S2 Ep10: Living Simply with Ted Trainer


June 24th, 2021

53 mins 31 secs

Season 2

Your Host
Special Guest

About this Episode

In this episode of PGAP, host Michael Bayliss talks to Dr. Ted Trainer from The Simpler Way. And what is the simpler way? Is it a descent into sacrifice, frugality and deprivation? Or is it a systemic change away from a wasteful, globalised growth based economic system towards localised self-sufficiency, self-governance, lives of leisure and reconnection with the natural world? Ted reassures us to much relief that it is definitely the latter!

ted trainer 1

The previous three ‘Tasmanian Perspectives’ episodes of PGAP included interviews with amazing people doing amazing local projects in amazing practical ways within their local communities. While this was all very encouraging, some of the interviewees also expressed some grave concerns for the future for the planet and our well-being.
From my perspective, it was great to follow these interviews up with one of my heroes, Dr. Ted Trainer, who provides a broad picture theoretical framework to the many exciting transition projects already happening at the grass roots.He also shares a sense of cautious optimism to the seismic shift in collective consciousness since he began advocating for limits to growth in the 70s.

ted trainer 2

After the interview, I reflect a little on my own personal journey over the last 10 years in intentional communities, permaculture projects, urban gardening project and system change organisations. I reflect on the many positives and ‘wins’ for the communities, as well as the challenges as we try to relearn how to live and work together in community in balance with the rigours and demands of the current, modern society.

I also keep everyone up to date with one of my favourite love/hate obsessions, that being the utter ridiculousness of the housing market. Normally I’d apologise for using a public soapbox as a therapeutic catharsis tool, but given my many conversations with people on this issue, I somehow don’t think I’m just speaking for myself here!

Did you enjoy the interview with Ted Trainer and want to find out more? Glad you asked!

A link to The Simpler Way can be found here and here
A link to The Simplicity Institute can be found here. Ted has a profile page here
To find out more about Ted himself, he has a Wikipedia page
I really love his book Transition to a Sustainable and Just World
The transition town movement was discussed in the interview. Find out more at the Transition Network
Paul Ehrlich is an inspiration to Ted Trainer and to Sustainable Population Australia who support this Podcast (Thanks SPA!). Find out more about Erlich’s pioneering work here.

There was an article in the Scientific American bunking growth based economics. Essential reading here
In the intro I mentioned the shortage of timber. Read more about that here

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PGAP would like to thank Sustainable Population Australia for supporting this podcast, and for allowing a platform to explore the broader post-growth landscape.