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Online course

Aligning business with planetary boundaries


Post Growth Business 101 teaches you to escape 16 misleading assumptions and make better decisions in an economy bumping into the planetary boundaries.

About the course

 
Companies pay $3000 for us to spend 4 hours with them, discussing what it means for businesses that the economy is bumping into planetary boundaries.

We have distilled that to 90 minutes of video.
- 16 on-demand lessons
- 100+ further readings


After completing the course, you:

- Know why the assumptions are misleading (based on scientific data)

- Can spot the assumptions in a business context

- Can escape the assumptions by thinking differently (including a few business cases showing how to act differently)

- Can start a conversation about them in your company

BONUS: +100 further readings


A curated library with papers, reports, articles, podcasts, and videos for each lesson. Something we wished were available when we started.

Learn to escape these 16 misleading assumptions.

 

Environmental assumptions


1. Assuming you can decouple carbon emissions from economic growth sufficiently and fast enough to live up to the Paris Agreement
There is no evidence of that happening; see the report Decoupling Debunked or Vogel & Hickel's 2023 paper.


2. Assuming some new technology will magically appear and solve point 1
Hope is not a strategy. It would be like a salesperson telling her boss, I am going to sit here and hope for someone to call me. See the report Decoupling Debunked.


3. Assuming climate change is the only problem, ignoring the other 8 planetary boundaries
We are transgressing 6 out of 9 boundaries; See Richardson et al.'s 2023 paper.


4. Assuming stable and predictable prices on energy and materials
Look for yourself on tradingeconomics.com, listen to Jeremy Grantham's interview on the Great Simplification podcast or read our Explainer on this in the Open Hub.


5. Assuming that increases in energy efficiencies lead to absolute reductions in a growth-based system
The rebound effect is everywhere. You can read about it in the report Decoupling Debunked. See Reduction Roadmap's website, and our Case Study for inspiration on trying to escape that with new legislation.


6. Assuming that you can recycle yourself out of the problem

2nd law of thermodynamics makes that impossible. See Herman Daly's book Beyond Growth. Or, listen to Rachel Donald's interview with Tim Garret on Planet Critical.


7. Assuming that services have no, or an insignificant, ecological footprint

"You can't eat a computer" is what ecological economists like to say about the substitution problem. See Herman Daly's book Beyond Growth.

 

Inequality assumptions


8. Assuming you can be a part of the solution to the ecological crises without addressing inequality

There are social boundaries, too; see the book Doughnut Economics for theory. 


9. Assuming minimum wages are enough

Minimum wages are political (and competitive), and in the Global South, they are often lower than a living wage, which is the amount of money that one can live off.

See our in-depth case study on how Pura Utz calculated and organized itself to pay a living wage in Guatemala.


10. Assuming everyone wants precisely what you have

Cultures and people are different. Not all people in the Global South want precisely the lifestyle of The Global North. They demand and deserve justice - on their own terms.

See the paper "Post-Growth in the Global South? Some Reflections from India and Bhutan."

 

Business Strategies & Goals Assumptions

 

11. Assuming net zero - "do no harm" - is enough

A world in overshoot demands regeneration. For inspiration, see the company Slow Coffee. It's part of our case collection in the Open Hub, "20 Cases of Post Growth Practices."


12. Assuming you can offset carbon emissions and continue business as usual

If you have a shitty product and offset, you still have a shitty product. For inspiration on how to, for example, get tree-planting right, look to Ecosia.


13. Assuming if you don't "do it this way," someone else will do it and do it worse

The leakage effect is rarely 100%. See our explainer, "The Leakage Effect" in our Open Hub.


14. Assuming you can only have a significant impact if you are a large company

There are at least seven other ways of scaling impact; see Lam et al.'s 2020 paper "Scaling the impact of sustainability initiatives."


15. Assuming you can't have a resilient and profitable business that sells less

See the book "Small is Beautiful" by E.F. Schumacher for theory and the company 37Signals for inspiration; with less than 100 people, they outcompete 1000+ people companies.


16. Assuming that you can wait for legislators to level the playing field before you act sufficiently

See the Reduction Roadmap case.

 

Post Growth Business 101

$150
$75

(50% Early Bird Discount)


‚úÖ 16 on-demand lessons
‚úÖ +100 further readings
‚úÖ +150 Ready-to-copy slides

 

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