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Jun 11, 2013
I am very pleased to announce the publication of my new book, Entropia: Life Beyond Industrial Civilisation. This book is a creative work of fiction – a ‘utopia of sufficiency’ – in which I bring to life a simple living community that became isolated on a small island after the collapse of industrial civilisation. Looking back from the future, I describe the economy, culture, and politics of the...
Feb 13, 2013
After the last two posts being rather gloomy, I am happy today to bring your attention to Ted Trainer’s new Simplicity Institute Report, called ‘Your Delightful Day: The Benefits of Life in the The Simpler Way.’ In this report Trainer highlights the many benefits that would come – individually, socially, environmentally – if communities embraced a culture of simple living and...
Nov 13, 2012
Below I’ve posted the introduction to my new essay, “The Sufficiency Economy: Envisioning a Prosperous Way Down.” This essay, which I feel is the clearest expression of my views, summarises the critique of growth economics and then describes in some detail what I consider to be the most promising alternative model – ‘a sufficiency economy.’ The full essay can be read...
Sep 1, 2012
On this first day of spring, which symbolises new life, it brings me great pleasure to announce the publication of Mark Burch’s The Simplicity Exercises: A Sourcebook for Simplicity Educators. This special issue from the Simplicity Institute takes us in a new direction, moving beyond the analytical stage of defending simplicity and criticising growth-based, consumer-orientated economies, toward the...
Mar 16, 2012
The following article was published in The Age today (16 March). The online newspaper version is available here.
Increasing material wealth has been, and remains, one of the dominant goals of humankind – perhaps the dominant goal. This is hardly surprising, of course, given the extremely low material living standards endured by most people throughout history, and indeed, by great multitudes around the...
Feb 17, 2012
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...
Aug 9, 2011
I’ve recently started teaching a Masters of Environment course called, “Consumerism and Sustainability,” through the Office for Environmental Programs, University of Melbourne. Last night I was privileged enough to deliver a lecture on Thoreau, and I have attached an audio file of part of that lecture if anyone would like to have a listen. I have also attached an e-book called ‘Just...
Jul 19, 2011
Continuing the July series of publications, this post consists of an essay called “The Voluntary Simplicity Movement: Reimagining the Good Life beyond Consumer Culture,’ which is soon to be published in the peer-reviewed, International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability. This essay, which is based on a collection of earlier posts on this website, is...
Mar 21, 2011
If you’d excuse the rather confronting title, I’d like to invite you to undertake what I call the ‘Deathbed Experiment.’ It’s simple and goes like this:
Imagine you are on your deathbed and someone asks you: “What attitudes defined your life?” What would you want to be able to say?
This thought experiment never fails to move me in some way, and I always feel that it moves me in the right...
Jan 27, 2011
Until 2011, I spent a total of about 4 minutes on social media like Facebook, MySpace, etc. I signed up for an account a couple of years ago, but then immediately forgot my password and, until very recently, never looked back. Like many others, I feel that social media is consuming an alarming amount of people’s time and energy, often in ways that seem rather wasteful and uninspired.
(Tweet: “I just...