Exploring Climate Action and Social Wellbeing: Insights from the Growth vs. Climate Conference

The I4C researcher Dragana Bojovic recently attended the Growth vs. Climate conference held at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (ICTA-UAB). The conference brought together participants from policymaking, local communities, and various academic disciplines to engage in crucial discussions about growth and its implications for climate change mitigation.

The sessions at the conference were diverse, covering a wide range of topics from de-growth theories and practices to case studies highlighting the voices of local communities advocating for sustainable planning processes. Of particular interest were the discussions surrounding challenges and innovative practices related to climate change in urban contexts.

Sharing Insights from Impetus4Change

In one of the sessions, Dragana had the opportunity to present insights from Impetus4Change (I4C), focusing on co-producing climate services for near-term urban climate adaptation to enhance resilience to heat in Barcelona. The presentation sparked lively discussions and generated interesting feedback on various aspects, including the concept of climate justice in the context of Barcelona and the incorporation of poverty and justice perspectives into resilience research.

One of the key takeaways from the session was the importance of defining success in climate change adaptation efforts, considering the multifaceted nature of the challenges involved.

Inspiring Perspectives on Social Wellbeing

Towards the end of the conference, Dragana shared impressions from the plenary discussion delivered by Victoria Reyes-Garcia from ICTA-UAB. Prof. Reyes-Garcia’s work explores the concept of happiness and contentment with what one has, drawing inspiration from indigenous communities that prioritize social support, trust, and connection with nature as essential components of subjective wellbeing.

Call for Action: Focusing on Relational Values

During the event, Prof. Reyes-Garcia emphasized the need for policies to shift focus towards constructing social relationships, relational values, and a relational economy. Her insights shed light on alternative approaches to societal progress that prioritize harmony with nature and community wellbeing over relentless economic growth.

As we navigate the complexities of climate change and sustainable development, conferences like Growth vs. Climate provide invaluable platforms for dialogue, learning, and collaboration. By harnessing diverse perspectives and innovative ideas, we can chart a path towards a more resilient and equitable future for all.

Further Reading

For those interested in exploring the intersection of social wellbeing and sustainable development further, Prof. Reyes-Garcia’s paper titled “High life satisfaction reported among small-scale societies with low incomes” offers valuable insights into alternative models of happiness and contentment.