Embodying Degrowth (w/ The Maintainers)

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December 14, 2022

The planet we share, the only home we’ve ever known, has its limits. Its resources, its ability to sustain all life, are not infinite—and every day we are bearing witness to the disastrous consequences of mortgaging our collective future on the false belief that they are. The path we are on now is untenable, something’s going to give. Whether it comes from us or for us, change is coming nonetheless.

As an ecologically and civilizationally sustainable alternative to an unsustainable global system driven by the economic necessity of infinite growth, "degrowth" can mean many things and could take many practical forms. But “degrowth” is perhaps less useful as a prescribed solution, a blueprint for the future, than as a frame for thinking and acting differently in the present. “What does degrowth look like in practice? How are different people, in different parts of the world, already embodying and enacting degrowth in their daily lives?” These questions have no single answer, but posing the questions in the first place, and searching for the numerous potential answers, is an essential process that can help us better diagnose what is off balance in our world and what it would take to heal.

For the past year, Max has had the honor of participating in a fellowship program for The Maintainers, "a global research network interested in the concepts of maintenance, infrastructure, repair, and the myriad forms of labor and expertise that sustain our human-built world." In Part II of our special two-part episode produced in collaboration with The Maintainers, we meet some of the other members of The Maintainers team as well as the 2022 Maintainers Movement Fellows, and we take a deep dive into their cornerstone group project, "Embodying Degrowth."

Featuring: Andy Russell, Co-Founder and Co-Director of The Maintainers; Lauren Dapena Fraiz, Project Manager for The Maintainers; Liliana Coelho, Community Outreach and Events Coordinator at The Maintainers; Rheanna Chen, 2022 Maintainers Movement Fellow; Tona Rodriguez-Nikl, 2022 Maintainers Movement Fellow; Sam Bennett, 2022 Maintainers Movement Fellow; Leila D. Behjat, 2022 Maintainers Movement Fellow; Maximillian Alvarez, 2022 Maintainers Movement Fellow.

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Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org)

  • Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song