In October 2014, I attended the first annual SimpleREV conference in Minneapolis, MN. For two days, around 50 or so attendees shared stories about downsizing, living life with less “stuff,” building tiny houses, and more. For some, it was the first time they’d been around other people pursuing a less consumer-driven lifestyle, and the experience was encouraging and rewarding.
I presented a workshop on the sharing economy and intentional community. Months later, I was grateful to hear that several attendees were engaging with these ideas further – by staying with Couchsurfing hosts on a road trip, or visiting an intentional community near them. It was a great reminder that you don’t need to be an “expert” in intentional living to help other people on their path.
Even just having some experience living in community can make you a valuable resource to those who are new to the idea or beginning to consider it.
This year, SimpleREV returns September 16-17 for two days of workshops and activities on the University of Minnesota campus. Attendance will be capped at 60 people to ensure a small, participant-led experience. You can sign up to be notified when the next round of tickets is available.
One of the highlights of the event is an “Offers and Needs Market,” which helps match up people who have a skill to share with other participants in need of some help. Originally proposed by Donnie Maclurcan of the PostGrowth Institute, the OANM is based on “gift circles, abundance swaps, the Local Exchange Trading System, as well as asset-based thinking.”
SimpleREV calls it “a way of discovering what kinds of support you might be able to provide to others within a specific community, and what help you might need as well.” In 2014, it was a great way for people to keep in touch after the event by trading videography, writing, web design skills, or even just advice.
Want to connect with other simple-living enthusiasts but can’t make it to the Twin Cities? SimpleREV has begun hosting local gatherings, from St. Paul to Sydney:
“SimpleREV Local gatherings are free, intimate, and recurring community groups that help each member on their simple living journey. Whether you’ve just woken up to an intentional way of life or have been simplifying for years, the power of in-person connection among inspiring people is amazing…. We believe that a simple, slower life is for anyone and unique to everyone. We know deep in our hearts that purpose comes from intentional experiences, not stuff. And we focus on gratitude over consumption so we can know what’s important and release what’s not.”
Check out the website to find a simple-living group near you, or sign up to host your own event by connecting with the SimpleREV team and requesting their host guidelines.