What is the value of happiness?
Megatrends towards 2020, we are headed towards an economy based upon the need of nature nor the market or humans; the new economy drivers are parameters such as inner peace, happiness, human well-being and compassion. It’s an imbalance between materialism and spiritual growth toward the west. We have relied too much on technology to solve environmental problems; they cause more problems than answers. It is a call for the economist to dig into the theories of people as the Eco-philosopher Arne Næss
We are in the middle of a big paradigm shift as, we in a faster paste than before a move from an economy, and lifestyle based upon what nature requires not us. Eco-fashion, sustainable designs are no longer words you need to look up in a dictionary. Every day people buy into it as we speak. In 2010, I started thinking about what will happen ahead the next years regarding our environmental problems, consumer culture and society? However, in 2000, I was a part of presenting megatrend research 2000 and beyond Levi Strauss Middle East & Africa, who once have taken a huge step in this direction, the research main finding and key message was; it will be a reaction to the global brand exploitation of common natural resources. This will lead to more aware consumers and later stronger regulations from politicians and governments. The research started in 2010 has resulted in some posts will be published here the following months; a few already and most probably the results will be published later.
If we take a pulse on the society around us, the pressure has even increased a lot compared to a few years back. A reality check gives indications of a paradigm shift in social values, moving from ego towards sharing. The financial crisis that started in America’s fall 2008 was the real indication that something was wrong and the result of what happening in Europe today. I can quote reading from the opening research from 2010; “The financial crisis is not over because media here in Europe talk less about it and the consequences, what happened in the US will happen in Europe. A financial crisis can be illustrated as a bomb explosion, first with a big bang, and then slowly covers greater era. It grows and makes the impact on people and countries elsewhere.” Add other global issues as terrorism, violence and the real threat of global warming it’s easy to understand that these happenings have created a large universal trend; more fear
We realize we need to exercise the mind as well as the body
The steady rise of stress released exercise yoga, meditation and inner mind in the west is an indicator for it; even large fitness centres do variations of yoga and even meditation. Today we see the clear return to nature, personal development and higher consciousness. We seek an engineered natural life and a move away from materialism. People all over the world have started abandoning “got it all” materialism drives in favour of burgeoning appetite for spiritual growth and the inner hidden values. The wave of mind driven activities and training as Yoga, meditation, Qigong and Thai chip tells the story a deep need for a spiritual life. Call it the roadmap of modern hippies; we call it the 21-century hippies’.
Sometimes the world around seems out of control, the ability to catch it and being here and now become utterly difficult. Naturally, we come to a point where everything feels in the chaotic state. We stop and drop out. Most people drop out of fashion, music, film or digital trends at one point. We tune out and our kids tune in, soon they are turning out. Their kids continue this merry go around in a quicker and faster way than before like the wheel of dharma to illustrate that all life is cyclical. For every new spin at the wheel, we believe that we see, hear or feel brand new things. However, this, but this is far from the truth. And how many parents do not shake their heads while the youngest turns up to volume and scream out; turn off that noise off, you call it music? Its dam noise,” forgetting that they heard the same thing from their parents. we are more adaptable. Youth tribe was more visible long back before as they today mixed with each other in juxtaposing of style. The difference between young and old, hippies or punk, local or global culture gets mixed and melts different cultural elements with each other. We are more adaptable than ever, like chameleons we change, adapt and paste into every situation we face, anywhere at any time.
Online global village
We have become moving global media units, receive, sending and sort out information quicker and faster, and it happens not only in the most wealthy nations; efficiency and low-cost electronics have made it possible. Today you hardly see people without a phone in their hands, if the mobile phone was the modern cigarette, the smartphones are the new Heroin, you get highly addicted, but not the abstinent physical illness. A dangerous development as everybody needs to disconnect from time to time. However, try to take away from whomever the mobile phone and laptop for a week; you will after a day see a pale, uncomfortable and highly restless person. What once was a technological progress has become a serious addiction.
What do we know?
About a week ago day on the train this young, drunk and homeless boy sat next to me and talks to everyone, and he screams out that he did not understand much about it all. I replied as I sat next to him that it was good to hear because I do not understand anything as well. And I got this lost feeling that everything happening around me is unreal. I read or watch news about education, terror, war, global warming, unemployment or health care, but then I even get more lost. Should I choose sushi or steak, red or blue, Athens or Rome, Facebook or Twitter, blog or website? Chaos, derived from the Ancient Greek, Chaos typically means a state lacking order or predictability. In ancient Greece, it first meant the original state to the universe, and, by extension, space, darkness, or informally to mean a state of confusion, and in this case our pop culture.
