For the 06th episode of Post Growth Australia Podcast, we thought it was prime time to connect with the Post Growth Institute (PGI) themselves. After all, no post-growth advocate worth their salt should go through life without connecting with this wonderful, tireless hub of connectors and game changers at some point. Being the incredible international networkers they are, PGAP had the opportunity to speak with their Partnerships Manager, Kenyan born and raised Robert Wanalo.
Host Michael Bayliss takes us on a trip down memory lane – my nostalgic reminiscence probably induced by my cabin fever lockdown delirium – humour me. Firstly I recall the time I first discovered the Post Growth Institute through the Post Growth Alliance. It was during a time when I first came across ‘limits to growth’ and ‘financial collapse’ in a big way through the work of Richard Heinberg and Nicole Foss (links at the bottom). I joined the Melbourne based Doing It Ourselves on the basis of their actual hit video What The Economic Crisis Really Means – And What We Can Do About It. Within weeks of joining DIO I was their international liaison coordinator and instantly mesmerised by the sheer number of dedicated groups and organizations in the international sphere who were making post-growth a (ha ha) GROWING reality and not just a theoretical dream. It was a pleasure to share their campaigns across DIO’s social media networks at a time when DIO was still active. I therefore thank PGI (or blame on a bad day – just kidding) for setting me on this particular activist branch.
Another trip down memory lane was back in 2007 when I lived and worked in Kenya. I set off as a recently graduated student, with barely more than $1000 in my bank account and this being my first experience in any real interaction with the Global South. I went straight in the deep end, living and working in a small village on the less visited south-west corner of Kenya, where I laughed, cried, jumped in joy and went completely mad in a completely wild ride with some of the most gorgeous people and communities I have ever met in my life. Looking back, this was a rite of passage like none other.
It so happens that Robert Wanalo was practically my neighbour during that time who lived in an adjacent village. How’s that for two formative experiences coming together full circle!
It is an utter pleasure to connect with Robert. During the interview, he provides a unique perspective on post-growth in action through the lens of the Global South and more specifically, as it applies to Africa and Kenya. Within in the Post-Growth movement where so much of what we do is based around international collaboration, the interview with Robert highlights the importance that all perspective from around the world are critical. Indeed, as the Global North has been so instrumental in force-feeding inequitable, growth obsessed capitalism across the world over the last few centuries, so much of the wisdom for healing the world an ourselves is already there in the Global South – if we are all willing to listen.
Robert impressed with how greatly read and connected he is, I have made an attempt to link some of the groups, people and books he refers to throughout his interview. In fact, Robert is so well connected to people and place, that he was interviewed within a thriving hub with children, families, animals and the odd Matatu in the background. So, while I applied some noise filters to the interview, it may sound busy at times. The positive reframe is that this is what a thriving melting pot of community in action sounds like!
Moving forward, keep a lookout for PGI’s ‘Free Money Day’ on September 15th. Once again, PGI prove themselves to be the masters of ‘edutainment’, making a fun exercise out of the act of passing on money to complete strangers whilst reflecting on the ridiculousness of our current wealth hoarding system (based on supposed money that for the most part does not even really exist). Speaking of which, the nature of money should be the theme of a future episode of PGAP….
Support our local artists! The track of choice for this episode is the supberly titled 'This Modern World Is Built On Trash' by Melbourne based talent Sam Trowse. You can find out more about Sam Trowse (AKA Johnny) on Triple J Unearthed
Remember folks this episode is made possible by Sustainable Population Australia. They need your love and attention too! Check them out here
(And just in case there weren't enough links already....drum roll....)
Robert Wanalo is part of the international Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEA). To find out more, click here
To find out more about the PGI offers and needs market
For another perspective on population sustainability in Kenya, check out Episode 2 of PGAP, world population day special
To find out more about Richard Heinberg and his book The End of Growth
To find out more about Nicole Foss and The Automatic Earth