This article originally appeared in slightly edited form on earthbabyblog.org.
My life is packed full at the moment, but packed full of the most exciting and worthwhile things. My dissertation and other university coursework is taking up a lot of time, now that I’m in my final year with only a few months to go. I’ve been volunteering with my local Green Party each week, campaigning to get our Green MP re-elected. And best of all, I’m also extra-busy because I’ve become a core member of the Post Growth Institute.
They (we?!) are an international group exploring how we can chart a course to a shared sustainable prosperity beyond our addiction to growth-mania. We write this blog, run ongoing projects such as the (En)Rich List (a parody of the Forbes rich list) and Free Money Day, two of the co-directors are currently working on a book, and there’s also the Post Growth Alliance — a collaboration of over 40 like-minded groups, working together for extra impact. I’ve been a huge fan since I first came across this website a couple of years ago, and have waxed lyrical about them on my own blog many times.
So imagine my surprise and delight when they contacted me out of the blue a couple of months 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 my blog was enough. I was pretty blown away, I can tell you.
Including me, there are six active co-directors, and four 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 over two months now (how the times flies!) and since then my main contribution has been writing for this blog. I’ve written about the need to reframe the story of progress to better align it with post-growth thinking, the idea of a shorter work week to combat unemployment and overwork while allowing people more time to live sustainably, and an awesome local initiative to feed hungry people with surplus food. As an aspiring writer I’m overjoyed to have this platform for sharing my ideas about subjects so important to me, and I hope you enjoy reading them too. But I also can’t wait to throw myself into doing more for the Post Growth Institute, when I’ve finished my degree.
I’m so excited about the growing awareness around the world that there are better ways of doing things than fossil-fuelled neoliberal growthmania. And more and more I’m feeling the urge to throw myself wholeheartedly into the transition to a post-growth economy, that is already taking root, and desperately needs to accelerate. I’ve got so many ideas which I can’t wait to pursue, but for now, I need to try and stay focussed.
Suffice to say, I was absolutely honoured to be invited to join the team, and I am thoroughly enjoying my experience so far. I just can’t wait to do more.
Image: Me and executive director Donnie Maclurcan.
Originally published in January 2015. To Find out more about the Post Growth Institute, visit our website.