The Simplicity Institute is my kind of organization. I came across them during some on line research, and discovered that they are currently conducting a study on people who choose to live simply in affluent nations. I was happy to give them a few minutes of my time to participate in their research by filling out the on line survey.
The Simplicity Institute was founded by Samuel Alexander and Dr. Simon Ussher. Mr. Alexander is dedicated to advancing the voluntary simplicity movement, and Dr. Ussher, a medical specialist, is an advocate of the holistic benefits of simple living.
Their Mission Statement is powerful and direct:
Why study individuals voluntarily adopting low-consumption lifestyles in high-consumption countries? Because, the institute says, "it is our governing hypothesis that post-consumerist lifestyles will be a necessary part of any transition to a sustainable, just, and flourishing human society.""The multi-faceted problem of over-consumption lies at the heart of many of the social, economic, and ecological crises which are currently afflicting advanced capitalist societies and beyond. At the same time, great multitudes around the globe live lives oppressed by material deprivation (i.e. under-consumption)."
"Our defining objective is to map the road to a world of sustainable consumption – a world in which the entire community of life has an opportunity to flourish safely within Earth’s biophysical limits."
That is what this little blog has been talking about for the past couple of years. Those of us in high consumption parts of the world learn to live with less, so that those who don't have enough can attain more. And then there is the matter of the continued functioning of the planet as we know it before it is damaged beyond repair.
Here is a chance for those choosing simplicity to add to research and policy development. As more of us choose small footprint, sustainable alternatives we create a more enjoyable, balanced, and sustainable way of life that benefits us all.
If you are someone who is voluntarily living a lifestyle of reduced hours of work, income, and consumption, consider filling out the Simplicity Institute's short survey, and helping create change.