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Executive Summit ’23 – The Case for Degrowth  [Keynote] by Susan Paulson

Thijs Pepping
February 14, 2024

During our Executive Summit in Cannes a group of inspiring thought leaders offered their insights on the theme of “Scarcity in Abundance.” We have captured the highlights from these top sessions to bring their valuable perspectives to you.

This week, we feature Susan Paulson’s story: The Case for Degrowth

About Susan Paulson

Susan Paulson serves as Professor at the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies, and previously taught sustainability studies at Lund University, Sweden. For 30 years she has studied human-environment relations in Andean and Amazonian territories, 15 of those years living full-time in South America. Paulson analyzes environmental dynamics from local to global scales, with attention to roles played by class, gender and ethnoracial systems. Her delight in conversation across difference and commitment to engaging wide audiences are manifest in invited lectures delivered in 20 countries, and in publication in scholarly journals representing an unusually wide range of disciplines (anthropology, environmental studies, forestry, gender studies, geography, political science). For the past decade, Paulson has been exploring paths toward degrowth in diverse forums, among them Feminisms and Degrowth Alliance. Her most recent book, the co-authored The Case for Degrowth (2020), has been translated into eight languages.



After more than a decade of abundance, where the economy was steadily expanding, money was free, globalization was progressing, geo-politics were as boring as they should be and life was generally good, the world has taken a decisive turn towards a different future. Scarcity has re-emerged as an urgent priority on the executive agenda. Suddenly we find ourselves in a perma-crisis, where all certainties seem to have disappeared.

There is a steady flow of new, potentially transformative, ready to scale, technologies like Generative Artificial Intelligence, Synthetic biology, Quantum Computing, and Virtual and Augmented Reality, that promise solutions to all our challenges. Yet in a world where scarcity is in abundance, we must think carefully about the choices we make, including the technologies our businesses use.

During our Sogeti Executive Summit we aimed to develop an optimistic scenario, minted by one of the speakers as “The Great Progression”, to write the future you want and explore some of the technologies that will help you get there.

In this 24-hour intense program, perspectives from many different angles were presented by authoritative speakers, interspersed with discussion amongst the invited executives. We look back at two exhilarating days.

About the author

Trend Analyst VINT | Netherlands
Thijs Pepping is a humanistic trend analyst in the field of new technologies. He is part of the think tank within SogetiLabs and in his work he continuously wonders and analyses what the impact of New Technologies is on our lives, organizations and society.


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