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PERTH OZ FORESIGHT CAFÉ
VIC PARK MINILAB
11 Dec 2015
Adam Jorlen, Futurist
@adamjorlen
Simplicity and
Sustainability
Jim Dator’s 4 Generic Futures
• Continuation – the current historical trajectory continues, most usually conceived
of as ‘...
Discipline
Simplicity
Simplicity and Complexity
• …Simplicity often lies on the other side of complexity, so for
any problem, the more you can z...
Simplicity – A Multidisciplinary Concept
The History of Simplicity
Religious and spiritual
traditions ( for ex Gautama
Buddha, John the Baptist,
Laozi, and Confuci...
Philosophy
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
strongly praised the simple
life in Discourse on the Arts
and Sciences (1750).
“Simplify, Simplify.”
Henri David Thoreau -
Walden, a reflection on
simple living in natural
surroundings.
Gandhi and materialism
“You may have occasion
to possess or use
material things, but the
secret of life lies in never
miss...
E. F. Schumacher argued
against the notion that
"bigger is better" in Small
Is Beautiful (1973)
Economics
Duane Elgin
Voluntary Simplicity
Movement (1981)
Voluntary Simplicity
Simplicity and Technology
“That’s been one of my mantras — focus and
simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You
ha...
Today
• Grassroots awareness campaigns, for ex UK National
Downshifting Week (founded 1995)
• DIY ethics – The Maker Movem...
Discuss – A Garden of Simplicity
• Uncluttered Simplicity – Plato: “simplify the mechanics of the
ordinary, everyday life....
Questions
* In an increasingly complex world; how effective have the calls
for simplicity by Thoreau, Elgin et al been?
* ...
Simplicity
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Simplicity

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Multi-disciplinary presentation of Simplicity for Perth Oz Foresight Cafe 11 Dec 2015 by Adam Jorlen

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Simplicity

  1. 1. PERTH OZ FORESIGHT CAFÉ VIC PARK MINILAB 11 Dec 2015 Adam Jorlen, Futurist @adamjorlen Simplicity and Sustainability
  2. 2. Jim Dator’s 4 Generic Futures • Continuation – the current historical trajectory continues, most usually conceived of as ‘continued economic growth’; • Collapse – a breakdown of the social order due to one or more of a number of possible causes, such as economic instability, environmental overload, resource depletion, moral degeneration, military conflict such as an external attack or internal civil war, meteor/comet impact, etc; • Disciplined Society – a society organized around some set of overarching values, whether ancient, traditional, ideological, natural, environmental, God-given, etc; • Transformational Society – which sees the end of current forms of behaviour, beliefs, norms, or organization, and the main sub-variants are ‘emergence of new forms (rather than a return to older or traditional ones, as above), possibly even including intelligent life-forms. The two high-tech’ (technological) and ‘high-spirit’ (spiritual) transformation. Source: Joseph Voros - Galactic-scale macro-engineering: Looking for signs of other intelligent species, as an exercise in hope for our own
  3. 3. Discipline
  4. 4. Simplicity
  5. 5. Simplicity and Complexity • …Simplicity often lies on the other side of complexity, so for any problem, the more you can zoom out and embrace complexity, the better chance you have of zooming in on the simple details that matter most. • TED talk by Ecologist Eric Berlow
  6. 6. Simplicity – A Multidisciplinary Concept
  7. 7. The History of Simplicity Religious and spiritual traditions ( for ex Gautama Buddha, John the Baptist, Laozi, and Confucius) “Manifest plainness, Embrace simplicity, Reduce selfishness, Have few desires.” - Laozi
  8. 8. Philosophy Jean-Jacques Rousseau strongly praised the simple life in Discourse on the Arts and Sciences (1750).
  9. 9. “Simplify, Simplify.” Henri David Thoreau - Walden, a reflection on simple living in natural surroundings.
  10. 10. Gandhi and materialism “You may have occasion to possess or use material things, but the secret of life lies in never missing them.” ~ Mohandas Gandhi
  11. 11. E. F. Schumacher argued against the notion that "bigger is better" in Small Is Beautiful (1973) Economics
  12. 12. Duane Elgin Voluntary Simplicity Movement (1981) Voluntary Simplicity
  13. 13. Simplicity and Technology “That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” [Steve Jobs - BusinessWeek, May 25, 1998]
  14. 14. Today • Grassroots awareness campaigns, for ex UK National Downshifting Week (founded 1995) • DIY ethics – The Maker Movement • Slow • The Sharing Economy
  15. 15. Discuss – A Garden of Simplicity • Uncluttered Simplicity – Plato: “simplify the mechanics of the ordinary, everyday life.” • Ecological Simplicity – lighter touch on Earth • Family Simplicity – quality of relations and integrity with each other • Compassionate Simplicity - Gandhi: “Choose to live simply so that other simply can live” • Soulful Simplicity – Connection with all life in all its richness • Business Simplicity – Sustainable products and services • Civic Simplicity – public transport, education, design of cities and work places • Frugal Simplicity – Skillful practices of our personal finances Source: Duane Elgin: Voluntary Simplicity: Cool Lifestyle for a Hot Planet
  16. 16. Questions * In an increasingly complex world; how effective have the calls for simplicity by Thoreau, Elgin et al been? * What can we do to find the simplicity beyond complexity in our lives? * What's next for simplicity and sustainability?

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