Sunday, May 29, 2011

TEDx Tokyo: Let Junko Edahiro Welcome You to the "De" Generation

Watch this 8 minute video taken at the recent TEDx Tokyo which features Junko Edahiro, Chief Executive of Japan for Sustainability, answering the question about what motivates young people today.  She introduces 3 "De's" - trends which she observes to be forming a big part of the value set of young adults today (much to the consternation of their elders).

  1. De - ownership (from owning things to sharing things),
  2. De-materialisation of happiness (from happiness in buying things to person-to-person/nature),
  3. De-materialisation of life (happiness in our own lives without the lure of the monetary economy),

For the latter she talks about young people who are half farmer/half something else (musician, NGO leader, etc.). These people combine growing their own subsistence food needs with their mission-driven work - instead of investing all their time climbing a company ladder, climbing a ladder to pick apples instead. Junko talks about Japan, can these same trends be spotted elsewhere in the world?

Junko provides thoughtful examples, challenges us all to think about our own possibilities to "De" our life, and welcomes us to the Era of "De"!

(Note from me: Junko is a terrific speaker, fellow Balaton Group Member, and friend and I am delighted to see TEDx and Junko connecting their considerable talents in this way.)


Zeus Yiamouyiannis, Ph.D. said...

Right on target. I've been talking and writing about the transition from a material to a non-material economy/purpose of life, especially among young people, for a decade, and it has been lost in a sea of neurotic exhortations for more jobs and growth along the old material lines of organization.

What better time, given the pronounced failures of material-based models by their own standards (collapsed environment, global economic ruin, political instability), to take what the "De-" generation is doing very seriously as a way forward.

Gillian Martin Mehers said...

Thanks, Zeus, there is indeed a growing body of work around the role of different actors in the Green Economy transition - for example, the work of UNEP's Green Economy Initiative and Report, as well as that of the Green Economy Coalition (hosted currently by IIED in London). They all ant to strengthen the social element, and Junko's TEDx Talk and work like yours is certainly helping with that!

Zeus Yiamouyiannis, Ph.D. said...

Gillian, With every hand, heart, and mind included and respected, the direction of the world will likely take an unpredictable but beneficial turn.

I found your last post on facilitation especially emblematic of the trust (on the part of leaders, including discussion leaders/facilitators) needed to allow this larger organic knowledge to form itself in group processes.

Like you said, it may look like it is all tipping starboard, but one has to provide subtle, well-considered "spotting" rather than didactic, heavy-handed instructing.

I think this may be harder for the baby-boomer generation because many were brought up on a narrative of what I call "heroic individualism," believing that being at the center, calling the shots, and letting all the attention and glory accrue to them would make the world automatically a better place. This orientation is proving itself to be massively untenable and unsustainable. Viva the shareware generation.

By the way sent you an email about the the upcoming International Society of the Learning Sciences conference coming up in 2012. Call for presentations just went out.