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Currently Browsing: Politics

Transition Towns as Resilience Pioneers

Dr. John Barry has just published an original and challenging new book called The Politics of Actually Existing Unsustainability: Human Flourishing in a Climate-Changed, Carbon-Contrained World. John was leader of the Green Party in Northern Ireland for six years, and now is a Reader in Politics at Queen’s University, Belfast, Ireland. Here’s the blurb of his new book: Going against both the... read more

Urban Food Forests: A Policy Proposal

Relocalising food production – especially in urban centres – is absolutely critical to decarbonising our economies and making our communities more resilient. My vision of a sustainable urban landscape is one where the streets are lined with fruit and nut trees, supplying the community with a greater portion of its own food. The City of Moreland (my local Council in Melbourne) is in the process... read more

Ted Trainer and The Simpler Way (Review Essay)

I’m very pleased to announce that Ted Trainer has joined the Simplicity Institute, and in recognition of this important event I’ve spent the last week writing a review essay of his work, which I’ve posted below. Ted has been writing about The Simpler Way for many years,  and in coming weeks and months he will be publishing a series of essays on the Simplicity Institute website (which I... read more

Overcoming Barriers to Sustainable Consumption

Our country is set up structurally to oppose voluntary simplicity. – Michael Jacobson Our lifestyle decisions, especially our consumption decisions, are not made in a vacuum. Instead, they are made within social, economic, and political structures of constraint, and those structures make some lifestyle decisions easy or necessary and other lifestyle decisions difficult or impossible. Change the social,... read more

The Simpler Way: A Practical Action Plan for Living More on Less

I’m pleased and excited to announce the launch of the latest initiative of the Simplicity Institute – The Simpler Way: A Practical Action Plan for Living More on Less. ____ The Simpler Way, created in collaboration with Ted Trainer, consists of a website and booklet which provide detailed practical advice on how to live a ‘simpler life’ of reduced and restrained consumption. More... read more

Ten Most Popular Posts of 2011

As the year draws to a close, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the readers of this website for their support and contributions. Our community is now over 1,000 strong, and I’m very much looking forward to exploring voluntary simplicity, and all it entails, with you in 2012. Now, more than ever before, we need to be reimagining the good life beyond consumer culture. I have plans to relaunch... read more

Voluntary Simplicity and Transition vs. Empire

This post is a short excerpt from a paper of mine considering the role the Simplicity and Transition Movements might play in resisting the forces of globalization and producing a degrowth or steady-state economy.  The age of globalization is upon us, and it could be that any attempt to realize a degrowth or steady-state economy will face forms of resistance today that may not have been faced as recently... read more

One Vision of Occupy Melbourne

Occupy Melbourne may have fallen out of the news, but several hundred people have still been meeting everyday on the steps  of the State Library to continue their grassroots activities. It remains a vibrant community of passionate and compassionate  people, and the energy levels have not been dampened but only enhanced by the executive beating we received a couple of weeks ago. Recently I  set myself... read more

Ignite: An Unspoken Address to the Occupiers (Occupy Melbourne)

A PDF of my 4,000 word statement can be downloaded here: Ignite. I woke up in City Square again this Thursday morning. The sun was rising, the vibe was characteristically joyful and positive, and the conversation was critical and engaged. Not only that, seeing the City Square full with tents was an inspiring spectacle, one that never gets old, and it must surely be prompting some reflection among those... read more

Notes on the Occupation – Occupy Melbourne

This post is a continuation of the last one – but this time with the benefit of lived experience. Here are my thoughts on the experience so far. (For my 4,000 word defence of the movement, please click here: Ignite.) For the purpose of ‘occupying Melbourne’ in solidarity with the global movement, I headed down to City Square in Melbourne this weekend, arriving on Saturday morning before the start of... read more
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