The wealthiest consumer group
The largest consumer group is also the wealthiest and oldest. They are likely older people, now today the greatest consumer group and besides a dream consumer as they have cash more than average. What they do not have it’s the right products. Take such as a Mobil phone, cut out all the fancy stuff as Internet surfing, games, mp3, social media and decorative applications and gadgets. Add simply a modern classic high-quality phone. An everlasting quality phone with camera functions, text message, and a screen which easily makes the fonts in readable size and most of all have a classic design. Instead of fancy stuff add a flashlight function so you can get your keys in the door when it’s dark and voice functions on the important stuff. And most of all a classic design with extremely high quality, this age group does not ask for new models every six months, easy interface. Maybe the price on the phones is higher, but I assure you it would be successful.
From banking to travel
You can add the same to almost all branches from banking to travel across bookings, instead, we get an endless stream of newness. Every company or brands seem to make different cartridges, USB cables, printer sockets, battery chargers, cars, mobiles, sports, coffee with cream, without cream, services, mails, fast food, medicines, drugs, start wars, fight terrorism, build bigger roads, or specialized holiday to the far as far away destination possible; all with one intention to earn as much money as probably. A constant flow of information overload surrounds us, either I like it or not. This overloaded information makes us feel uncomfortable as we lack grip or to absorb it and to try to overcome it; we shop more and more, because if it stops the old economy stops. Since every single action, we perform measured in money sequences we have no system to set the value of things we should care about; happiness, inner peace, compassion and a more balanced sharing between those who have too much and those who have been too little.
We do not need to stop produce fashion garment; we need to do it differently
It does not mean we shall stop producing goods or services; we just need to find new ways of doing it. I can only speak about the fashion industry, but if we focus on producing better quality, improve and make the consumers wash them less often and cut buying, instead of four pairs of jeans they buy three. Instead of HM, Zara and others make brand new, open in store 2nd hand stores, fresh collections out of the existing. Friends can arrange swapping clothes parties, I guess ten girls take ten garments each and meet on a Friday before going out then each one of them will fight about 90 garments. I call that a hell of a party. If we do not change it, there will be no more natural resources to make things out of. A few example’s gold and silver as a resource last for another 14 years, if we continue, tin 23. Let us show others why this industry is known for its creativity and lead the way.
If the information pressure starts to overcome our ability to sort out things, it can become a depression. This depression can be deadly to its worst and at its best only lead to a big headache if it continues. We all need to turn off our digital devices now and next, stop reading the news and take the battery out of the mobile phone. Afterwards, go for a long walk to clear out our minds or try to empty the mind. No wonder the rise in the western world of yoga, meditation and inner mind training.Below infographic brain meditation taken from a series of post investigating the importance of happiness transforming our lifestyle to a better, sustainable and more equal society.
- Snohetta architects
- Varner Group
- National internet
- VG internet daily news
- Levi Strauss Nordic
- Elexia health and Fitness
- Karma T Ling Buddhist Society
- Pero tattoo and body artist @ Lucy Seven
- The Spirit Level, why equality is better for everyone by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett published Penguin Books 2009
- The places that scare you by Pema Chodron published by Shambhala Publications Inc. 2001
- Environmental encyclopedia
- Ocologi, samfunn og livsstil, Arne Næss
- Science between culture and counter-culture, Arne Næss and other writers
- The Deep Ecology movement
- Ekspertenes syn på naturens egenverdi
- Information is beautiful by David McCandless
- Breakdown by Michel Landy published by Artangel 2000
- Cutting through spiritual materialism Chogyam Trungpa published by Shambhala Classics 2002
- The Path to Buddhahood by Ringu Tulku published by Shambhala 2003
- Deep Ecology Arne Næss
- Small is beautiful, A study of economics as if people mattered by E.F. Schumacher published by Vintage Books 1973
- Kilma, hva skjer, Ole Mathismoen published by Front 2007
- Fashioning the future, Tomorrows Wardrobe by Suzanne Lee published by Thames And Hudson
- Product design in the sustainable era, Dalcacio Reis and Ed. Julius Widemann
- Big Book Of Green Design published by Collins Design 2009
- Gandhi, Eller Kunsten å snu Verden, Zac O’Yeah
- Terror industrien by Joakim Hammerlin
- The medium is the message, Marshall McLuhan
- Product life-cycle assessment study, Levi Strauss
- H&M sustainability report
- Nike corporate responsibility
- Sustainable design ecology, architecture, and planning, Daniel E Williams, FAIA published by John Wiley And Son 2007
- Mutations, Rem Koolhaas published by Actar
- No Logo by Naomi Klein published by Flamingo 2000
- Megatrends 2000, what happened really?, Kenneth L Levi Strauss Europe, Middle East And Africa
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