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Individual Paper: Exploring dromology for degrowth thinking

What is the rythmic behind socio-ecological transitions, conviviality, circular loops ?

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In response to a high-speed society (web, social media, transport, fast industry), the Degrowth movement shares values for sufficiency, convivial technologies and voluntary simplicity modes of lives that are strongly connected with the deployment of an aesthetic and an ethics of slowness disseminated in daily practices. Acting for decelerating and degrowing economies is perceived as an intent to reduce the speed and volumes of anthropocentric activities.
In this contribution, the author wants to deconstruct the notion of speed behind the development of ecological and socially equitable transitions. By introducing the term “Dromology” as the study of the role played by speeds in societies, Virilio (1977) invites change-makers to have a look at the musicology hidden behind their actions and discuss the harmonic between different accelerations and decelerations (Sarthou, 2009).
Through a literature review and participative observations analysis, this work outlines the necessity to debate the different rhythmic present in the creation of narratives and in the design of projects experienced and supported at multi-scale levels by the de-growth communities. A strong diversity of rhythmic is presented and discussed in regard contradictions or dialogies:
Rhythmic of ecological transitions vs rhythmic of daily-routines: How to manage the urgency of transitions ( i.e. the acceleration to access to ecological ways of living and avoid environmental disaster) with the adoption of slow-life principles that involve a deceleration of resource depletion and a re-appropriation by each citizen of the time and energy spent behind each of these own-practices ?

Rhythmic of circular loops: Are speeds of product life-cycles are evolving according to the type of resource (renewable vs non-renewable) and its related level of degradation?

Rhythmic of system design: Anticipation is at the base of design practices. While predictions of possible futures in different temporal dimensions are subject to error in complex system development, they are influencing decision-making in present times, modifying the real-time experience of stakeholders.

Rhythmic of thought and passions: The non-rationality of humans bring them to act with some cognitive limits. Through ecological transitions, people are facing contradictions and cognitive dissonances between short term actions and long term visions, between who they want to be and what they perceive to be. The discordance between thoughts and emotions can provoke instability, possible disorders where only new rhythms would create new life balances and sense-making.

Rhythmic of innovations and networks: What will be the rebound effects of a mass adoption (acceleration) of new degrowth based-practices (citizen cooperatives, reuse centers, short-loops models) into local areas? Is there any risks in terms of environmental impacts or economic viability?

VIRILIO, Paul et POLIZZOTTI, Mark. Speed and Politics. 1977. Trans. Mark Polizzotti. New York: Semiotext (e), 1986.
Sarthou-Lajus Nathalie, « L'ère de la vitesse et des grandes migrations. Entretien avec Paul Virilio », Études, 2009/2 (Tome 410), p. 199-207. URL :


Day: 2018-08-24
Start time: 11:30
Duration: 00:15
Room: ABF204
Track: - Other - (fill submission note below)



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