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15, 22, 28 September 2021: Three-Part Webinar Series: Grappling with the Question of Sustainable Consumption in the Global South
Future Earth

15, 22, 28 September 2021: Three-Part Webinar Series: Grappling with the Question of Sustainable Consumption in the Global South

Date: September 15, 2021

Organized by the Working Group on the Political Economy of Sustainable Consumption and Production (Future Earth Knowledge and Action Network on Systems of Sustainable Consumption and Production)

Dates: 15, 22 and 28 September 2021

Time: 6:00AM to 7:30AM (Pacific); 3:00PM to 4:30PM (Central European Time); 6:30PM to 8:00PM (India); and 10:00PM to 11:30PM (Japan)

Please join us by registering at this link.

Please note that the link you receive upon registration will be used for all three webinars.

How to talk about sustainable consumption in the Global South? The question is often a non-starter. Mainstream sustainability discourse usually holds that the Global South is poor, and therefore, this question is irrelevant. Unsustainable consumption is purportedly only a “rich world” problem.

Yes, it most certainly is a rich world problem and the rich world needs to take primary responsibility, but sustainable consumption is also a problem for the “poor world”. And the Global South is also confronted by this question in unique ways.

In the Global South, the development discourse in its uncritical and conventional sense dominates policy discussions on sustainability. Embedded in this developmentalism is a simplistic notion of reproducing the economic institutions and material conditions of the Global North, the “high mass-consumption societies” imagined by American political theorist W. W. Rostow in the last century.

Given the crushing poverty that is still the reality of a large section of the Global South, an uncritical embrace of development is perhaps understandable. But is it justifiable?

The question we focus on is not about “development vs environment”. Instead, it is how to engage with “sustainable development” or “sustainability” in a complex context where significant development needs remain unmet, even as inequality and injustice are striking, overconsumption by some is prevalent, and the new reality of “limits” presented by the Anthropocene must necessarily shape the development discourse, unlike in previous centuries.

This webinar series seeks to unpack this challenge. The conversations held in these three events will explore and advance an appropriate vocabulary and knowledge-action agenda from the perspective of the unique context of Global South.

Download the flyer and concept note of the webinar series.

The webinars will be recorded and later published on Future Earth’s website and Youtube channel, as well as broadcast and shared on Future Earth channels.


Manu V. Mathai, Future Earth SSCP KAN, manu.mathai[@t]

Soumyajit Bhar, Future Earth SSCP KAN, c-soumyajit.bhar[@t]