Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Buddhism in 2050: Worldwide stagnation, booming in wealthy countries

Pew Research made a great survey on religions future.
It's a HUGE survey, a prospective one, from 2010 to 2050.
You can find it here, for free.

Who is PEW?

You don't know them?
They produce a lot of great stats and Conrad Hackett, demographer is one of my favorite Twitter following.
Here is their mission:
"We generate a foundation of facts that enriches the public dialogue and supports sound decision-making. We are nonprofit, nonpartisan and nonadvocacy. We value independence, objectivity, accuracy, rigor, humility, transparency and innovation."

You can read this survey for many reasons:

  • check how big your religion will be in 2050,
  • check how big the booming religion of the moment, Islam, will be in 2050,
  • check which religion will select the biggest atheist population, China.
  • etc.

Why I read it: Buddhism

I read it to see the future of my favorite religion, Buddhism.
If you know me, no need to explain. I can explain you why I'm a big fan of this religion for hours.
If you don't know me, I sum up why I like this religion:

  • Not human centric: it puts human at the same level as other species and thus, lead to vegetarianism.
  • Not ego centric: Buddhism teaches that human's beliefs that they are different, that they have a mission, that they worth more than other humans are wrong. It doesn't say everybody must be equal, it just says everybody is in the same boat.
  • Great values: buddhism put kindness, happiness and compassion at the heart of its values. Our own happiness and other humans happiness doesn't make difference. Our happiness is not related by social status, possessions, etc. Life not a zero sum game.
  • No external pressure or source of solution, no dogma, nobody will save or punish you, tell you who you are of what to do, what to think, change is an inner process.
  • No proselytism: Dalai Lama advise people to think twice before moving to buddhism because changing from one religion to another is like cutting our roots. Have you ever seen an ad from a Buddhism temple or organization? No. 
  • Not political, buddhism is never recycled for political or war reasons.
  • Non violent, you already know that.
I think that this religion is just positive for the planet. Very positive. That's what I want it to succeed, not as a religion, but as a philosophy, an influence on the way humans live with each others.

Future of Buddhism: negative macro trends...

Sorry for Buddhism experts, I may be wrong or very approximative but It's my perspective.
And writing these bullet points, I realized that Pew's conclusion on Buddhism future were easy to anticipate...

One word: stagnation.

I asked Conrad why Buddhism will just stagnate from now to 2050, here is the answer:

I let you check the article above. It's pretty clear. Buddhism goes down. Macro trends like fertility, aging population explain the situation...

But, very positive signals too in Europe and in the US

Look at this one:
Buddhist Population Growth Compared With Overall Growth in Each Region, 2010 to 2050

Quote: "In North America, for example, the Buddhist population is projected to grow by more than 2 million, from 3.9 million in 2010 to nearly 6.1 million in 2050. At the same time, the Buddhist populations in Europe and the Middle East-North Africa region are expected roughly to double."

This trend amazed me!

A religion which...

  • does not really have a "cause",
  • does not have dogma or a clear clergy,
  • do not do marketing,
  • do not do do proselytism, 
  • is not backed up by powerful and rich States, 
  • is fought by one of the most popular State in the world
will boom in Europe and US. USA will be the 10th buddhist country in 2050 with more than 6 million people. Europe will have 2,5 million buddhist.
And what I like most beyond these figures is that, as Buddhism does not have dogma, influence of Buddhism will be bigger. Beyond real "Buddhists", a lot of people like me will be exposed to Buddhism philosophy, like it and follow some of its messages.
Zen, yoga, meditation have more and more adepts, that's kind of Buddhism influence too!

What about purchase power?

I like the idea that the world is shaped by what people buy.
As a result, Buddhist influence will really have an impact on the way the wold is shaped if people who have a lot of money to spend are influenced by it. I made a blog post about it.
Indeed, if millions of very low income people convert to Islam of Christianism, it's big in terms of figures and volume but not on the way the world work.

