Samuel Alexander

The Dark Cellars Project: An Aesthetics of Revolt

Political concept: Revolt on wall background

A couple of months ago I made a call out for artists and graphic designers to be in touch if they wanted to explore ways to use art and image to unsettle the normality of consumer capitalism and provoke thought about alternative ways to live and be. I was overwhelmed by the response, with over 50 artists writing back expressing their interest in a culture jamming project. In recent weeks […]

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The Moral and Ethical Weight of Voluntary Simplicity: A Philosophical Review

Country yard with trees, wheel and plough

A vast and growing body of scientific literature is impressing upon us that human economic activity is degrading planetary ecosystems in ways that are unsustainable. Taken as a whole, we are overconsuming Earth’s resources, destabilising the climate, and decimating biodiversity (Steffan et al, 2015; IPCC, 2013; WWF, 2016).

At the same time, we also know that there are billions of people around the world who are, by any humane standard, under-consuming. Alleviating global poverty is likely to place even more pressure on an already over-burdened planet.

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Live Without Dead Thyme: Photo Tour of Garden

Live without dead thyme feat

I spent Saturday night under a 100 year old pear tree with David Holmgren, Su Dennett, and a spirited gathering of Victorian permaculturalists, for their annual summer solstice party. Fun and uplifting times. David and Su’s property Melliodora is a genuine permaculture paradise – and an inspiring example of what can be done. My household’s urban homestead doesn’t compare, but over the years we have been making efforts to practise […]

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Any Graphic Designers Out There? A Call Out for Collaborators

Any Graphic Designers Out There feat

The Simplicity Institute is mobilising for a new ‘culture jamming’ project next year and we’ve started gathering a team of skilled graphic designers (and potentially visual artists more generally) to collaborate. If this sounds like you and you are keen to volunteer some of your time (a few hours or many hours) to creating striking images that challenge consumerism and the growth economy, and advance the visions of voluntary simplicity, […]

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Deface the Currency: The Lost Dialogues of Diogenes

Deface the Currency - feat

I’m happy to announce the publication of my new book – or, rather, my new ‘philosophical play’ in six acts – called Deface the Currency: The Lost Dialogues of Diogenes. Here is the advance praise the book received from Dr William Desmond, author of The Greek Praise of Poverty. “This is a creative re-enactment of the life, death and ideas of the most influential Cynic of antiquity, Diogenes of Sinope. […]

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Wild Democracy: A Biodiversity of Resistance and Renewal

Sprout growing out of concrete

1. Introduction With characteristic insight, the great American philosopher, John Dewey, once wrote: ‘Every generation has to accomplish democracy over again for itself.’[1] His point was that, at each moment in history, citizens and nations inevitably face unique challenges and problems, so we should not assume the democratic institutions and practices inherited from the past will be adequate for the conditions of today. Our ongoing political challenge, therefore, is to […]

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A Prosperous Descent – Telling new stories as the old book closes

A Prosperous Descent - Telling new stories as the old book closes

OVER THE LAST two centuries in the West, we have been telling ourselves that economic growth is the most direct path to prosperity, that the good life implies material affluence, and that technology and ‘free markets’ will be able to solve most of our social and environmental problems. In recent decades, we have even attempted to impose this story on the entire globe, arrogantly declaring the end of history.

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Residencies available at the Wurruk’an Ecovillage and Permaculture Farm (Victoria)

Residencies available at the Wurruk’an Ecovillage and Permaculture Farm (Victoria) feat

Wurruk’an is a small community of people living in West Gippsland, Victoria. For the last few years we have been trying to push the boundaries of environmental practice by exploring what it means to live in a deeply sustainable way. So far the community has built many demonstration “tiny houses” using a combination of reclaimed materials, cob, “Earthship style” rammed earth and super-adobe. As well as constructing these small buildings, […]

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A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity (Full Documentary)

A Simpler Way feat

Fresh from a sold-out premiere, Jordan and Samuel have made available their full length documentary film A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity (Full Documentary). It was a great night with David Holmgren and Helena Norberg-Hodge joining co-producers’, Jordan Osmond and Samuel Alexander for a panel discussion. Below we have posted the full documentary of “A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity”, an inspiring new documentary produced by Jordan Osmond (http://happenfilms.com/) and […]

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Film – A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity (Premiere)

Film - A Simpler Way Crisis as Opportunity

The overlapping economic, environmental, and cultural crises of our times can seem overwhelming, can seem like challenges so great and urgent that they have no solutions. But rather than sticking our heads in the sand or falling into despair, we should respond with defiant positivity and try to turn the crises we face into opportunities for civilisational renewal. Trailer Courtesy of Happen Films Youtube Channel During the year of 2015 […]

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Policies for a Post-Growth Economy

Fully laden container ship in port

The 1972 publication of Limits to Growth sparked a controversy that has yet to subside. This book argued that if population, resource use, and pollution kept increasing on our finite planet, eventually economies would face environmental ‘limits to growth’ – with potentially dire consequences. Although evidence is mounting in support of this position (Turner, 2014; Steffan et al, 2015), any suggestion that nations might have to give up economic growth, […]

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What is Degrowth? Envisioning a Prosperous Descent

This is a transcript of my keynote address presented at the ‘Local Lives, Global Matters’ conference in Castlemaine, Victoria, 16-18 October 2015. Other keynote speakers included Rob Hopkins, David Holmgren, and Helena Norberg-Hodge. Introduction Thank you for that introduction, Jacinta, good morning everyone. I would like to begin by acknowledging the traditional owners of this land and to recognise that these have always been spaces of teaching, learning, sharing, and […]

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