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Moving Towards Conscientious Consumption

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The UK population consumes 2.6 planet’s worth of resources each year. This urgently needs to be addressed to tackle global inequality and avoid environmental disaster. To achieve this, we need to talk about consumption.

Consumption goes beyond individual choices; it is a system and a culture which locks us into ways of life that are resistant to change i.e. built-in obsolescence in products, the expectations of peers or consumer culture. Alternative visions, such as the good life approach, hold the potential to transform our relationship with consumption whilst supporting thriving, meaningful lives.

Through this event, we challenge the idea that reduced consumption leads to a reduced quality of life. Although we need to reduce our overall consumption, this may bring benefits such as greater cooperation and stronger communities, reduced outgoings and working hours, and increased overall wellbeing.

Join us to explore this fascinating and timely subject, in an open and judgement-free environment, through a mixture of talks and interactive exercises with academics from Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield working with the South Yorkshire Sustainability Centre.

Aimee is Professor of Energy Policy in CRESR. Her research is primarily concerned with understanding the unintended impacts of energy policies, highlighting injustices associated with decarbonisation efforts, and promoting citizen engagement with our energy futures through participatory research.

Through pioneering qualitative research, she has developed methodologies to understand previously under-researched aspects of the lived experiences of energy systems and transitions. This has resulted in a much deeper understanding of the key societal challenges associated with energy transitions and carbon reduction, and how they are experienced by marginalised groups around the world.

Matthew Wood is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Sheffield, and co-investigator of the South Yorkshire Sustainability Centre.

He researches public policy in the UK and Europe, with an interest in the conditions for legitimate governance.

Jayne is a Postdoctoral Research Associate within the South Yorkshire Sustainability Centre.

Jayne's research is driven by improving participation in political decision making, particularly around engaging the public and stakeholders in environmental and climate change policy making.

Previous research has explored the use and impact of democratic innovations such as citizens assemblies, including Climate Assembly UK.

Part of our 2024 festival strand

Climate

How can we respond to the climate crisis and biosphere collapse?