Social-ecological think tank Oikos
The think tank Oikos works towards social-ecological change by contributing to the public debate. Oikos focuses on long-term challenges that are insufficiently addressed in the public debate, but are crucial for the future of society and future generations. The ecological limits of the planet and global solidarity are our principles.
Oikos aims to provide an inspiring framework for positive practices. We encourage practice-based initiatives that demonstrate how working towards a sustainable society is possible. These are part of the ‘new social movement that does not yet know it exists’, as German social psychologist Harald Welzer puts it.
Knowledge base for change

Oikos’ seminars, lectures, publications and opinion pieces address the various dimensions of this drive for change: the underlying ethics, the analysis of the current state and the development of alternatives, as well as concrete strategies to get there. Thus, Oikos brings together scientists, authors and activists from all over the world such as Juliet Schor, Michel Bauwens or Vandana Shiva for inspiring lectures. In round-table discussions, seminars, reading groups and blog posts, Oikos also offers concerned citizens and experts the chance to deepen their knowledge, exchange insights and set up a joint learning process.

Oikos publishes Dutch translations of groundbreaking books such as Less is More by Jason Hickel, The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable by Amitav Ghosh, Post Growth: Life after capitalism by Tim Jackson or Selbst denken: Eine Anleitung zum Widerstand by Harald Welzer. Oikos also collaborates with academic networks to bring cutting-edge scientific research in understandable terms to a broader audience. For instance, in collaboration with Acco, it published the book Solidariteit in Superdiversiteit [Solidarity in Superdiversity] by Nick Schuermans, Joke Vandenabeele, Stijn Oosterlynck, Marc Jans and Dirk Holemans.

English publication: Enough. Thriving Societies Beyond Growth
Dirk Holemans, Elze Vermaas & Lara Ferrante

Who is afraid of degrowth? The term alone scares the living daylights out of mainstream opinion makers and many economists in Europe. Growth is the lubricant of capitalism. As long as the economy is growing, all is well, we are told. But what do we mean by growth? Should everything just keep growing endlessly? The ecological crisis shows that infinite growth on a finite planet is impossible. At the same time, the current economic system does not guarantee a secure livelihood for all while social inequality is on the increase. A sufficiency economy offers an alternative. It provides in everybody’s basic needs while tackling greed and overconsumption.

The EU can be a frontrunner in the ecological transition. The Green Deal was a great step forward, but with its core principle of competition in a single market it remains locked within a growth-addicted economy and fails to address social inequality. We must imagine an alternative European economy, one rooted in a different paradigm, before we can actually build it.

Discover how societies can thrive when they no longer depend on economic growth. This is a compelling narrative about a world with less inequality and fewer private jets, burn-outs and landfill sites, about a healthy planet with more quality of life, time for each other and sustainable products. In other words, about a good life for everyone within planetary boundaries.

This essay gives you the keys to one of the most important debates of our time.

Published by the Green European Foundation.
You can find the book in our bookstore.

Free English publication: Imagining Europe Beyond Growth

On the occasion of the 2023 conference at the European Parliament on how to move “beyond growth”, the European Environmental Bureau, Think Tank Oikos and Green European Journal joined hands to publish this special issue full of ideas for a more just society and a stable planet.

The transformation towards a postgrowth society calls for a different future-oriented narrative. We’ll need the political imagination to design a European Green Deal without growth and instead based on biocapacity, fairness, wellbeing for all, and active democracy.

In this issue you will find inspiring ideas, examples and discussions of the many faces of a positive postgrowth future, one in which people and nature can thrive together.

You can find the special issue in our bookstore. This publication is free – after adding in to your cart and the checkout, you will get access to the file free of charge.
Free English publication: The Tilting City – How to redesign cities towards an eco-resilient future 

This publication is part of Cities as a Place of Hope project of the Green European Foundation. It aims to draw an image of what the city of the future could look like. The authors, Dirk Holemans, Myrah Vandermeulen and Alexander Van Vooren, show alternatives to the current urban models and how they can be future-proof. This text will hopefully serve as a valuable source of information and bring up new thoughts among citizens activist, policymakers and everyone interested in exploring ethical and ecological ways of living in cities in the 21st century.

Three out of four Europeans live in a city. Therefore, cities are essential to lead the transformation to a socially and ecologically just society. This radical change is more urgent than ever, as IPCC reports remind us: already 3.5 billion people are highly vulnerable to climate impacts. Different cities suffer from diverse ecological impacts and will be differently affected by climate change. And within cities, certain groups are more exposed to the effects of air pollution, noise, and extreme temperatures than others. Without thoughtful politics and policies, the most vulnerable will suffer the consequences. In this context, ecological justice is vital. Taking inequalities into account and repairing the damage to these people’s lives but also holding those most responsible for the climate crisis to account.
This publication can be downloaded for free from the Green European Foundation website.