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Sustainable Consumption: International Pre-Conference (Nov. 6th, Hamburg)

Young researchers in the inter- and transdisciplinary field of research on sustainable consumption as well as in the field of sustainability sciences in general are warmly invited to attend the pre-conference “Research on Sustainable Consumption – Present and Future Perspectives for Young Academics” on Sunday, 6th November 2011, from 9am to 5pm. The pre-conference is the run-up to the international scientific conference “Sustainable Consumption – Towards Action and Impact” (November 6th - 8th 2011, Hamburg).



More information can be found at:

There will be an open space where you have the opportunity to discuss your ideas. Please spread among young researchers in the sustainability sciences!

Here's some information on Sustainable Consumption


Our enormously productive economy… demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction, our ego satisfaction, in consumption… We need things consumed, burned up, worn out, replaced, and discarded at an ever increasing rate. 
- Victor Lebow, 1955

Retail analyst Victor Lebow's statement might sound crass today, perhaps even a bit quaint in its unabashed promotion of materialism and waste. The words ring with a certain post-World War II naiveté-an unexamined faith in personal and spiritual fulfillment achieved via an endless stream of cheap and disposable consumer products.

If the words seem outdated, the message is not. The latter part of the 20th century was spent largely following Victor Lebow's recipe for prosperity and fulfillment. Since the industrial revolution began in the 1800s, the world has been on an unprecedented consumption binge. Since 1950 alone, the world's people have consumed more goods and services than the combined total of all humans who ever walked the planet before us.

From a certain, limited perspective, Lebow was on target. By making conspicuous consumption our way of life, we have kept an "enormously productive economy" running full tilt. Unprecedented levels of consumption have powered unparalleled economic growth, with predictable material benefits. In industrial countries, the standard of living has risen so that items considered luxuries a few decades ago are common among the middle class today. Nonmaterial benefits have accompanied this growth, as well. Life expectancy is higher, and more people than ever before in the industrial world have adequate food, housing, running water, warmth, electricity and transportation, as well as many other comforts that make life easier.


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