Samuel Alexander

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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Earth as a Petri Dish: The Problem of Growth

sasp01

Republished with permission from http://simplicitycollective.com/earth-as-a-petri-dish-the-problem-of-growth 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 growing on our finite planet, eventually economies would face environmental ‘limits to growth’ – with potentially dire consequences. Despite the evidence mounting in support of this position, any suggestion that we might have to give up economic growth, or […]

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My Interview with Graham Turner on ‘Limits to Growth’

samlpg01

Below is the next instalment of the interview series Jordan Osmond and I are releasing as part of the crowd-funding campaign for our documentary, A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity. Thank you to all the generous souls who have helped us reach our first goal in 18 days! For more information on the documentary or to make a donations, please see here. The 1972 book, Limits to Growth, is the […]

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Tiny House on Wheels Workshop (Oct 17-22)

featuresasi

Samuel Alexander – is a lecturer with the Office for Environmental Programs and research fellow at the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute (MSSI), University of Melbourne. He also co-directs the Simplicity Institute. For those in Victoria, here are details of an upcoming “Tiny House on Wheels” workshop out at Wurruk’an. If you’re interested, don’t hesitate to apply as spots are limited and are likely to be filled quickly. I’ve been part […]

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One Planet Living

I was keynote speaker for World Environmental Day at the University of Melbourne. Below I have posted the transcript of my talk: Good afternoon everyone. Thank you for that introduction, Professor Kvan, and thank you all for being here to mark World Environment Day. It was Buckminster Fuller who once said: ‘You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the […]

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Prosperous Descent: Crisis as Opportunity in an Age of Limits

Samuel Alexander of the Simplicity Institute, who has written numerous articles for Permaculturenews.org, has just published Prosperous Descent: Crisis as Opportunity in an Age of Limits. A paperback of the book is available here. Samuel has made available a free PDF version of his book, please visit his site here for more details. INTRODUCTION TO PROSPEROUS DESCENT I sometimes tell my students that I am an ‘apocaloptimist’. While, in truth, […]

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