World leaders and everyday people across the globe are caught up in the pressing struggle between economic development and environmental sustainability. As global temperatures climb and sea levels rise, finding a solution to this issue is paramount.
From November 11 to 13, the Taitung County Government will host the 2021 International Slow Economy Conference. During the conference, speakers from around the world will explore how communities can remain economically abundant while respecting the natural environment.
Therefore, the organizers centered this three-day event around three themes: the Slow-living Movement, Vibrant Community and Sustainable Retreat Travel. Through these meaningful topics, speakers will focus on the viability of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) vis a vis substantial economic growth.
Thursday’s event will feature a speech from Taitung Magistrate April Yao on the slow economy. In particular, Yao will elaborate on how Taitung has adhered to the UN SDGs while creating meaningful economic opportunities.
Following Yao, Goncalo Hall, co-founder of a digital nomad community on the Madeira Islands, will share his experience in creating an alternative relationship between work and leisure. Hall collaborated with the local government to create a digital nomad hub for remote workers from around the world. Now, people from all backgrounds can bring their inspiring projects to Madeira and find a healthy work-life balance.
Later in the day, the conference will organize a panel discussion on the Slow Living Movement. Several panelists from a variety of different backgrounds will discuss their experience in actualizing sustainable lifestyles. The event is particularly honored to have Tammy Turner, a permaculture expert with years of experience in environmentally friendly farming practices.
On Friday, the conference will focus on creating vibrant communities and promoting sustainable travel. The day will start off with workshops in the morning followed by a speech from Sakae Okamoto, Mayor of Iga-Shi, Japan. Okamoto will share his experience developing sustainable communities through partnerships between government and civic groups.
In the evening, there will be a panel discussion regarding ecotourism and sustainable development. Josh Campbell, one of the panelists and founder of Taiwanderful, will bring his expertise on community development through recycling initiatives. Campbell’s company has brought together education, sustainability and art to make Donghe, Taitung a more pleasant and connected place to live. The panel will also host speakers from New Zealand and Thailand, which will provide an exciting platform for international exchange on sustainability initiatives.
The final day of the conference will address the theme of sustainable retreat travel. The morning will feature workshops from various members of Taitung’s eclectic community. Activities will range from outdoor yoga classes to crafts workshops and foot massage sessions.
The 2021 International Slow Economy Conference will bring together people from around the world to share their views on culture and respecting the environment. Through learning from each other, participants will go home inspired to continue contributing to sustainable development by earning a living in healthy and fulfilling ways.