Life in Shanghai can often feel like it's all about 'more, more, more': more work, more going out, more WeChat. It's all a bit much isn't it? In the spirit of a much more sustainable and healthy ethos of 'less', throughout this month, non-profit organisation Green Initiatives is presenting a series of events and talks with American author Andy Couturier, author of The Abundance of Less: Lessons in Simple Living from Rural Japan. Having lived in Japan for four years, the book captures the nature of the country and traces the stories of ten people who have left the bustling city life for a more tranquil way of living away from consumerism, stress and the dependence on technology.
For his China tour, Couturier connects the principles of living a fulfilling life sustainably with the Green Initiatives mission of promoting awareness to minimise the environmental effects of China’s rapid development. The events will cover topics related to urban cities, the future of work, wellbeing and more.
Here's the schedule of events open to the public.
On World Environment Day, Couturier talks about the contrast between urban and rural living. Join the conversation about what's attracting people to make the shift from cites to countryside.
Couturier presents lessons from The Abundance of Less at NYU Shanghai campus.
This event seeks answers to questions about the future of the workplace and how we can create an encouraging work environment that promotes a positive work ethic.
From his study and findings of Japan’s modernisation, Couturier raises questions about the progression of China’s modernisation and whether the country could adopt Japan’s sustainability model.
Connect with nature on a fun-filled and educational weekend at Dianshan Lake with Shanghai Yacht Club. You will have the chance to participate in eco-learning, canoeing, yoga, folk dance, tour of Grand View Park, a campfire and a lecture from Couturier.
Couturier shares his insights on the Western models of economic growth being adopted by developing nations in Asia. Participate in a dialogue about the future of China and the growth trajectory of the country in the context of sustainability and natural resources.
Escape to the mountains of Anhui for a weekend getaway. The mornings will consist of hiking and cycling through nature routes in Yingchuan followed by an evening of discussions with Couturier.
Discover a simpler lifestyle filled with an abundance of time where you will be able to find a healthy work life balance in today’s urban day and age. This event will be held largely in Mandarin, though Couturier will be speaking in English.
“The Economics of Happiness” is an award-winning documentary film that examines decisions made in modern societies. The film uncovers the costs of economic growth on human needs, ecology and nature.
Depart for a day trip to Chongming Island, where you will be joined with fellow writers on a journey of rediscovering the passions in your life and breaking the constraints that prevent you from pursuing the life you want. All writing abilities welcome.