Isabelle Cassiers / Emeritus Professor

UCL / Economics

The translation of this testimony was generated automatically by a translation program. Thanks for your understanding.

Main concern in my field of expertise: How to induce a systemic changeover, to leave a world obsessed with economic growth and individual gain to bring about a society that takes care of the common and the living in all its forms?
Changes in my life style: The essential foundation for such a changeover is an increasingly sharpened consciousness. Mindfulness and meditation, which I have been practicing for sixteen years, help me to be aware of the consequences of my behaviours and to transform these step by step, in order to make them increasingly consistent with my values. At the same time, I strive to constantly practice kindness to avoid becoming intransigent towards myself and others … which would make me unbearable… As all “transitioners” know, behavioural changes go through the diet (for a long time I have been eating organic food, if possible locally produced, and more recently I have become a vegetarian), modes of transport (after many trips, I have decided to drastically reduce my air travel), responsible consumption (materials, distances travelled, underlying social relationships, waste) and great vigilance in the investment of savings (my investments are ethical and I support projects in accordance with my values). I am aware that I am privileged and, despite this, that I have not yet overcome my inconsistencies…
Difficulties: This change in my behaviour is not without its difficulties. It causes misunderstandings (“it’s quite complicated, her vegetarian diet and her refusal to fly”…); it asks to give up great pleasures, such as discovering the world. And while renouncing it, cultivate my inner joy!
Key changes needed in society: A systemic shift requires first and foremost the generalization of awareness. This can be achieved by encouraging the practice of mindfulness in schools and organizations, educating people to respect all forms of life, and combating truncated information (including advertising) that causes harmful behaviour. The weight of change cannot be left to private initiative alone. Public authorities should, at all levels (from international to local) and in all ways (laws, subsidies and taxes – starting with kerosene…), redirect behaviour and provide the necessary infrastructure for systemic changeover.

Originally posted 2018-04-25 18:17:22.

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