Okay, so I may have been slacking on my blogging lately, but I’ve been crazy busy in the rest of my life. My dissertation and other university coursework is taking up a lot of time, and I’ve been volunteering with my local Green Party each week, campaigning to get our Green MP re-elected. But the most exciting reason why I’m extra busy, is that I’ve become a core member of the Post Growth Institute.
If you haven’t heard me mention them before, they’re an international group exploring how we can chart a course to a shared sustainable prosperity beyond our addiction to growth-mania. They write a blog, they have ongoing projects such as the (En)Rich List (a parody of the Forbes rich list) and Free Money Day, they’re currently working on a book, and they also run the Post Growth Alliance – a collaboration of over 40 like-minded groups, working together for extra impact. I’m a huge fan of theirs, and I’ve written about their work quite a lot on this blog.
So imagine my surprise and delight when they contacted me out of the blue a few weeks ago and asked me if I’d like to be involved! To be honest, at first I thought this involvement would only go as far as handing out some flyers or writing a blog post or something. I almost fell of my chair when I was asked to join the team of co-directors. I wasn’t expecting such an opportunity at all, especially as I’m only 21 and am certainly not an expert in these matters. But the executive director, Donnie, assured me the passion and enthusiasm I’d shown through writing about the subject on this blog was enough. I was pretty blown away, I can tell you.
Including me, there are five active co-directors, and three more currently on sabbatical. For me and most of the others it is a voluntary position, and we each contribute a few hours per week to self-assigned projects, and have weekly online meetings. The other co-directors are an inspiration. So passionate, driven and productive!
I’ve been doing this for about a month now, (how the time flies!) and I’m currently working on a couple of articles for the Post Growth Institute blog, which I’m really excited about. One of them is about reframing the notion of progress, in order to decouple it from the idea of constant economic growth. Progress is such a powerful story, I don’t think it can be tossed aside so it needs to be reframed and reimagined in a way more in line with post-growth thinking. When it’s published I’ll link to it or crosspost it here.
If all this is super confusing because you don’t know what post-growth is, then I suggest you either follow my links to the Post Growth Institute and read what they have to say under the ‘learn’ tab. Or you can read some of my numerous posts on the subject, by hitting the ‘post-growth’ category on the right sidebar. But in a nutshell, it’s this idea that indefinite economic growth is impossible on a finite planet, and we need to look towards new economic systems that allow people to flourish, while being both sustainable and equitable. It’s similar to the idea of the steady state economy, but it’s more broad, because it refers to basically any system that comes after growth, rather than just that one specific prescription.
Suffice to say, I’m absolutely honoured to be part of the team, and I just can’t wait to dedicate more time to it as soon as I’ve got this beastly dissertation done.