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22 September 2021: Webinar 2: Delineating Notions of the “Good Life” Beyond Consumerism in the Global South
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22 September 2021: Webinar 2: Delineating Notions of the “Good Life” Beyond Consumerism in the Global South

Date: September 22, 2021

Organized by the Working Group on the Political Economy of Sustainable Consumption and Production (Future Earth Knowledge and Action Network on Systems of Sustainable Consumption and Production)

22 September 2021 at 6:00AM to 7:30AM (Pacific); 3:00PM to 4:30PM (Central European Time); 6:30PM to 8:00PM (India); and 10:00PM to 11:30PM (Japan)

Please join us by registering at this link.

Please note that the link you receive upon registration will be used for all three webinars. 

We will also be live streaming the webinar on YouTube:

Panelists: Sharad Lele (India); Uchita de Zoysa (Sri Lanka); Miriam Lang (Ecuador)
Moderator: Soumyajit Bhar

With 85% of the world’s population the development trajectory of the GS is going to delineate the path to sustainability for the world. Driven by corporate-led globalization, most of the developing countries have attached the prevailing neoliberal economic model, whether seemingly democratic or authoritarian, to developmentalism. The very fact that this dominant economic model intrinsically demands unimpeded capital investment and production supported by consumers’ insatiable desires makes the search for alternative economic models imperative, especially so for the developing world. In other words, conceptualizing alternative models becomes crucial as sustainable production-consumption cannot be achieved in any form without bringing fundamental systemic change away from the prevailing neoliberal model that thrives on productivity and consumerism. On the other hand, this capitalistic economic model fetishizes the wealthy and valorizes aspirations that shape socio-culturally held notions of good life towards overconsumption. There are however several examples of alternative value systems that look beyond homogenized definitions of a good life oriented towards individual material possessions and opulence in the GS and elsewhere. A thorough bottom-up understanding of those good life definitions, as attempted by initiatives such as Vikalp Sangam and Beun vivir, seems critical in delineating socio-cultural and techno-economical pathways for “leapfrogging” for the GS to address the concern of rising inequality without breaching sustainability limits. This webinar would help in stitching these diverse perspectives to allow the larger pathways to sustainable and just future for all to emerge.

The Webinar will discuss key questions including:

  1. How to problematize the hegemonic discourse in the GS that fetishizes overconsumption in the GN and portrays “everyone in this world is going to lead a life of unexamined material overabundance and that it is a matter of time before technological innovations make that a reality”?
  2. What are alternative social and economic arrangements for the GS that can embrace broader definitions of wellbeing and lead to a sustainable and just society?
  3. How to develop better understanding of existing or emerging definitions of the good life that attempt to decouple human wellbeing from unsustainable utilitarian policy proposals?
  4. What are the factors and subsequent processes that can make such alternative definitions politically resonant and socio-culturally desirable?
  5. What are the challenges and critiques of adopting those alternative definitions in the GS?

Download the flyer and concept note of the webinar series.

The webinars will be recorded and later published on Future Earth’s website and Youtube channel, as well as broadcast and shared on Future Earth channels.


Soumyajit Bhar, Future Earth SSCP KAN, c-soumyajit.bhar[@t]