Leading international and Australian experts on economics, the environment and business will gather at UNSW for a public forum on sustainable development next week.

The 2014 Fenner Conference on the Environment, to be held on Thursday 2 October and Friday 3 October, will address the topic Addicted to Growth? How to move to a steady state economy.

Participants will consider the issues associated with perpetual economic growth, where population and use of energy, materials and land continue to increase, and examine alternative solutions.

Dr Brian Czech, author of Supply Shock: Economic Growth at the Crossroads and President of the Centre for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy in Washington, will be the keynote speaker.

Transition to a steady state economy faces major resistance from vested interests that benefit from the current unsustainable growth economy, says conference co-organiser Dr Haydn Washington, a visiting fellow at the UNSW Institute of Environmental Studies.

“But we cannot solve the environmental crisis unless we move from a growth economy to one that works within the ecological limits of the Earth,” he says.

The forum will be introduced by ABC science broadcaster Dr Robyn Williams AM.

Australian-based speakers include Dr Richard Denniss, economist and Executive Director of The Australia Institute; Professor Stephen Dovers, Director of the Fenner School of the Environment and Society at ANU; Professor Robert Costanza from ANU, one of the founders of the international ecological economics movement; Dr Carmen Lawrence, former state Premier and Professorial Fellow at the University of Western Australia; and Dick Smith, businessman and author of a book on Australia’s population crisis.

Overseas speakers joining by video include Dr Graeme Maxton, Fellow of the International Club of Rome; Professor Joshua Farley of the University of Vermont and co-author of Ecological Economics; and Professor Peter Victor, author of Managing without Growth.

What: Two-day Fenner Conference on the Environment addressing the topic: Addicted to Growth? How to move to a steady state economy in Australia

When: Thursday 2 October and Friday 3 October

Time: Registration from 8.30 am

Where: Tyree Room, Scientia Building, UNSW Kensington campus

Tickets and more informationhttp://www.ies.unsw.edu.au/about-us/events-workshops/2014/07/fenner-conference-environment

Media contacts:

Dr Haydn Washington: h.washington@unsw.edu.auSue Midgley, IES: 9385 5730, s.midgley@unsw.edu.auUNSW Science media officer: Deborah Smith: 9385 7307, 0478 492 060, deborah.smith@unsw.edu.au