Development in transition

07.02.2014 |

Towards a Great Transformation?
Preparatory Conference for the 6th Austrian Development Conference

Friday, September 26 2014, 14.00 - 21.00
Vienna University of Economics and Business, Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Vienna, Austria; Sitzungssaal 1 (AD.0.114) 


Read the articles about the Conference, the Workshop Socioeconomic Transition, Development in Transition and Economics in Transition (in German)!

Link to the Video about the Conference!

Development cooperation, climate change, geoeconomics and geopolitics are currently undergoing radical transformations. The Global North and South will be affected differently by these transformations. How can we understand these changes? Or better: What shall we do? Do we need pragmatic solutions within the existing system or is a systemic change necessary?

Inscription is now CLOSED, as the limit of participation has been reached!
Persons who are not inscribed cannot participate.

We will provide a documentation of the conference on this website in the next weeks. If you are inscribed for our newsletter you will be informed.

The term Great Transformation was coined by Karl Polanyi who brilliantly described the deep ruptures caused by the emergence of an industrial market society. Only after a deep depression in the 1930, Fascism and World War II, an embedded market economy led to a new inclusive growth model in the Global North and to a widespread strategy of catching-up development in the Global South. The current crisis which came to public awareness via the climate change shock in 2007 and the economic crisis from 2008 onwards, has to be seen as an intertwined crisis in economics, society and nature. How shall we react to that? Are new adaptations sufficient or do we need a transition towards a new technological fix or even a different development model, a new world order, a distinct mode of living and producing? Which differences and commonalities do the dynamics in the Global North and South have?

Read more about this topic: Knowledge Alliances for the Great Transformation (Andreas Novy).

It is the objective of this conference to analyze the ongoing socio-ecological transformations and to discuss the relationship between the intertwined processes in the Global North and South. In doing so, it is necessary to include in the reflections social ecology as well as development cooperation as a form of global cooperation.

The conference is organized by WU (Institute for the Environment and Regional Development, master program "Socioecological Economics and Policy" and Competence Center for Sustainability) and civil society partners. It will be a Preparatory Workshop for the 6th Austrian Development Conference "umbruch aufbruch", on November 14th to 16th 2014 in Salzburg.

Substantive goal of the Conference:

1) Discussing ecological and social questions as intertwined
2) Connecting developments in the Global South with dynamics in the Global North


14.00 - 14.15 Opening
Silvia Angelo, AK; Universitätsrat WU
Andreas Novy, WU

14.15 - 15.00 Keynote speech
Imme Scholz, Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik: Development in Transition

Link to presentation:  Development in transition - towards a great transformation.pdf  (1.06 MB) 

15.00 - 16.30 Workshops

Workshop Facilitators: SEEP-students
Workshop Rapporteurs: SEEP-students

Workshop A: Socio-ecological Transition
(Seminarraum D4.0.127)
Clive Spash, WU
Alexandra Strickner, Attac

Sebastian Linder (rapporteur)
Leora Courtney-Wolfman (facilitator)

Workshop B: Development Cooperation in Transition
(Seminarraum D4.0.133)
Margit Scherb, ADA
Erwin Eder, DKA Austria/Horizont 3000

Gabriela Ayala (facilitator)
Mohamed Saad El Jai (rapporteur

Workshop C: Economics in Transition
(Seminarraum D4.0.136)
Hendrik Theine, International Student Initiative for a Pluralism in Economics
Cornelia Staritz, ÖFSE
Sigrid Stagl, WU

Nathalie Spittler (rapporteur)
Steffen Bettin (facilitator)

16.30 - 17.00 Coffee Break

17.00 - 17.55 Plenary Discussion
Transition towards a Great Transformation?

