Socially sustainable degrowth and place marketing


"From the 1950s onwards, the discipline of marketing has flourished in a historical context characterised by an unprecedented expansion of the global economy. Unfettered consumerism, privatisation, delocalisation, gentrification, debt; in one way or another, all these phenomena are related to the growth imperative upon which marketing has built the notion of prosperity.  However, in sight of the current economic, environmental and social challenges confronting the global economy today, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the age of unlimited economic growth might be coming to an end. Are we in the middle of a paradigm-shift? Can places flourish without growth? Can marketing exist without the growth imperative?


At the IPM, we consider that seeking answers to these questions is not a trivial task. We believe that, in a context in which economic growth might be the exception rather than the norm, an increasing number of towns and cities will be compelled to rethink ways of delivering prosperity without growth. In fact, drawing upon notions of socially sustainable degrowth, it is highlighted that a new model of prosperity is to be constructed around principles of sufficiency, simplicity, sharing, participation, solidarity and mutual support. In response to this challenge, Dr Javier LLoveras and Prof Cathy Parker are developing a grant application to investigate the implications of socially sustainable degrowth for place-based forms of marketing. In the spirit of collaborative inquiry, the idea is to engage with scholars, communities and activists in a horizontal manner, developing a space for synergies and mutual learning. We are looking for potential partners and people interested in the project, which will study how and if marketing adapts to meet more locally relevant economic, social and political goals by encouraging alternative forms of social organisation, production, consumption and provisioning in general. Therefore, we will welcome any expressions of interest for collaboration, as well as any suggestions or ideas that we could take on board. If you are interested, please do not hesitate to contact Javier ( or Cathy ( Thank you very much!”