Enough, for everyone, forever
The Simplicity Institute is an education and research centre seeking to:
– seed a revolution in consciousness that highlights the urgent need to move beyond growth-orientated, consumerist forms of life
– envision and defend a ‘simpler way’ of life at a time when the old myths of progress, techno-optimism, and affluence are failing us
– transform the overlapping crises of civilisation into opportunities for ‘prosperous descent’
The global economy is undermining the ecological foundations of life, producing perverse inequalities of wealth, and spreading a cultural malaise as ever-more people discover that consumerism cannot satisfy the human craving for meaning. While industrial civilisation continues this inevitable descent, humankind is being challenged to reimagine the good life, tell new stories of prosperity, and get to work envisioning and building a new world within the shell of the old.
“To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – Buckminster Fuller
Genuine progress toward a just and sustainable world requires those who are over-consuming to move to far more materially ‘simple’ and less energy-intensive ways of living. This does not mean deprivation or hardship. It means focusing on what is sufficient to live well, and creating new cultures of consumption, new systems of production, and new governance structures that promote a ‘simpler way’ of life. Our basic needs can be met in highly localised and low-impact ways, while maintaining a high quality of life.
“What people must see is that ecologically sane, socially responsible living is good living; that simplicity makes for an existence that is free.” – Theodore Roszak
The Simplicity Institute seeks to provoke a broader social conversation about the need to transition away from growth-based, consumer societies toward more resilient, egalitarian, and rewarding societies based on material sufficiency and renewable energy. Rethinking growth, capitalism, and consumerism in an age of environmental limits and economic instability cannot be avoided. The only question is whether it will be by design or disaster.