system, they won't participate

§  a place to share information about actions, a calendar

§  a contacts database – key words, assets

§  a document library

§  reading lists, bibliographies (+ thesaurus/glossary)

§  ability to search by country, by theme

§  Group one proposed "structured" input fields

§  see the Barcelona Catalan degrowth web site as an example

1.     20 theme areas, not much used but a nice design

§  a good design can reduce operational costs

§  how about a map to display node content

§  how to use/facilitate contacts, network people assets

§  could we set up an internet radio service? Podcasts?

§  Streaming conference content, video

§  What about physical hubs, local centres which could act as points of information, research, info on how to live simply, etc.


Group 4 recommended an area for debates in addition to for events, documents and sharing experiences

They also looked at two basic initial web page designs, one circular and one linear. See the attached photo.


Group 5 suggested an area for sharing of information about rights violations (land invasions, mining disruptions, pollution, etc.) should be there too – i.e. denuncias – perhaps a blog could help with this. The three "projects" that they recommended were: 1) write a web site project proposal and seek comments on it; 2) commision a web site design; and 3) raise funds for the project. One person, on the yellow card for the "third" action noted that "crowd sourcing" was a potential for mechanism for fundraising.





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