March 18, 2011

Participants Wanted For Voluntary Simplicity Study

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:
"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."
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."

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.


  1. Thanks...I filled it out. It would be interesting for them to also survey people who are receptive to simplifying but have barriers (real or perceived). I think "the movement" needs to encourage moderation if we want to make true headway on a massive scale. I've always felt that the "all-or-nothing" approach alienates people who might otherwise make some small but important steps (e.g. it's a lot easier to eat a couple vegetarian meals a week than to cut out meat altogether, or to go from two large vehicles to one small car rather than no car at all, etc.). People like David Suzuki have started to realize this and have adapted their approach. My two cents. ;-)

  2. Love the "Radiation is bad for you" graphic and Katherine Mansfield's quote as well. Sounds as if life is very merry with you two and I am very happy for you. Keep up the good work! The Maple sap runneth over just now so the forests are safe for a while.

  3. Geneviève,

    I do agree with you. Each small step is significant, and once you get started you soon realize the benefits, personal and global. It is empowering. There are so many enjoyable, positive changes we can make that will leave us happier in the long run.


    Happy to hear you are enjoying things here at NBA. That is wonderful, my friend. Celebrate the Spring - warm, long days are coming. Mmmm, maple syrup. Saw snowdrops today in Goldstream Park.


Discussion and debate is welcome on NBA. I believe that this can be done via courteous, concise comments relevant to the topic of the post, whether or not they agree with the views expressed.

Comments containing profanity, abusive language, or baiting will be deleted.

Comments with a user name attached above, or in a sign off in the text, are appreciated. It lets us meet on common ground, and get to know each other better.

I answer comments depending on what is happening in my life, and how much gardening, cooking, hiking, and music making needs to be done. I am also a full time caregiver to the beautiful Linda, partner in our joyous, simple life.

Click the "notify me" box to be updated on the thread by email.

Note: Comments are moderated to eliminate links to commercial interests. We are proudly a no selling, no buying website. Spammers take note. Please.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...