Hey everyone, I thank you all for being here, and for advocating and practicing a new world! I have created this topic because I see that there is none currently where we could join and introduce ourselves! I can begin this, and hope to see many of you respond, especially those joining the community after the Vienna conference (like me!)
Hey squad - I am Shik from Mumbai, India, currently on gap year from university in Singapore volunteering full time with Extinction Rebellion Global - otherwise a student of Environmental Social Sciences. Although I am very new entrant to the formal field of degrowth, I have been there mentally for quite a while, especially since I have started engaging in my activism. Over the last year spending time organising, taking action, and reflecting, I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s little to no hope remaining for the people of my country, and most of us in the Global South - in terms of actually having a healthy and liveable future. And even that little hope becomes extinguished if we continue to exist as slaves writin the capitalist system - especially for those who have been historically marginalised and continue to be on the frontlines of the crisis. For me, my life mission right now is split into two distinct threads:
- the one focusing on mitigation through political activism, concentrated on pressuring European institutions and knitting alliances of revolution from Grassroots to Global - which is where advocacy for degrowth as policy reform comes in.
- the other focusing on starting to build resilience - specifically by empowering vulnerable communities to detach from the extractivist exploitative systems through becoming self determining and self sufficient.
To achieve these visions, I act mainly through my role as the External Coordinator for the Global Partnerships team at Extinction Rebellion where I work on a number of things:
- Working on decolonising the movement from within
- Supporting the growth of local groups in the Global South
- Supporting the development of activist alliances at a global and specifically on the European level
- Working on implementation of Participatory Democracy Assemblies all over the world
- Trying to connect XR efforts with Indigenous resistances and frontline communities resilience building
My motivations/rationale for all of the above
- Being from the Global South and having been involved in grassroots environmental activism here, I am more of the deep adaptation mindset and have accepted the societal and environmental breakdown is imminent - however I still hold on to the hope that our past colonisers/invaders in Western Europe can still come around before its too late and mitigate to a certain extent the extent of damage.
- I also try to engage in spiritual and entrepreneurial activism - believing that the biggest battle that needs to be won is that of humanity demolishing our internal constructs that make us believe nature is an other to be dominated and not that we are just extensions of it
- I personally believe that humans have had all the solutions to a just, sustainable world for a long time now - and that the only thing missing is us all coming together to join the dots, and help each other out based on an international economy of love and resource-exchange - and that’s a personal project that I am working on apart from all my Extinction Rebellion engagement.
Sorry for the information overwhelm - I look forward to engaging with many of you over the next months and years - to bring about a degrowth revolution!
Hi @shik. I just joined this forum and thought I would introduce myself too. I am very impressed by all the work you do, and I hope that we can find hope for the Global South.
I’m Arwen. I come from northern California (near San Francisco) and now live in Portland, Oregon, where we now have the worst air quality in the world! The yearly wildfires, which burned my childhood home in 2017 and threatened both my home and my mother’s this past week, are one factor that is spurring me to action now.
I teach English at Clark College, a two-year community college, in Vancouver, Washington state (not Vancouver, BC). I did my doctoral work at the University of Oregon in literature and environment, with a focus on progressionism and non-progressionism in utopian science fiction. The non-progressionist writers I focused on were William Morris and Ursula Le Guin. More recently I helped edit the newly published book, Earth Matters, by University of Oregon theater arts professor, Theresa May. This book focuses on ecology in US theater but is deeply connected to the mission of this group, exploring how narrative myths shape ecological discourse and action. Though I may be biased, I highly recommend it.
At Clark College, I sit on the Environmental Sustainability Committee, which is a beleaguered little group hopefully beginning to find some traction as our college goes through many structural changes. I hope I can bring ideas from this group into my committee work and our educational work at Clark.
I have also given lectures and workshops on a concept I call “workable utopias,” similar to Le Guin’s “ambiguous utopia,” with the goal being not perfection but developing a framework for how societies can function healthily and sustainably. The pillars of the approach are living within ecological means (which, for us, necessitates degrowth) and aligning long-term goals with short-term needs because human nature will choose the short-term needs.
I also write science fiction in which I often illustrate non-growth-oriented societies.
I look forward to being involved with this work.
Some info on strong drivers of degrowth and a Green New Deal for the EU: