837 W Fulton Market

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The Substance in Living Simply
Chicago Council on Global Affairs

William Powers, Senior Fellow, World Policy Institute; Author, New Slow City

Thursday 10/08 7:15 am – 8:30 am

Americans are addicted to work. Americans are addicted to work. Despite striving for work-life balance, America is permeated with a culture of ‘total work,’ as nearly 40 percent of employees clock in more than 50 hours a week. To challenge this ethos, William Powers spent a year living in a Manhattan ‘micro-apartment’ while working 20-hour weeks. This message of simplicity has also been heard in Bolivia—Powers’ new home—where the official policy of “vivir bien” encourages lives of harmony and balance. In a world where millennials are encouraged to do more, have more, and be more, can living with less ultimately mean having more? What role can policymakers and employers play in shaping a more balanced urban life?

William Powers’ latest book, New Slow City: Living Simply in the World’s Fastest City, will be available for purchase and signing from The Book Cellar following the program.


William Powers


Senior Fellow, World Policy Institute; Author, New Slow City


William Powers is a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute and the author of New Slow City. Powers has spent nearly 20 years working in the field of development aid and conservation, exploring America’s speed-driven culture and its alternatives in countries around the world. From 2002 to 2004, he managed the community component of a project in the Bolivian Amazon that won Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government environmental innovation prize. His writing and commentary has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, and on NPR’s Fresh Air. He formerly worked at the World Bank and is the author of four books. Powers holds degrees from Brown University and Georgetown University.



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