Social Limits to Growth—Implications for Sustainable Prosperity

This Autumn, CUSP and the APPG on Limits to Growth is hosting a debate to mark the 40th Anniversary of Fred Hirsch’s ‘The Social Limits to Growth’.

In 1977 Fred Hirsch’s acclaimed book made the case that in addition to the ecological limits to economic expansion identified by the Club of Rome, there are important social constraints on the benefits that can be obtained from growth. And these limits, Hirsch argued, make themselves felt much sooner than would the ‘distant and uncertain’ effects of ecological breakdown.

The thesis has gained fresh force in recent years: the post-crisis period in the West has reignited arguments over the distribution of the gains from growth and has highlighted the gap between economic growth and advances in wellbeing.

Join us for this timely discussion on Hirsch’s challenging analysis and its relevance today. The panel discussion is chaired by Caroline Lucas MP and Prof Tim Jackson, with speakers including Professor Diane Coyle, Professor Donald Hirsch (son of Fred Hirsch) and Daniel Zeichner MP. For enquiries please email


The audio recording can be streamed via Mixcloud below.