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12-16 December 2022


Wongsanit Ashram, Central Thailand


A great shift is imperative in this age of crises caused by our own civilization with its race to get faster, bigger, and more. This workshop is an opportunity to define the nature of change that society and we ourselves must go through. Participants will be led in an intensive intellectual inquiry into the contemporary global shift of core societal values in human society that is happening now. While unlearning the economic mindset, we will relearn a way of life defined by the three “s” words, Slow, Small, Simple, key concepts in traditional Asian wisdom. Participants will become aware of the massive cultural change that is happening now in the midst of the myriad crises we are facing as a human race. The great turning may also be characterized as one “from global to local” from “excess to enough” from “competition to sharing” and “theft to gift”.  This workshop will be an exploration into a new vision of an “economics of wellbeing” as a pursuit towards a local, communal, ecological, healthy, ethical, peaceful, joyful and loving way of life.


Keibo Oiwa is a cultural anthropologist, author, translator, environmental activist and public speaker. He lived in North America for 16 years, and holds a Ph.D in Anthropology from Cornell University. Since 1992 he has taught international studies at Meiji Gakuin University in Japan. The founder of the Sloth Club, and ecology and ‘slow life’ NGO, he gives lectures and workshops on social and environmental issues. He has also co-authored a book on a peoples’ history of Japan with renowned environmentalist, David Suzuki.


To develop an intensive intellectual inquiry into the contemporary global shift of core societal values in human society, unlearn the old economic mindset and relearn to be slow, small and simple, exploring a holistic and sustainable way of life that goes beyond the economic wealth


Participants will:

  1. become aware of the global crises we are facing as a human race

  2. unlearn the dominant economic mindset

  3. relearn how to do less and be more, and how to return to our true nature of human beings

  4. experience Japanese Slow culture through, Chado tea ceremony, & Ikebana flower arrangement and Haiku poems

Recommended Reading

  • Capra, F. (1984). The turning point: Science, Society and the Rising Culture, Bantam; Reissue.

  • Capra, F. (2016). The systems view of life: a unifying vision, Cambridge University Press.

  • Palmer, Parker J. (2009). “Chapter 7: Deep Speaks to Deep: Learning to Speak and Listen”.  in A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

  • Laloux, F. (2014). “Part 1 Historical and Developmental Perspective”. in Reinventing Organizations. Brussels: Nelson Parker. Page 11-43.

  • Capra, F. (1982). Turning Point: A Science of Living Systems.

Retrieved From:

  • Capra, F., & Luisi, P. L. (2014). The systems view of life: A unifying vision. Cambridge University Press.

Retrieved From:

  • Oiwa, K. (2001). Slow is beautiful. Tokyo: Heibonsha.

  • Oiwa, K. (2001). Slow is beautiful: Culture as slowness. 

Retrieved From:

  • Oiwa, K. (2010). “Goal of Bhutan: Gross National Happiness”. Japan for Sustainability.

Retrieved From:

  • Oiwa, K. (2015). “Slow, Small and Simple”. Interviewed by Kumar, Satish for Resurgence & Ecologist, 292 September/October.

  • Retrieved From:

  • Palmer, Parker J. (2012). If Only We Would Listen: Parker J. Palmer On What We Could Learn About Politics, Faith and Each Other [Online]. interviewed by Alicia Von Stamwitz. The Sun.

Retrieved From:

  • Traditional Chinese Organ Body Clock.

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  • Videos:

    • Earth Pilgrim – A Year on Dartmoor, Satish Kumar, BBC.

    • Keibo Oiwa. Slow, Small, Simple. 

Retrieved From:

  • Keibo Oiwa. Cultural Creatives and Localisation Movements in Asia. 

Retrieved From:

  • Oiwa, Keibo. Vandana Shiva: Embracing the Seed of Life. Motion Picture. Japan: The Sloth Club.

  • Oiwa, Keibo. Tashi Delek: Prayers Flutter Skyward over Bhutan. Motion Picture. Japan: The Sloth Club.

  • Oiwa, Keibo. Kawaguchi Yoshikazu in Natural Farming. Motion Picture. Japan: The Sloth Club.

  • Oiwa, Keibo. Satish Kumar. Motion Picture. Japan: The Sloth Club.

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