Thinking global, living local: Voices in a globalized world

Five Reasons Why We Need a New Perspective on Consumption

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This post was produced for the Global Economic Symposium 2013 to accompany a session on “Towards Sustainable Consumption.” Read more at

The concept of “sustainable consumption” comes from the straightforward insight about the limits of our ecology to sustain the Earth’s burgeoning population; as one African elder summarized the meaning of sustainable consumption: “Enough. For all. Forever.”

What is enough, however? Is there a limit to nature’s ability to provide and our ability to find newer uses? Are we (humans) really capable of “controlling” nature? If we are a part of nature, too, what should be the limit to our curiosity?

Questions about ecology and consumption are defining our zeitgeist today. But before we can hope to arrive at the holy grail of sustainability, we need to understand the context of consumption.

Globalization, 24-7 media, and technological advances have fundamentally altered the way we consume products, services, and information.

In this series of four articles, I will look at four key perspectives that should drive the sustainability agenda.

1. Consumers’ consumption

2. The private corporations that seek growth and accelerating profit

3. Technology as a tool and as a language

4. The consumer as citizen. The role of commons, policy nudges, and open-knowledge sharing.

Click below to access the first installment of this series about consumption, “Five Reasons Why We Need a New Perspective on Consumption.”

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Ajinkya Twitter: thejinxedoneAjinkya

i hop. thoughts and places. an eternal student to the wonder that is life. love wikileaks, kundera, tea, menial work, big open spaces, arguments, arts.