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What kind of growth is sustainable?

Just now – in the light of the current financial and economic crisis and intensive efforts for achieving economic growth – the question emerges which kind of growth we want for the future and which goals are targeted with it. The project “Growth in Transition” intends to trigger a dialogue among institutions and people about how we can shape this transformation process towards sustainability. It also aims at contributing to current EU and international processes and at informing the Austrian public about them (e.g. the EU initiative “Beyond GDP”).

In 2008 the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management (Ministry of Life) started a process dealing with the question, which kind of growth is compatible with sustainable development. The Initiative “Growth in Transition” (“Wachstum im Wandel“) constantly tries to involve as many institutions and persons as possible in a dialogue, how we can frame a process of transition towards sustainability.

The process is very much alive in Austria and wants to increase international networking with institutions or initiatives dealing with the same issues.
„Growth in Transition” wants to inject itself more intensely into the European discourse. In some member states there are already different initiatives, with which Austrian institutions like SERI are already linked up (e.g. denkwerk zukunft, the Deutsche Enquete-Kommission). On the level of the EU there are initiatives like “Beyond GDP” with strong content- related overlap concerning the topics at hand. EU-projects like RESPONDER or POLFREE could offer a platform to tie some of the topics worked on internationally and at the same time bring them into the European discourse.
It might also be an objective to encourage institutions in other member states to start similar processes. Maybe it is possible to establish the brand “Growth in Transition” in such cases too. Finally a network using this brand could come into being.

In the context of the first International Growth in Transition-Conference in the year 2010 specific key issues has been formulated, which you can find here!