In search of a New Utopia in a world characterized by 4 hard transitions
In 2015 a new global development strategy, the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development (A2020SS), was adopted. This New Utopia reflects the greater awareness of the negative effects of the extant environmental threats, high inequality, the spread of 4.0 technologies based on robots and artificial intelligence, the growing demographic imbalances between developing and OECD countries and of the migrations linked to them. A2030SS aims – inter alia – at the elimination of poverty and hunger; reduction of inequality; achievement of quality basic needs and clean energy; a decent job for all; and adoption of ecologically sustainable consumption and production models. A2030SS does not deal however with the question of whether, by whom, and of by how much growth should be reduced to respect the intertemporal sustainability of the above objectives, or whether such goals can be achieved through a (complicated) decoupling between growth and its main ecological, distributive, labour and demographic objectives. For the developing countries the A2030SShas set an annual growth target of 7%. The developed and emerging economies should instead reduce their emissions and extraction of resources and reconsider their lifestyles with a high environmental impact. Yet, the road towards the introduction of such measures is made difficult by the recent worsening recorded recently in the four areas mentioned above. New analyses also show that some measures recommended by A2003SS in the above four areas are at time conflicting with each other. For instance, the de-growth or slow growth recommended for the developed and emerging economies to reduce the environmental impact would cause a fall in the growth of the developing countries and in their ability to eliminate poverty and hunger. What solutions could be proposed to deal with this and similar conflicts?
The SITES conference invites the submission of papers illustrating the conflicts (and possible solutions) between A2030SS policies in the fields of technology, environmental/energy transition, population growth/migration, as well as between the objectives of A2030SS and the difficult transitions under way in these 4 area.