Olivia Davis

Today’s ever-approaching environmental crises are faced with an inertia that inhibits the meaningful systemic change that the Anthropocene requires. This is partly due to firmly entrenched economic ideology which has largely crowded out alternative imaginaries and heterodox economic thinking. I seek to investigate the structural economic barriers to ecological sustainability, which include an addiction to economic growth, the global market as the domineering allocator of human needs and wants and the disproportional distributional effects of this framework.

Global subscription to this style of provision has led society into an unfortunate position, a dilemma that places the pursuit of ecological stability and justice in conflict with that of social stability and justice. This is so because economic growth has become the one-dimensional means for achieving the objectives of financial stability, employment, prosperity and fiscal budgets that fund welfare spending and public goods. This leaves us bound to mechanisms that may no longer serve us in the greater scheme of things, especially where they are destructive to the social and natural capital that may serve as a pathway out of this dilemma.

The Gerhard Mercator College places a strong focus on participation and plurality which is vital in informing the exploration of any social and systemic change. Representation of different interests and perspectives in a multi-disciplinary forum in enriches the scope of research.

Important stages in the CV
Research focus
Research Projects at the Graduate Programme

Important stages in the CV

09/2019 -

Editor of English texts, Zoe Institute for future fit Economies (Bonn)

10/2016 - 10/2019

Student, Master of Arts: Politics, Philosophy and Economics, Witten/ Herdecke University, (Witten)
2013 - 2018 Student, Master of Science: Environmental Economics, SOAS, University of London
02/2016 - 08/2016 Intern, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, (Bonn)
02/2015 - 07/2015 Junior Professional Officer , ICLEI Africa, (Cape Town)
2007 -2011 Student, Bachelor of Social Sciences: Environmental and Geographical Science, Economics, University of Cape Town

Research focus

  • Growth imperatives and drivers facing individuals, households, firms and nation states
  • Macro-Ecological Economics
  • Planetary Boundaries
  • Socio-Economics
  • Ethical trade and distribution

Fakultät für Gesellschaftswissenschaften

Keetmanstr. 3-9
47058 Duisburg
SK 112


  • Wissenschaftliche/r Mitarbeiter/in, Institut für Sozioökonomie

  • Davis, Oliva (2021). Macroeconomic Pathways away from Growth Dependence and Inequality. Talk given at the 3RD ANNUAL CONFERENCE (22 TO 23 APRIL 2021) jointly organized by the Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research, the Institute for Development and Peace and the Main Research Area „Transformation of Contemporary Societies" , 23.04.2021, University of Duisburg-Essen.