UCL Institute for Global Prosperity


Addicted to Growth: Societal Therapy for a Sustainable Wellbeing Future - book launch

07 March 2023, 5:30 pm–7:00 pm

Bird flying over a city

Join us to celebrate the publication of Professor Robert Costanza's new book

This event is free.

Event Information

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Institute for Global Prosperity


Room W3.01
Institute of Education
20 Bedford Way

Join us to celebrate the publication of Addicted to Growth: Societal Therapy for a Sustainable Wellbeing Future by Robert Costanza, Professor of Ecological Economics at the Institute for Global Prosperity. 

On the panel:

  • Chaired by Professor Henrietta Moore, (Director of the Institute for Global Prosperity) 
  • Robert Costanza (Professor of Ecological Economics at the Institute for Global Prosperity)
  • Jacqueline McGlade (Professor of Natural Prosperity, Sustainable Development and Knowledge Systems at the Institute for Global Prosperity)
  • Paul Ekins (Professor of Resources and Environment Policy at the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources)
  • Professor Lorenzo Fioramonte (Director of the Institute for Sustainability at the University of Surrey)

About the book: 

The book takes a compelling approach to describing what is needed to create the kind of future that most people on Earth really want. Our global society is hopelessly addicted to a particular vision of the world and a future that has become both unsustainable and undesirable.

Addicted to Growth frames our current predicament as a societal addiction to a ‘growth at all costs’ economic paradigm. While economic growth has produced many benefits, its side effects are now producing existential problems that are rapidly getting worse. Robert Costanza considers lessons from what works at the individual level to overcome addictions and applies them to a societal scale. Costanza recognises that the first step to recovery is recognising the addiction and that it is leading to disaster; however, simply pointing out the dire consequences of our societal addiction is only the first step and can be counterproductive by itself in motivating change. The key next step is creating a truly shared vision of the kind of world we all want, and the book explores creative ways to implement this societal therapy. The final step is using that shared vision to motivate the changes needed to achieve it, including adaptive transformations of our economic systems, property rights regimes, and governance institutions.  

    "Societies get trapped in patterns of behaviour. This book shows us how to break the mold, get beyond our growth addiction, build consensus and shape alternative futures. Powerful and persuasive, Bob Costanza maps how ecological economics can contribute to understanding how we might change social goals, rules and behaviour. Crafting multiple plausible futures that chart a way forward we can agree on is the first step on the road to sustainable prosperity."

    Professor Henrietta Moore, Director, Institute for Global Prosperity, University College London

    Now available to buy from Routledge

    Book cover

    Image credit: Ida Kubiszewski