Wrap-up from Workshops
Facilitator: Andreas Novy; Imme Scholz & 3 Workshop-Rapporteurs

17.55 - 18.00 Concluding Remarks
Gerald Faschingeder, Paulo Freire Centre:
Towards the 6th Austrian Conference on Development Cooperation

Social gathering, with soft-drinks

18.30 - 19.00 Welcome to incoming SEEP-Students
Sigrid Stagl, Judith Kohlenberger, SEEP Student Representatives Julia Fankhauser and Sebastian Linder

19.00 - 21.00 Buffet

Workshops as theory-practice dialogues:

One can neither understand the current changes in the Global North nor the socioeconomic dynamics in the Global South without rethinking the relationship between the political economy of a capitalist world economy and the ongoing socio-ecological transformations due to the tremendous increase in resource depletion.

For the first time in capitalist world development, the Global North is declining in the hierarchy of economic power, wealth and the control of technology and finance. After 500 years of extracting resources from the Global South via strategies of expansionism, the time might be due for a more modest, inward-oriented and inclusive development model in Europe which focuses on its own strengths and resources - in energy autonomy, organic farming without fossil fertilizer and high-tech reindustrialisation. Less interference in resource-rich world regions might be one positive consequence for world development.
This totally new constellation requires new theoretical concepts and theories as well as new forms of political agency as well as development cooperation. The Workshops foster the theory - practice dialogue, facilitated by students from the Master Programme of SEEP (Socio-ecological Eco-nomics and Policy) at WU.

Workshop A: Socio-ecological Transition
(Seminarraum D4.0.127)
Workshop A relates dynamics in current socio-ecological development (financialisation of nature, peak everything, ...) with innovative conceptualizations of socio-ecological development. The objectives are twofold:
1) How can a holistic and embracing conceptualization of the economy-society-nature - nexus contribute to ongoing socio-ecological struggles for climate change, biodiversity or against TTIP?
2) How can single-issue mobilization from below as well as civil society initiatives overcome fragmentation and pigeonhole activism? A special concern in the workshop is on overcoming the deep divide in theory and practice between concepts of sufficiency and growth. 

Workshop B: Development Cooperation in Transition

(Seminarraum D4.0.133)
Workshop B focuses on ongoing changes in development cooperation by connecting developments in the Global South with dynamics in the Global North. The objectives are twofold:
1) In the 20th century, development cooperation has aimed at "healing the wounds of modernity" in the Global South. Today, however, sustainable development goals (Post-MDG) have first time embraced a really global perspective on development. What is the role of development cooperation in a geo-economic setting of new donors, emerging nations and re-newed violence?
2) Dynamics of uneven development have regained in importance in Europe. Increasing social polarization as well as xenophobic attitudes and policies are some of the negative consequences. How can insights from development cooperation contribute to understand and deal with developmental issues in Europe? How can it support a cosmopolitan culture and foster the commitment to development cooperation?

Workshop C: Economics in Transition
(Seminarraum D4.0.136)
Workshop C focuses on economics as a scientific discipline. For decades, economics has been dominated by mathematical modelling and a focus on optimization. Although unable to predict the crisis after 2007, this economic paradigm still dominates important parts of social sciences. Astonishingly, its empirical weaknesses have hardly undermined its academic hegemony nor its policy influence. The objectives of the workshop are twofold:
1) What are strategies within academia and beyond to promote a more pluralist understanding of economics?
2) What knowledge about economic development is needed outside academia to deal with the current burning issues of the emerging global division of labour, climate change and social and territorial exclusion? Which knowledge helps to grasp the concerns of development in transition?


Institute for the Environment and Regional Development (in cooperation with Competence Center for Sustainability, Master Program SEEP) wu_logo.jpg

Paulo Freire Zentrum
(main organizer of the development conference)

Arbeiterkammer Wien

(Österreichische Forschungsstiftung für internationale Entwicklung)

Grüne Bildungswerkstatt


Mattersburger Kreis für Entwicklungspolitik an den österreichischen Hochschulen



Planned participants: 80 persons
* from development cooperation, science, civil society and interested public
* SEEP- and WU-Students
* Free participation
* Inscription IS CLOSED as limit of particuipation has been reached.
* Journey:  Anfahrtsplan Bild.pdf  (47.61 KB)  Anfahrtsplan Campus WU.pdf  (51.06 KB) 

Supported by OEZA


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