Inspiring June with Green Initiatives and Andy Couturier

Published on by Nika Zobec

5th June is celebrated globally as the World Environment Day, the United Nation's principal vehicle for encouraging awareness and action for the protection of our environment.

"We usually say, 'We are protecting the environment with our actions.' Rather we must say, 'We are supported by the plants and the grasses and the trees and the animals,' That is the proper view."
Puppet Carver and Farmer, Wakako Oe
as said in The Abundance of Less by Andy Couturier

Green Initiatives team has been working hard to share with our community a special series of remarkable events this June with a special guest and writer, Andy Couturier.

Andy Couturier is an award-winning essayist, poet and writing teacher. He is the author of two books, Writing Open the Mind: Tapping the Subconscious to Free the Writing and The Abundance of Less.

Andy is the director of The Opening, a school for creative writing. His essays and articles on ecology, sustainable living, nuclear power have appeared in The Japan Times, The North American Review, Kyoto Journal, The Oakland Tribune, etc.

Find out more below on these special series of events.


5th June: World Environment Day Special: Cities or Countryside?

Will we thrive in cities or in the countryside? What would happen if everyone moved to the cities? And what if AI / robots take over all our jobs in few years from now?
Let’s discuss how to find the path that brings balance to both our lives and the global ecosystem with Andy.

  • WHERE: naked Hub, Beijing West Road, Shanghai
  • WHEN: June 5th, 18:30 – 21:00
  • GOOD TO KNOW: Event will be in English; preference will be given to prepaid attendees.
  • PRICE: Early Bird: 55 rmb | Regular: 75 rmb | At-the-door: 100 rmb
  • RSVP Link

7th June: What Does the Future of Work Look Like?

What is missing in the workplaces of our current times? Why are individuals not engaged to their work? How can employers help? What are alternate ‘professions’ of the future?

  • WHERE: Actiu/Work Wonders, Xuhui District, Shanghai
  • WHEN: June 7th, 18:00 – 20:00
  • GOOD TO KNOW: This is primarily an invitation-only event. Limited number of spaces available for the community.
  • PRICE: Regular Registration: 100 rmb | At-the-door: 150 rmb (subject to availability)
  • RSVP Link

8th June: Japanese Counterculture as a Model for Our Path Forward?

China has embarked on an unprecedented modernization trajectory. Urbanization rates have surpassed 50% in 2013 and all social structures are on a fast-forward reorganization which is only comparable to what started in Europe during the second industrial revolution. But could a renaissance of ancient Chinese values be an ecological path forward?

  • WHERE: The Tavern @Radisson Blu Xingguo Hotel
  • WHEN: June 8th,  18.30 – 21.00
  • GOOD TO KNOW: Event will be in English. Small group of 20-30 attendees.
  • PRICE: 100RMB for Members | 150RMB for Non-Members (1 drink included)
  • RSVP Link

9th-10th June: Dianshan Lake Family & Nature Weekend

An interactive workshop with Andy Couturier, Green Initiatives, Green Steps and the Dianshan Lake Art Community (DAC) at the beautiful Dianshan Lake area for family and kids.

    • WHERE: Shanghai Yacht Club, Dianshan Lake, Qingpu District
    • WHEN: June 9th-10th
    • PRICE: 650 rmb
    • RSVP Link

12th June: Lasting Wellbeing – In Cities or Countryside?  [Beijing]

Lasting Wellbeing - Will we thrive in cities or in the countryside? Let’s discuss with Andy how to find the path that brings balance to both our lives and the global ecosystem.

  • WHERE: naked Hub, Dongdaqiao, Beijing
  • WHEN: June 12th, 18:30 – 21:00
  • GOOD TO KNOW: Event will be in English; preference will be given to prepaid attendees.
  • PRICE: Early Bird: 55 rmb | Regular: 75 rmb | At-the-door:100 rmb
  • RSVP Link

20th June: Is Living with Less Bringing Us More?

Let’s discover how Andy's book allows us to rediscover a life with enough time, or one that one can share with themselves.

  • WHERE: URBN Boutique, Jingan District, Shanghai
  • WHEN: June 20th, 18:30 – 20:30
  • GOOD TO KNOW: Event will be in EN & CN. Refer to the Chinese version of the website for full information.
  • PRICE: Regular Registration: 55 rmb | At-the-door:100 rmb
  • RSVP Link

21st June: The Economics of Happiness: Green Drinks June Film Screening

An award-winning documentary which spells out the social, spiritual, and ecological costs of today's global economy. It also highlights the many benefits of a shift towards the local and showcases some of the steps people are already taking worldwide. Flm screening will be followed by a discussion with Andy Couturier.

  • WHERE: Haworth Furniture, JingAn Kerry Center, Shanghai
  • WHEN: June 21st, 19:00 – 21:00
  • GOOD TO KNOW: Film comes with Chinese subtitles
  • PRICE: Regular Registration: 50 rmb | At-the-door: 100 rmb
  • RSVP Link

22nd June: Writing Retreat with CSL in Chongming Island

Join professional writing teacher Andy Couturier for a rich weekend of laughter, self-reflection, and non-judgemental sharing of writing in Chongming Island. Using writing as a tool for self-reflection (“non-writers” welcome), we can understand the forces - internal and external - that pull us away from the truly satisfied life we know we can live.  

  • WHERE: Chongming Retreat House
  • WHEN: June 22nd-24th, All Day
  • GOOD TO KNOW: "Non-writers” are most welcome
  • PRICE: 1,500rmb for shared rooms of 4 people with all meals and supplies provided
  • RSVP Link

We look forward to sharing with you these great opportunities to discuss, reflect, discover and learn. Book your spot and see you in June!