Economy featured

Reflections on ‘Beyond Growth’

May 23, 2023

Recorded May 16th, 2023


On this Frankly, Nate reflects on the Beyond Growth Conference held at the European Parliament, including the stunning public acknowledgement by EU President that a growth model based on fossil fuels is now obsolete. In the context of this growing and relevant conversation, Nate unpacks what the degrowth movement is getting right, but also what is missing from the conversation. Is it possible to purposely navigate from our current system to one with lower energy and material wealth? How does a large and growing global debt overhang impact this possibility? Is a transfer of wealth between nations feasible or even desirable based on realistic outcomes? In any case, as to the inevitability of a post-growth world, the degrowth conversation needs to be expanded.  It’s the primary movement mapping out what a desirable destination might look like as we move through a Great Simplification.

Show Notes

00:05 – Beyond Growth Conference

00:18 – Morchella Mushrooms

00:30 – Clip of European Commissioner at the Beyond Growth Conference

01:27 – Degrowth

01:35 – Episodes for Vandana Shiva, Giorgos Kallis, Timothee Parrique, Olivia Lazard, Simon Michaux

01:48 – Kate Raworth

03:42 – 350-400% debt to GDP ratio

03:47 – US 90% energy independent

03:50 – 32 trillion dollar in debt and 200 trillion in unfunded pensions and social security

05:05 – Global North responsible for 80% of emissions

06:08 – The top 1% of earners in the US spend 7% of their income while the bottom 40% spend 104%


Teaser photo credit: By Gzirk – Own work, Public Domain, By Gzirk – Own work, Public Domain,

Nate Hagens

Nate Hagens

Nate is a well-known speaker on the big picture issues facing human society and currently teaches a systems synthesis Honors seminar at the University of Minnesota ‘Reality 101 – A Survey of the Human Predicament’   Nate is on the Boards of Post Carbon Institute, Bottleneck Foundation, IIER and Institute for the Study of Energy and the Future.  Previously, he was lead editor of The Oil Drum, one of the most popular and respected websites for analysis and discussion of global energy supplies and the future implications of the upcoming energy transition. Nate’s presentations address the opportunities and constraints we face after the coming peak of global economic growth. On the supply side, Nate focuses on the interrelationship between debt-based financial markets and natural resources, particularly energy with and the unique (and so far unplanned for) risks from the coming ‘Great Simplification’.  On the demand side, Nate addresses the evolutionarily-derived underpinnings to

Tags: degrowth perspectives, systems thinking