The Story of Stuff Project – pioneered by Annie Leonard – aims to educate people about where our stuff comes from, where it goes when we toss it out, and how to live as citizens rather than mere consumers. They make videos and podcasts, as well as providing a world-wide networking opportunity for those wanting to contribute to a more positive future.
Their latest video was released on Tuesday the 1st October. It’s called The Story of Solutions and you can watch the 9 minute delight for free on their website. The basic premise is that the economy is set up like a game, where the goal is MORE. We can’t change the outcome of the game without changing the fundamental rules, so what would be a better goal? Something more fitting for the 21st century. What about BETTER?
The short video mentions lots of inspiring projects that are already going on around the world. The idea is that although there is no one magic solution to our contemporary challenges, a huge array of little solutions are necessary, possible, and already beginning. The video differentiates between ‘old-game solutions’ and ‘game-changing solutions’ which is quite interesting.
This criticism of economic growth and suggestion of a more human-centred, qualitative type of progress sounds a lot like advocacy for a steady-state economy. So much so, that I’m surprised they didn’t mention this concept outright. Perhaps they didn’t want to off-put people with something as crazy as that? That would be pretty lame, and not at all in the spirit of The Story of Stuff Project. I guess it’s possible they just don’t know about steady-state economics, but that seems even less likely, given as they’re pretty on the pulse.
Anyway, the video is definitely worth a watch, especially if you’re new to these sorts of ideas.