Is Living with Less Bringing Us More?

  • 20 June 2018
  • 18:30 - 21:30
  • URBN Boutique, Shanghai

** This event will be in Chinese through interpretation, although Andy will be speaking in English. Refer to Chinese version of this page for full information by changing the language at the top of the page. **

In an increasingly demanding world and a society obsessed by materials rather than meaning, is it possible for us to live 'well' by consuming less? Fact is too many of us are too busy living in our cities, surrounded by too many things we don't need, resulting in wasteful, stressful and unhappy lives. 

The Abundance of Less is a philosophical build-up towards a slow life, which allows one to rediscover a life with enough time. The book, which contains the true story of 10 individuals Andy Couturier encountered in rural Japan, provides a comprehensive interpretation of these individuals' relationship with material, money, time, work, art, people, and nature.

The lifestyle they chose also shows the journey of their daily practices towards mindfulness, which is also known as a revolutionary social movement nowadays, as issued by Time magazine in 2014.

Join us for a discussion at URBN Boutique in Shanghai where, together with Andy Couturier, Zhou Yiyan and our audience, we will be seeking the pathway to a simpler, richer life.

Event Itinerary

  • 18:30-19:15 Registrations & networking
  • 19:15-19:30 Zhou Yiyan speaking on No.1 Organizing and Green Sha Ri Movement
  • 19:30-20:00 Andy Couturier speaking on The Abundance of Less
  • 20:00-20:30 Moderated discussion / Q&A
  • 20:30-21:00 Open discussion with the attendees
  • 21:00-21:30 Networking / end of event

About Andy Couturier

Andy Couturier is the American author of two books, Writing Open the Mind: Tapping the Subconscious to Free the Writing and A Different Kind of Luxury: Japanese Lessons in Simple Living and Inner Abundance. The Abundance of Less, his latest, is a revised and updated edition of his previous work. He is the founder and creative director for The Opening, a center for creative writing. His essays and articles on ecology, sustainable living, and the problems inherent with nuclear power have appeared in The Japan Times, The North American Review, Adbusters, Kyoto Journal, The Oakland Tribune, and Creative Non-Fiction.

He was born in New York, New York, United States, and grew up in Washington D.C. and Chicago. He is a graduate of the English composition MA program at San Francisco State University, and lived in Japan for four years. He runs a private writing school, The Opening, in Oakland, California, and also teaches in Santa Cruz. He is also the winner of the prestigious 2017 Nautilus Book Award that recognizes barriers of culture, gender, race and promote green values, vitality and most of all – positive social change.

About Guest Speaker Zhou Yiyan

Zhou Yiyan is the founder of the No. 1 Organizing Platform, which aims to introduce and educate about organizational techniques of tidying up one’s living space. Her passion for decluttering one’s belongings, in order to reveal more space, was sparked after reading Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying” in 2013.  Yiyan believes that tidiness is a virtue and that by getting rid of the clutter one can feel lighter and establish a different kind of order in a daily life as well. She devoted herself to this belief, which in 2016 took her to Japan, in order to study further clutter elimination and to obtain a certificate. Yiyan now has more than 200,000 followers, and she believes it is due to a growing interest of new simple lifestyle which she named it “Green Sha Ri” - decluttering and tidying up our homes as well as our lives through a more eco-friendly way.

She will share her experience visiting two Japanese minimalists home in Tokyo in 2016 and how they practiced “less is more” spirit into daily life. She will also introduce the new Chinese sustainable lifestyle, Green Sha Ri movement, which combines Dan Sha Ri and Zero waste idea into one to encourage people to pursue a more eco-friendly way to organize their home, mind and inner world.


  • Entrance fee goes towards supporting the TAOL campaign including travel, stay, speaker honorarium, and other resources.
  • Please pay by scanning below QR code or visiting this link

Event Details

20 Jun 2018 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
URBN Boutique, 183 Jiaozhou Road, Near Beijing West Road, Shanghai
Jingan Temple Line 2/7 Exit 2