The idea to organize a seminar on the policy implications of the end of economic growth was inspired by Paul Gilding's excellent book The Great Disruption. Paul writes of his expectation that some day (soon, he hopes) a political tide will develop which demands real action on climate change; a groundswell which regards the current objective of limiting climate change to an average temperature increase of no more than 2ºC as being grossly inadequate. When this hoped for day comes, Paul thought, there needed to be a plan available on how to limit the temperature increase to no more than 1ºC. Because a war footing would be needed in the industrial economies to achieve such a target, Paul and his co-author of the plan, Jorgen Randers, call it The One degree War Plan, and it is available for download from Paul’s web site at Paul finishes The Great Disruption with a call to his readers to do more to prepare themselves and their communities for the now inevitable “great disruption” as the industrial economies run into the limits to growth.

When I finished Paul’s book I asked myself if I had done enough to prepare myself, my family and my community for the difficult times ahead. It’s hard to answer yes to such a question, as there is always more to be done, so I started thinking about what more I could do. This took me to the issue of the end of economic growth, and to how badly prepared we seemed to be as a society. Drawing inspiration from the One Degree War Plan, I decided that there needed to be a public discussion about what policy changes were needed to move from a society hooked on economic growth to one which could flourish without growth. The best way to start a public discussion, I decided, was to organize a formal seminar on the required policy changes – a seminar aimed at policy people, based on the end of growth, discussing the policy environment needed for societies to flourish without growth.

As a postscript, Paul Gilding publishes a blog on his web site ( and it is possible to register for email alerts whenever he posts a new blog. You can register to include my blog in a RSS feed.