Quality of Life, Planetary Boundaries and Economic Growth

Semesters: WS 19/20, SS 20
Lecturer: Friedrich Hinterberger Sen.Sc. Mag. Dr.

In the third semester (WS 19/20) and fourth semester (SS 20) we talked about the 2nd half of the 20th century as the world economy experienced a short period of high economic growth in early industrialized countries. Because nowadays some emerging economies follow the path, it has allowed the world economy to grow from an „empty world“ largely dominated by nature to a „full world“ in which we, the humans with our technologies, dominate the rest of the world, while nature starts to „strike back“.

Both tendencies led to a considerable increase in quality of life for many people at the expense to the ecosystems, which support human life on earth. Today we fear and hope for an end of this development and severe reductions of our possibilities to prosper. Industrialized economies today are poorly prepared for this transformation. This course studied the dynamics and structure of the global economy, labor and societies as well as the planetary boundaries. We looked at, learned about and developed opportunities and alternatives at individual, national and global levels to reconcile economic prosperity, quality of life and the resilience of ecosystems.


Group Project
Group: Florian Schinnerl, Lisa-M. Weidl
Format: Video
Topic: Stories for Change – Time in Society

Individual Project
Format: Paper
Topic: Degrowth Conference 2020 – Past And Current Environmental Movements In Austria – What We Can Learn For Transformation