Samuel Alexander

Tiny House on Wheels Workshop (Oct 17-22)

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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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Degrowth, Sustainability and Tackling Global Inequalities

Recently I was interviewed by Jen Wilton, a UK journalist and researcher, on the subject of degrowth. What follows is the transcript of our phone interview, originally posted here. Q: What would a degrowth society look like? SA: A lot of mainstream environmentalism still clings to the idea that we can dematerialise our ways of living without giving up what is essentially an affluent consumer lifestyle. One of the provocations […]

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The Paradox of Oil: The Cheaper it is, The More it Costs

There will be oil, but at what price? – Chris Nelder and Gregor Macdonald     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. The author would like to thank MSSI for supporting the writing of this article, and Josh Floyd, Matt Mushalik, and Jonathan Rutherford for […]

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Free Rent in an Ecovillage for a Year? (Documentary project, Victoria, Australia)

Are you a passionate and knowledgeable permaculturalist? Would you like to live in a developing ecovillage for a year ‘rent free’ as part of a documentary project? Do you want to explore a life of frugal abundance? If so, read on! Over the last 12 months the Simplicity Institute has been involved in the development of an ecovillage permaculture farm out near Moe, Victoria, Australia (about 1 hour 45 mins […]

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The Hidden Door: Mindful Sufficiency as an Alternative to Extinction

I am honoured to announce the publication of Mark Burch’s new book, The Hidden Door: Mindful Sufficiency as an Alternative to Extinction, available here. Published proudly by the Simplicity Institute, this text brings together some of Mark’s finest essays on themes related to mindful sufficiency and voluntary simplicity, and includes a new introduction (posted below). A deep yet accessible book, here’s the blurb: Many people sense that consumer culture is […]

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Life in a ‘Degrowth’ Economy, and Why You Might Actually Enjoy It

by Samuel Alexander, originally published on The Conversation Time to get off the economic growth train? Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock What does genuine economic progress look like? The orthodox answer is that a bigger economy is always better, but this idea is increasingly strained by the knowledge that, on a finite planet, the economy can’t grow for ever. This week’s Addicted to Growth conference in Sydney is exploring how to move beyond […]

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Foreword to the Book, Simple Living in History: Pioneers of the Deep Future

Below is the foreword to Simple Living in History: Pioneers of the Deep Future, edited by Samuel Alexander and Amanda McLeod. This book collects together 26 chapters discussing individuals, cultures, and movements that have embraced forms of ‘simple living’ throughout history. The ‘preface by the editors’ and table of contents are available here, and the book is available here. Foreword, by David Shi The simple life is almost as hard […]

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Simple Living in History: Pioneers of the Deep Future (Book)

This book highlights the continuous cultural lineage that underpins current activism for an ecologically viable and spiritually nourishing life now and in the future. For permaculture practitioners and activists focused on building ecologically smart, localised economies, this book highlights how rethinking our attitudes and behaviour toward consumption can be a fruitful pathway to social and ecological harmony. — David Holmgren, Permaculture: Principles and Pathways beyond Sustainability Simple Living in History […]

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Degrowth and the Carbon Budget: Powerdown Strategies for Climate Stability

Samuel Alexander (1), Simplicity Institute Climate change is not ‘a problem’ waiting for ‘a solution’. It is an environmental, cultural, and political phenomenon which is reshaping the way we think about ourselves, our societies and humanity’s place on Earth. — Mike Hulme 1. Introduction In recent years the notion of a ‘carbon budget’ has entered the lexicon of climate science (e.g. IPCC, 2013; Meinshausen et al, 2009). This concept refers […]

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