Live well! Vivir bien!”
Ever wondered about downsizing? Living a slower life?
William (Bill) Powers, author of New Slow City will offer his insights on these topics as the keynote speaker at a Cool Davis workshop, “Living Well Today.” His presentation will include insights from his personal attempts to live a slow and intentional life in one of the world’s most fast-paced cities – New York City, and his current life and efforts in Bolivia, a country that in 2010 passed a law protecting the rights of Mother Earth and formalizing government policies on “vivir bien,” the indigenous concept of “living well.” Reserve your seat on EventBrite here.
Special guest Sue Barton, homeowner, Parkview Place, the first LEEDS Platinum certified multi-unit building in the City of Davis, will add a Davis perspective when she shares the local challenges and joys of simplifying life. In addition to their slide-talks, the workshop will include breakout groups, and refreshments, too.
Powers spoke on sustainable living on his last visit.
Davis was first introduced to Bill Powers in 2011 when he gave a Cool Davis workshop with local author Spring Warren on “Sustainable Living: How Much is Enough?” At that workshop, he talked about his then recent book, Twelve by Twelve: A One Room Cabin Off the Grid & Beyond the American Dream, which went on to become a national best-seller.
Bill writes of his new book, “New Slow City originated with a somewhat angry question from a reader of Twelve by Twelve, my previous book about living in a twelve-foot-by-twelve-foot off-grid cabin in North Carolina.”
“It’s easy,” she wrote, “to find minimalism, joy, connection to nature, and abundant time in a shack in the woods. But how the hell are the rest of us supposed to stay sane in our busy modern lives?”
As time passed, the reader’s doubt increasingly became his own, as overwork, material clutter, and the lack of contact with nature — “civilization,” in short — brought him to a point of extreme unhappiness in New York City. He doubted it was possible to live 12 x 12 in a city, and felt an urgent need to decamp far from urban life.
However at this point, his new wife Melissa, was offered an excellent job that demanded they stay put in New York City, and he had no choice but to figure out how to take what he’d learned in the 12 x 12 — about leisure, connecting to nature, and living simply — and somehow make it work in the real-world context of a marriage and two careers.
As a second author, also with the name “William Powers,” (New York Times-bestselling author of Hamlet’s BlackBerry), notes, “New Slow City tells an inspiring story. At the outset, Powers’ goal — to live slowly and mindfully in frantic Manhattan — seems quixotic in the extreme.”
This delightfully provocative book will speak to anyone trying to build a balanced life in our crazy world. ….I read him to question my own assumptions and reimagine how to live.
“But one should never underestimate a determined idealist. This delightfully provocative book will speak to anyone trying to build a balanced life in our crazy world. I first came to know Powers’ work because we coincidentally share the same name. Now I read him to question my own assumptions and reimagine how to live.”
Bill Powers has worked for two decades in development aid and conservation in Latin America, Africa, and North America. A third-generation New Yorker, Powers has also spent two decades exploring the American culture of speed and its alternatives in some fifty countries around the world. He has covered the subject in his four books and written about it in the Washington Post and the Atlantic. Powers is a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute and an adjunct faculty member at New York University. His website is www.williampowersbooks.com.
Sue Barton learns to downsize her living.
Sue Barton, one of the co-owners of Parkview Place, lives in an energy-efficient five-unit senior community in downtown Davis. Parkview Place generates its own PV electricity and uses geothermal heating and cooling, energy-efficient lighting, radiant floor heating and cooling systems, and other innovative features.
Professionally Sue is a psychologist with a specialty in health psychology–the essence of this work is helping people to live well with whatever they’re dealt. It also includes making conscious decisions about how one lives life, which could mean taking care of mind/body/spirit, trying to achieve work life balance, or showing up in the world consistent with one’s most deeply held values.
Sue retired as a Clinical Professor in the Dept. of Family and Community Practice, UC Davis School of Medicine. She currently has a part-time psychotherapy practice in Davis. Sue will add a Davis perspective when she shares the local challenges and joys of simplifying life.
A few years ago, Sue and her husband and two other couples invited by Dick and Carol Bourne, came together to create a community and construct a net-zero energy building together. With shared values related to impacting the environment and encouraging social connection, they worked with Mike Corbett to design their dream homes. Parkview Place, which recently achieved LEED Platinum certification, became the first residential building in Davis to do so. Parkview Place is an inspiration to all of us, for planning our future lives and for learning energy efficient-ways to transform our own homes and community.
However, as Sue will share, for those involved there were many challenges as they faced downsizing from their large homes, dealing with the many belongings that they had inherited or otherwise accumulated along the way, and convincing the City to allow them to build their dream.
Sunday, September 27 at 3-5:30 p.m.
The workshop – which is open to the public – includes the slide-talks, break-out groups and simple refreshments. It is scheduled for 3 – 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 27, 2015 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis, 27074 Patwin Road, Davis.
Workshop reservations are here. All donations are welcome. The first 50 people who donate $15 or more (on Eventbrite or at the door) will be given a free autographed copy of New Slow City at the workshop. Proceeds (minus expenses from the workshop) will be given to the Samaipata, Bolivia, community-based school: “Flor de Montaña”, which focuses its education (K-12) around Mother Earth and furthering the principles of “vivir bien.”
Mr. Power’s visit is co-sponsored by Cool Davis, the Green Sanctuary Committee of the UU Church of Davis, Church and Society Ministry of Davis Community Church, Lutheran Church of the Incarnation, and the Yolo Interfaith Alliance for Climate Justice. The event is open to the public. Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Move your money to a credit union or ethical bank! Credit unions usually donate to projects that strengthen local communities, and ethical banks make a commitment to support good causes. Green America Bank For Good BankTrack and Mighty Deposits are all great resources to find ethical banks!
LEARN MORE with Cathy Becker of Green America, Wednesday, November 15 at 6pm PST online. Our moderator will be Rekha Vaitla, Cool Davis board member and officer at CalSTRS.
Sign up here: www.cooldavis.org/2023/11/02/green-finances-banking-and-credit-cards-panel-yolo-earth-day-pledge/
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