We were consumers – the next 15 years

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A presentation held by Aleksi Neuvonen at Sustainable shopping and CSR -conrerence (28th April 2009, Riga) by Nordic Council of Shopping Centres. Based on the book by Roope Mokka and Aleksi Neuvonen (in Finnish, published by Tammi).

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  • Consumer society is practically 1-2 generations old -> rather recent stage in human history
  • surplus -> shorter working hours? that didn’t happen
  • we found new dimension in goods and products around us, something that helped us to define ourselves in a new way. we became individuals in true sense
  • homes are cousy but full of material
  • Remarkable deficit to BAU
  • BAU is not real, it is just a reflection of our limitations
  • This is as real as BAU
  • We were consumers – the next 15 years

    1. 1. We were consumers – the next 15 years NCSC Conference Riga 28 April 2009 Aleksi Neuvonen Demos Helsinki www.demos.fi
    2. 2. “Democratizing” consumer society
    3. 3. “need saturation [...] the textile mills of this country can produce all the cloth needed in six months’ operation each year” –James J. Davis, US secretary of labor (1927)
    4. 4. It is about who I am
    5. 5. 20091960 1970 19801950 20001990 Surplus production Consumer electronics boom long-tail markets Niche marketsMarketing & new needs Short history of consumption
    6. 6. What money can’t buy
    7. 7. In need of more space? Too much useless stuff? Get rid of it – we can help you
    8. 8. Source: General Society Survey Development of wealth and life satisfaction in the US
    9. 9. Temperature Population CO2 GDP Tropical forrest loss Water consumption Extinction rate Motor vehicles Paper consumption Over fished stocks Ozone layer loss Foreign investments
    10. 10. Energy consumption
    11. 11. Number of cars
    12. 12. Global flow of goods
    13. 13. Animal protein consumption
    14. 14. CO2 emission
    15. 15. 18
    16. 16. “Forecasting” starts from today and doesn't offer views to fruitful possible futures
    17. 17. Backcasting
    18. 18. 20082040 2030 20202050 CO2 -90% CO2 -30%
    19. 19. But dears, how?
    20. 20. 2424 We have to put restrictions and regulations on consumption No! Do you know what followed when they started restricting things in Soviet union, Germany, North Korea and Burma?
    21. 21. low carbon society cost on carbon, market incentives 2009 climate challenge engaging, behavioral change accepted forms of regulation
    22. 22. 4 scenarios to year 2023
    23. 23. Strong Global Regulation No Global Regulation Society Directed by Common Responsibility Atomistic Society Awakening to Planetarism 15 Years More Doctor Local Solutions Da Capo
    24. 24. Strong Global Regulation No Global Regulation Society Directed by Common Responsibility Atomistic Society Awakening to Planetarism 15 Years More Doctor Local Solutions Da Capo
    25. 25. 15 years more No agreement on climate nor other global resources Apathy after failed Copenhagen summit Fierce competition Ecological consumption a niche market New start towards global agreement after 2020
    26. 26. Strong Global Regulation No Global Regulation Society Directed by Common Responsibility Atomistic Society Awakening to Planetarism 15 Years More Doctor Local Solutions Da Capo
    27. 27. Doctor local solutions No global agreement Strong local communities Peer-pressure and surveillence on consumption patterns Ecological forerunner regions prosper Everything is local
    28. 28. Strong Global Regulation No Global Regulation Society Directed by Common Responsibility Atomistic Society Awakening to Planetarism 15 Years More Doctor Local Solutions Da Capo
    29. 29. Awakening to planetarism Global ecumenical movement for climate agreement Strong post-Kyoto agreement Global government Big global infrastucture projects Rapid change in consumption patterns Shared commitment on the level of individuals
    30. 30. Strong Global Regulation No Global Regulation Society Directed by Common Responsibility Atomistic Society Awakening to Planetarism 15 Years More Doctor Local Solutions Da Capo
    31. 31. Da Capo Personal carbon credits 1950’s sense of responsibility Web 2.0 surveilence on consumption Large individual freedom New local solutions
    32. 32. Realistically: what next?
    33. 33. Engage 1st Explain 2nd
    34. 34. 1973: California
    35. 35. 50-70's I need wellfare state 80-90's I want consumer society, individualims 2000's I can knowledge-based society 2010's We can peer-to-peer society
    36. 36. “I call it the politics of "I can". It represents a desire for people to not just have access to material goods, but greater power, control and choice over all aspects of their life, from the jobs they do, the relationships they enter, the services they use, the products they buy. [...] It is an age where people want to be players not just spectators. [...] ‘ Web 2.0 allows the spirit of “I can” to transcend the limits of consumerism, and become a mass movement for cooperation. “ David Miliband: “We can -politics”
    37. 37. 5050 Because it’s about you! Shopping is about people, places and experiences About you.
    38. 38. Global resource consumption 2008 Earth’s biocapacity Month
    39. 39. Earth’s biocapacity Month Global resource consumption 2008
    40. 40. Earth’s biocapacity Month Global resource consumption 2008
    41. 41. Earth’s biocapacity Month Global resource consumption 2008
    42. 42. Evolution of consumerism 50~70‘s I need welfare state 80~90's I want consumer society, individualization 2000‘s I can knowledge-based society 2010's We can peer-to-peer society It is an age where people want to be players, not just spectators

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