Slowing down

“You see growth was my holy grail.

Yes, it was. And it failed.

It couldn’t last, I do agree.

But in the middle of the hustle, you cannot really see.”

Nynke Laverman’s spoken word/song Your Ancestor has really touched me this year.

The same applies to Kim Nicholas’s book Under the Sky We Make.*

For 2023, I wish for us to slow down where we can. The climate crisis, the biodiversity crisis and our overall limited progress on the SDGs require a radical re-think of our systems and action. Degrowth within rich countries appears to have strong (and growing 😉 ) potential.  

On a personal level, I cycle everywhere in Melbourne and eat increasingly plant based. In the new year, I want to consider my energy use and how my superannuation is invested. Boat trips from Australia are very clunky (I have looked into it) so I still fly. I combine meetings though and am much, much more selective. I hope you take the actions that feel right for you.**

Of course, it is the big industry actors and government decisions that make a real difference, so it may feel ‘tiny’ to tinker on the individual level. Nevertheless, we have influence: as citizens, consumers, investors, professionals and role models. See also Jan Heilinger’s book on cosmopolitan responsibility for extra motivation.

And for our young ones, my colleagues have developed this wonderful website to find their superpowers.

With that, I wish you all the best for the end of 2022 and the start of 2023! ^


* I have two copies that I am very happy to send to you if you solemnly pledge a) to read it 😊 and b) to pass it on to a friend afterwards, with the same request to them.

** Kim and colleagues’ work shows that personal changes with big impact are:

  • staying on the ground (instead of flying)
  • going car-free
  • eating a plant-based diet
  • using green energy.

^ Is there anything that you would like to see on this blog in the new year? I will have updates regarding our research and some of my art adventures. Anything in particular that you’d love to read, or watch, or listen to?  

2 thoughts on “Slowing down

  1. Thank you for your great post. Hope to read more about ecological grief and youth wellbeing here. Hope to see you in the Netherlands – perhaps in 2024?

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