In defence of the lowly hipster

I’ve got an op-ed in the Vancouver Sun today where I poke fun at the Fairmont Waterfront’s recent job posting for an internship as a “busperson”, then argue the following:

  • Economic growth is ending.
  • We’re gonna be OK.
  • As we transition, our societies should take inspiration from hipsters.

Now, I know that’s a controversial term. I don’t mean it as a pejorative. Most of the arguments over who’s a hipster have focused on aesthetics, which I think misses the point.

I’m really just using it as shorthand for young people who:

  • Have abandoned the dream of endless growth
  • Have no interest in taking on debt to join the consumer economy
  • Instead pursue quaint, old-fashioned hobbies.

Those activities — especially the ones related to saving money, reducing waste and increasing food security — are built on underlying economic ideas that I think we should scale up in a big way.

Anyway, please click here and check out the article, if only to vote for more discussion of the post-growth economy in the pages of the Vancouver Sun.

On a related note, do you have any 16 to 25-year-olds I can borrow this Saturday? I’m moderating a free all-day youth forum at SFU Surrey, about the future of the BC economy. I think young peoples’ voices are important in this conversation and luckily three local elected officials agree, so we get to have a live panel discussion and grill some politicians and eat free sandwiches.

Call me nerdy, but that’s my definition of a fun Saturday. You can read more about the forum and sign up by clicking here. We’ve got about 160 people signed up so far but the fire marshal says we can bring in another 40. If you’re a bit younger than 16 or older than 25, no sweat. No one is going to whisk you off to . I’d love to see you there.





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