The 2023 Arne Næss chair has been granted to Jason Hickel, a reputable scholar of Goldsmiths, University of London. Hickel is a visionary, cutting edge environmental thinker. His international bestseller, "Less is More" - focused on "degrowth" as the way to combat environmental and climate crisis - has a special appeal to the the young generation. Hickel dispels our fantasies of "green growth" and insists that only degrowth can avoid climate breakdown. While the established concept of green growth centers on technological progress, degrowth abandons the fixation on GDP and proposes forging a renewable economy where the measure of progress is environmental and human well-being. Hickel's central proposal is to put a cap on global energy and resource use, and bring down the cap gradually until we are within planetary boundaries. The vision of a "degrowthed society" inspires and mobilizes students because it portrays an egalitarian world in which global imbalances are rectified, and inequality and consumerism are things of the past. That said, Hickel's work is also a subject of heated debate. Is the 'degrowthed society' the only way to achieve sustainable goals? Can a degrowth agenda be implemented in a divided world? Or is Hickel's vision a 21st century utopia?
These questions will be addressed at the 14th annual Arne Næss Symposium planned for September 2023. The symposium will be a combination of the Arne Næss lecture, a panel debate with leading Norwegian climate experts, and comments from master students.
DEMOS-Demokratisk og effektiv styring, planlegging og forvaltning