Let's check the GDP per capita forecasted by Goldman S.:

Top ten shows US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Italy.
Japan, Korea, big Buddhist countries are here too.

  • Among the top 10 GDP per capita in 2015, 6 will see a growing influence of Buddhism.
  • 2 are in the top 10 list of Buddhist country

Isn't it quite positive?
I think it is.
It may change the world.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

No need to speak up, spending money wisely is enough

You want to support a cause, make the world better?
No need to speak up, no need to take risk, no need to go outside and make some noise.
You have already the most powerful tool to do it: your money.

Indeed, you earn a certain amount of money per month.

The way you earn and spend it is everything

You want to limit Climate change: Spend your money accordingly. Work for a company limiting footprint.
You don't like Monsanto: Spend your money accordingly. Work for an organic food related company.
You think Tesla can change the world: work for them, buy Tesla stocks.
You think war is not good: Give money to political parties against war.

The result is enormous.
Why do you think Coca Cola created "Life"?
Because people buy less Diet Coke because they're afraid of aspartam.
Do you think supermarket sell more and more organic food because they want to change the world?
No. It's just because people want it.
Taxis in France are creating a nice mobile app to book them, they are improving the overall quality of what they propose? Because more and more people give their money to Uber.

Seems easy?
It's not.

Saying junk food is bad is not as easy as restricting food consumption to good food.
Saying Climate Change is bad is not as easy as limiting your travel to not far places and limiting meat consumption.
Saying it's a shame to see 10 years old kids producing clothes is not the same as renouncing to cheap fashion clothes.
Saying you're against GMO food is not as easy as giving $10 a month to Greenpeace to fight against it.
Saying you support Tesla revolutionary product is not the same as investing $5000 on it to support them.

So what can you do?

Be selective. Choose some "causes" and feed the happiness of spending your money for things you love.
Then extend to other causes.
Spread the word.

Easy to say. What did I do?

I nearly only buy organic food. I don't care if it's "really" better for health or tasty. I just support the cause.
I rarely east meat. I'm not against meat. I just don't like killing living beings after using so much ressources to feed them.
I refuse to have a car. I don't need to have my own 2 tons thing to move.
I buy as less stuff as possible (my flat is quite empty). Marie Kondo helped me to make it
I try to buy not too cheap clothes from brands that seems clean: Uniqlo, Muji. I know it's not perfect. I should buy "made in France" clothes but...
I give every month 10 euro to people sleeping in the street.
My savings are in a bank specialized in supporting "positive for the planet" projects.

If I'd be more courageous:
I'd buy only fair trade stuff, fly less, give more money to associations like wikipedia, reporters without borders, etc., invest I companies I believe in, stop consuming sodas, stop smoking, etc.

Wrap up

Work for companies aligned with your values.
Give your money only to companies aligned with your values.
Encourage your friends to do the same.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

6 great iOS apps I use every day and you don't even know - May 2015

English: A gray version of an emblem used by i...
I'd like to spend some time to share with you my favorite iOS Apps.
I don't use a lot if apps, I'm very selective.
I spend hours testing new ones :)
So the ones below are great ones, believe me.
I use them every day.
They are all free (freemium but you can survive with the free version).

Elevate. Train your brain 5 min a day. It's addictive, UX is awesome and... it works.

Yahoo New Digest. 8 news a 2 times a day. Nothing more. Great interface and meta data aggregation. Yes it's Yahoo but it's not bad, give it a chance.

Memrise. Learn new languages without noticing. (and choose it you want to "plant" or "water" - check the app to understand).

Feedly. Yes, RSS is still the best way to consume news. And Feedly is the best RSS reader (for me).

Pocket. Because there is a time to pin info and a time to read info. The best "read it later" app ever.

Buffer. Share on social media when people read you. Not when you share the info. (got it?)

Of course I use Snaptchat to pretend I'm still young, Facebook, Twitter, Deezer, Instagram, Linkedin, LINE, Runkeeper but EVERYBODY does so...