The Slow Column

Americans work more than anyone else in the industrialized world. According to the U.N.'s International Labor Organization, we work 250 hours, or five weeks, more than the Brits, and a whopping 500 hours, or 12 and a half weeks, more than the Germans

Why Working Less is Better for the Globe

Americans are working harder than ever before and at a greater cost to the environment. Research suggests that practicing a more simple lifestyle made people happier while using fewer resources.

Slow Food

"As Slow Food has evolved, it has come to unite the pleasure of food to the necessity of recognizing its place in culture, history, and the environment. Carlo Petrini, Slow Food's founder, says, "It makes no sense to become connoisseurs of rare delicacies while ignoring the need to prevent the disappearance of those who actually work the land and supply the products."

READ: Grace Before Dinner

by Deborah Madison

Slow Economics

Manfred Max-Neef contemplates how everything in life is a matter of choice. But all too often we give up too much in the name of efficiency. Efficiency demands that more be achieved in less time. However, Max-Neef believes we should try to rediscover the virtues of slower living. As an example he reminds us that Cologne's cathedral took 500 years to build and still stands. In his view, it provides a fitting reminder as to what can be achieved at a leisurely, inefficient pace.

Max-Neef is a Chilean economist widely respected for his work on international development. In 1981 he wrote the book for which he is best known, "From the Outside Looking in: Experiences in Barefoot Economics." It describes his experiences practising economics among the poor in South America. In that year he founded the Centre for Development Alternatives (CEPAUR). He is currently Rector of the Universidad Austral de Chile in Valdivia.

WATCH: In Praise of Slow

Manfred Max-Neef


"Our evolutionary intelligence is now being tested. The choices made within this generation will reverberate into the deep future. Although human societies have confronted major hurdles throughout history, the challenges of our era are genuinely unique. Never before have so many people been called upon to make such sweeping changes in so little time. Never before has the entire human family been entrusted with the task of working together to imagine and then consciously build a sustainable, just, and compassionate future." read more

Duane Elgin