Sustainable Consumption beyond the Growth Economy

This innovative research program explores the problematic issues of our current growth-orientated economy.

Dr Samuel Alexander leads this innovative research program exploring the problematic issues of our current growth-orientated economy, identifying the limits to growth (such as resource scarcity and climate change) and exploring various strategies for moving ‘beyond growth’.

Transitioning to sustainable patterns of consumption and production requires an interdisciplinary understanding of various social, economic, and ecological issues, as well as an understanding of the structural and systemic factors which can ‘lock in’ unsustainable forms of economy.

How can seven billion people and counting flourish within environmental limits? What does sustainable consumption really mean? And what are the social justice (especially distributive) implications of living in an age of ecological overshoot?

Aims and activities

  • Acquire a deeper understanding of planetary limits and their implications
  • Develop new economic paradigms that would enable humankind to live within planetary limits.
  • Explore the most effective social, economic and political transition pathways beyond unsustainable growth trajectories
  • Envision new futures based on alternative conceptions of prosperity
  • Bring together practitioners, researchers, and decision-makers working in the fields of new economy, sustainable consumption, and sustainability transitions

Selected publications

Films & Interviews

  • A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity. A documentary about simple living, permaculture, and local economy as a response to global crises, produced by Samuel Alexander and Jordan Osmond. See below.
  • A selection of interviews conducted in the making of this film can be found here. These include interviews with Ted Trainer, Nicole Foss, Helena Norberg Hodge, Graham Turner, David Spratt and David Holmgren.



Dr Samuel Alexander, Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute