Please see below selected recent sufficiency-related change.
- In her book The Art of Enough, Becky Hall urged people to reclaim the concept of "enough" and embrace it as way of living. Enough isn't about settling or "mediocrity", instead the key to finding balance is to set effective boundaries. "Enough is a way of living that welcomes the clarity that boundaries can give us and appreciates the renewable power of our resources," the author claimed.
- Supermarkets in Austria now have to report how much food they throw away, and how much they donate.
- A study suggested that most people don’t think they need unlimited wealth to lead the life of their dreams. Overall, the majority of the study’s participants went for the comparatively moderate (and purely hypothetical) $1 million or $10 million prize options. Psychological researchers Paul Bain and Renata Bongiorno, who co-authored the paper, said this finding has important implications when it comes to how cultures normalise excessive consumerism. “The ideology of unlimited wants, when portrayed as human nature, can create social pressure for people to buy more than they actually want”, according to Bain in a press release.
- According to a report published in May 2022 by Dun & Bradstreet, a total of at least 615,000 businesses operating globally depend on supplies from either Russia or Ukraine. About 90% of those firms are based in the United States, but supply chains in Europe, China, Canada, Australia, and Brazil were also heavily impacted. Meanwhile, the African continent faced a shortfall of around 2 million metric tons of fertiliser that caused an unprecedented loss in food production throughout the continent.
- A strike by South Korean truckers already disrupted $1.25 billion worth of exports of cars, steel, and chemicals in its first week, further snarling global supply chains as much of the world already faced high inflation.
- Desires are fundamentally different from needs. Unlike physiological needs, such as hunger and thirst, a desire is an intellectual appetite for things that we perceive to be good. Desire is a social process – it’s mimetic. As the social theorist René Girard observed, our desires don’t come from within; rather, we mimic what other people want. To better control our desires, the first step is therefore to identify the people influencing us.
- Psyche noted that we each have our own reasons for wanting to acquire and keep more stuff. The inclination to use possessions for their psychological functions, such as how they make us feel, starts during early childhood and continually gets reinforced through lifes. Children learn that a teddy bear or blanket provides them with comfort when they are separated from their parents. Teenagers learn what is cool from their peers and typically want what they have. If you have experienced peer rejection, conflict or belong to an unsupportive family, you might rely on objects more than yourself or other people. You might view objects as more remarkable than your own personal qualities, and they may seem more readily available than supportive friends or relatives.
- For a decade after the financial crisis the world economy’s problem was a lack of spending. Now spending has come roaring back, as governments have stimulated the economy and consumers let rip. The surge in demand is so powerful that supply is struggling to keep up. Lorry drivers were getting signing on bonuses, container ships were anchored offshore waiting for ports to clear and energy prices spiralled upwards. As rising inflation spooked investors, the gluts of the 2010s have started giving way to a shortage economy, warned The Economist.
- Exponential View warned that post-pandemic growth and recovery aren’t going to amount to much if the global economy struggles with shortages. As wealthier countries emerged from the pandemic, there weren’t enough of some goods to buy. The Economist noted that many advanced economies have been structured to focus on inadequate demand (in the wake of the global financial crisis) and then they were faced with shortages of everything from timber to cars and semiconductors. There were shortages of labour and people too in some countries: US companies like McDonald’s and Amazon boosted pay to attract workers in an extremely tight labour market. Added to which, there are declining birth rates in several of the world's largest economies.
- 150 years ago life was short and luxuries scarce for most people. Fast forward to today and life is long and affluent for many. So why are so many still unfulfilled, asked IAI TV? Is it human nature to be dissatisfied with our lot in life? Do we need discontent to drive us to succeed? To innovate? Or is our dissatisfaction a form of greed encouraged by a relentlessly material culture that is not good for our own well being or the planet?
- Contemporary internet shopping conjures a perfect storm of choice anxiety. Research has consistently held that people who are presented with a few options make better, easier decisions than those presented with many. It has also shown that having many options is particularly confounding when the information available on them is limited or confusing.
- Big Think argued that many people have "scarcity mindsets" because of their inability to pay their bills. US 2020 Presidential candidate Andrew Yang, outspoken proponent of a basic income, argued that losing America's middle class puts the national brain trust at risk. In a scarcity mindset, functional bandwidth decreases, while the opposite of a mindset of scarcity is a mindset of abundance.
- Asserting that money must connect to your soul, activist Lynne Twist sought the truth of her relationship with “scarcity” and “sufficiency” in a series of encounters with people at the extremes of poverty, wealth, fame and anonymity. She found inspiration and resistance in the scenarios she shares from her 50 years as a global activist and a fundraiser for the Hunger Project.
- Once the five basic needs listed below are met, further affluence and accumulation of goods do not necessarily correlate with a higher quality of life.
- Sweden fascinates, from its seemingly largely successful embracing of a political "third way", through to its national values of transparency, simplicity and a deep-rooted link to the country's rural roots which is still reflected in many people's surnames. There may be a Swedish equivalent of kanyini and there is also the growing popularity of lagom - could having just enough be "the new black?"
- Against this background, a new lifestyle is reportedly quietly becoming popular in Japan. Some think this way of living, called the "Half-Farmer/Half-X" lifestyle, has the potential to significantly reduce or gradually solve these other problems, and to help the nation realise a more attractive and diverse future. So should other countries currently suffering similar problems to Japan start to examine such a societal model, and what might they look like in 10, 20, 50 years time if they did?
- At the same time, many are now not only imagining but also actively working towards "an economy designed to promote not unchecked growth, but a steady state of wellbeing", characterised by gratitude. They believe that such an economy must come to realisation through the most far-seeing entrepreneurs of our time, from people who dare to think beyond the confines of the old box.
- This was also effectively the central theme of a major social entrepreneurs' forum, which strove to create partnerships, networks, knowledge and collaborative pathways between the social, policy, academic and private sectors.