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The (En)Rich List

by Janet Newbury on 20th March 2012

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We are very excited to share news of our latest project: The (En)Rich List.  This is our way of celebrating a wealth of inspirational individuals whose contributions – when taken collectively – enrich paths to sustainable futures.  It is a parody of the Forbes Rich List, which was launched earlier this month.  You can find our media release here, and more detail about the List here.

People who made the Post Growth Institute’s Top 100 include prominent Indian activist Dr Vandana Shiva and ‘collaborative consumption’ champion Rachel Botsman. Lesser known individuals to make the List include ‘sharing law’ pioneer, Janelle Orsi, and ‘The Moneyless Man’, Mark Boyle.  And because we had such a difficult time keeping to just 100 such inspirational figures, we added another 99 who comprise our ‘Honourable Mentions’ list.

Part of what made the development of this list so difficult is the collective nature of most of the work it highlights.  Naming individuals to represent these efforts was a difficult, and in some ways conflicting, task.  A lot of the people in the list are ‘representative’ of social movements, such as Wangari Maathai (The Greenbelt Movement), Brian Czech (CASSE), and Rob Hopkins (The Transition Network).  Some have worked tirelessly in more amorphous ways, such as Mahatma Gandhi whose lifelong commitment to social justice has been foundational to the work of so many others.  Our experience has been that just about every member in this list would put their associated social movements and commitments ahead of their own interests.

So even though our overall interest is in the collective tapestry that comprises those who appear on this list and others, we believe the (En)Rich List offers one way for the general public to be introduced to a few new individuals and, therein, movements, philosophies, and practices.  And for those of you who are already familiar with the names and initiatives that appear on this list, we hope their diverse stories serve as further inspiration for you, just as they continue to inspire us.

Please take some time to ‘get to know’ the people it features, and their wonderful work.  By reading their biographies, visiting their websites, and engaging with them and each other (through social media or otherwise), you may find new avenues to work together, bring ideas into action, and further ‘enrich’ your own work.

This is – we hope – an ongoing and collective project.

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avatar Janet has just completed a PhD in Child and Youth Care. She has a keen interest in matters of social justice and in community-based approaches to change. She lives on Canada's west coast.

Janet has written 23 posts on Post Growth Institute. Contact Janet

{ 1 comment }

avatar Jessie Henshaw April 11, 2012 at 04:16

It’s hard to understand when a community that celebrates its ethics so highly, also so consistently puts aside ethics “when it just doesn’t pay”. It simply doesn’t work in the end to have an ethics motivated community which can’t discuss quite clear ethical problems because it would be unprofitable.

I find most anyone on the street, with no stake in the matter, to easily understand why improving efficiency makes resource use more profitable and generally helps expand business and accelerate our resource consumption. It’s the same with how easy it is for most people to understand how everyone’s normal use of money, to put some aside to multiply, investing for profit to compound their own accumulation of profits which also drives growing resource use.

Those are two of the most clear and direct ways our personal choices effect our world, that run completely counter to the ethics of the “post growth” community. They’re unprofitable to bring up and we can’t have discussions on them though.

What the heck is with that? We don’t deserve these awards at all is a seemingly necessary conclusion I think.

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