Black Friday (United States) and Singles’ Day (China) are round the corner. This is the period of time when you are bombarded with information in public places and on the internet, telling you what you need to buy and what you shouldn’t miss. Advertising creates desire to make you buy things you do not really need. This drives (over)consumption, and medical technologies, like neuromarketing are only making it incredibly harder to resist new products in the era of show-off and social acceptance from being trendy.
Not only does it cost a great deal of your time, money and space (in the home or office), overconsumption also directly connects to exploitation of natural resources, with disproportionate resource a factor contributing to climate change. If we apply the lifestyle of an average citizen from a developed country to everyone in the developing world, one earth would not be able to provide enough resources. As Mahatma Gandhi mentioned, “Nature has enough for man’s needs, but not enough for man’s greed.”
Thus, instead of purchasing material belongings to gain emotional thrills, November may be the perfect time for you to confront your shopping habits. Pick this day, log out of that e-commerce website you browse every morning, close your wallet, and start making a list of things you do not need to buy, especially those that are being promoted to you over the last few weeks.
Some questions we would be looking to answer in this forum:
- How has technology been shaping the trend of consumption?
- What are the social and environmental factors resulting from overconsumption?
- When do you know you’ve over-consumed and how to stop it?
- How to adopt a way of simple-living?
Elsa Tang, Advocate of Zero Waste Lifestyle, Founder of GoZeroWaste
Background: Since September 2016, Elsa has been trying to live in a zero-waste way. With her trash footprint dramatically reduced, she began to realize that one can live better with less. Believing in the power of baby steps, Elsa founded GoZeroWaste to inspire and engage people to take their first step to a more sustainable life. GoZeroWaste is dedicated to raise awareness and empower actions on environmental issues through a series of events and workshops.
Topic: Quitting Shop Addiction: Is Life More Fulfilling or Less?
Fei Xu, General Manager at Hachette Phoenix, President of Editions Fei
Background: Fei is an autodidact and self-taught English and French. She founded her own publishing house in 2008: Les Editions Fei, and a production company to adapt the Chinese contents to films. After living in Paris for 12 years, she moved back to Beijing in 2015, and became the manager of the joint venture company between Hachette Livre and Phoenix Publishing & Media -- one of the largest publishing groups in China. In 2017, Fei launched the first ecological editorial line within Hachette Phoenix, which aim to raise the public awareness of ecology in China.
Topic: Reduce overconsumption through the education of ecology
Alice Casiraghi, Service Designer and Consultant at IBM iX
Background: Alice is a ‘service’ designer, most of her work revolves around the study and improvement of interactions among people, products, and spaces, transforming research and analysis into beautiful functional services and visual outputs. Besides working life, she is interested in ‘life-applied’ UX, the understanding of cultural diversity, as well as people’s traditions and how complex global issues can be addressed at a local scale.
Topic: We need to be True Materialists’