The Know-How University

da | 19 Feb 2020

We are a group of people operating across the various local clubs of the Movement for Happy Degrowth (MDF). The original small group that started the Know-How University was located in Turin, where the first courses were held in the spring of 2009.

We love to think that we can spread the principles of degrowth in our society and actually draw people closer to each other. This can be achieved through small individual actions such as home production of goods, sharing and free-giving, which make a great contribution to reducing our ecological footprint and increasing our well-being. Moreover, those practices hold a very important symbolic and political meaning. We wish to build up a network of social connections among people and to recover a sense of conviviality that nowadays seems to be lost.

The objective of this portal is to be a useful tool for anyone who is happily committed to changing their lifestyles, as well as a meeting place to discuss the themes of degrowth and an open space that welcomes new projects and ideas enhancing the alternative way of living which we are all trying to build up.

Why should we rediscover the Know-How?

The Know-How is based on the recovery of valuable practical skills that have gone lost during the last few decades, since the Western society embraced the consumeristic development model with its very high impact on the environment. Such a model is based on the heavy consumption of throwaway products, which are intended to last as little as possible and be immediately replaced – resulting in a big quantity of waste that is expensive to dispose of – and wrapped in bulky and highly polluting packaging.

The Know-How is a sort of cultural revolution that brings with itself innumerable advantages: it enables us to recover lost capabilities and abilities, to obtain primary goods with less expenditure and displacement, to reduce pollution and save money, and to experiment a new lifestyle based on the importance of time and satisfaction for a well-done job, to be shared in a solidal way. No packaging, less transportation, no emissions. If thousands or millions of people adopt the practices of the Know-How and change their lifestyles re-learning to produce homemade goods, thus limiting the production of both emissions and waste, these practices will soon have a very significant impact on a global scale.

Recovering and rediscovering some lost abilities of the past holds a surprise: the Know-How is not a difficult and time-consuming activity; on the contrary, it can be easily practiced with passion and joy. The Know-How sets people free from many addictions and makes them aware that they can become autonomous again, independent from supermarkets, and creative too: the Know-How includes an endless amount of recipes and applications, in the fields of both home production and DIY home repair.