‘Spend each pound as if it were a vote’. I saw a tweet (from @AnslowGwen) saying this the other day, and I loved it. I thought it really brought to life the power that our spending decisions can have on shaping the world, especially in an era where many companies have more power over us […]
Category Archives: Consumerism
When will the economy be big enough?
Can you imagine if people could grow forever? If, instead of becoming an adult, we just kept on getting taller and taller and bigger and bigger until we died? What would we need to sustain ourselves if we kept on growing throughout our 20s, 30s, 60s, 80s? We’d need more food; more clothes too. More […]
5 reasons to apply design thinking to the economy
As a design student, I learnt that design was all about solving problems. The problem might be frivolous (I want better packaging to sell more fish fingers) or serious (I want to convince more people to get tested for cancer), but there’s always a problem. And whilst creativity is key to finding great solutions, solving […]
The ‘no cookies in the house’ philosophy
I’m ashamed to admit it, but I’m a 36-year-old man who can be defeated by a cookie. Any cookie really, but Chocolate Hob Nobs are my favourites. If I have them in the house, I always have a niggling voice at the back of my mind saying, “Just have them now! You’re going to eat […]
The fear behind the phrase ‘just enough’
Have you ever stopped to think about the phrase ‘just enough’? We use it all the time – “I’ve got just enough to make this recipe” “He’s done just enough to pass the exam” “They have just enough money to get by” Whenever we use it, we’re implying a negative situation – sure, you have enough, […]
The radical act of aiming lower
“I’ve got a meeting with a new client on Tuesday.” I was talking to someone I trust about an impending business opportunity. “I’m reading about the project tomorrow to see if it sounds interesting,” I continued. “I’m already over capacity. But I’ve been thinking and I don’t want to grow the business.” A confused look […]
Marie Kondo, you’re tackling the wrong problem
We have TV shows that teach people how to throw away all the unnecessary stuff they’ve bought. But not that teach people to buy less things they don’t need in the first place. Perhaps it’s only appealing to learn about throwing away things after the pleasure of buying them? Whereas learning about controlling your purchases […]
Is “retail therapy” actually bad for us?
Two days ago, I shared a post about how living abroad changed my concept of what I needed to be happy. The response I got back has been loud and clear – the enforced minimalism of lockdown has led to lots of people feeling the same way. My friend Lu said: “In the first week […]
How being forced to live with less changed my life
“Yeah, it’s a great property,” said my brother, Tim. “You know, as a starter home.” I looked at the two-bedroom house and garden I’d recently bought in Manchester and thought, “Yeah, I guess you’re right.” I was in my late twenties, a first-time buyer, and this was a first step on the property ladder. A […]
What do billionaires and hoarders have in common?
Hoarding can be defined as “excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs.” The TV show ‘Hoarders’ shows this in all its horrific glory – quantities of things that people will never be able to use, with reasons for holding on to them that defy logical explanation. These look like tragic cases because they […]