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And Beauty for All

Tuesday, September 17, 2019, 5:30 pm

And beauty for all


 John de Graaf

Independent producer and filmmaker
Seattle, WA, United States

Introduction: Dr. László Pintér, Professor and Head of Department, Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy and Senior Fellow, International Institute for Sustainable Development

Tuesday, September 17, 2019 at 17:30
Budapest, Nádor utca 15, Quantum Room (N15 101)

Our world is awash in crises - from climate change to growing inequality and social polarization. How might a different language and focus - the beauty of our environment and thoughtful human design - help move us in a different, more tolerant and just direction? Dostoevsky and Solzhenitsyn believed that beauty would save the world. So did adventurer Doug Tompkins, founder of the giant Esprit clothing company. But the poet Yevtushenko asked, “Who will save beauty?”

John de Graaf will explore the current crises brought about by rampant consumerism and over-production and advocate for a “backpacker’s theory of life” - based on balance, moderation, social connection and the beauty of nature - as a path beyond the worship of economic growth and toward an ideal of life satisfaction through sufficiency. He will explore how shortening work hours and reducing consumerism can create happier, healthier and less-polarized societies, using examples from the United States and other countries. And he will raise the question: Growth or degrowth - how do we decide?

John de Graaf is in Hungary for the Balaton Group meeting on sustainability. John’s love of backpacking shaped John’s passion for quality of life. He is the author of several book, including the international best-seller Affluenza, and the producer of more than 40 documentary films. John has won more than 100 regional, national and international filmmaking awards. He serves on the board of Earth Island Institute, an international environmental organization, and has been an advisor on happiness issues to the government of Bhutan. He is the co-founder of the organizations, Take Back Your Time, the Happiness Alliance, and And Beauty for All. He is an international public speaker and writer and lives in Seattle, Washington, USA. His work can be found at