We Hear You! Themes from New Dream’s Community Survey—and What’s Coming Next

October 22, 2019

Next For Nd 2Png

In September, we put out a call to hear from New Dreamers about what you’d like to see more of (and maybe less of). Thank you to everyone who provided helpful guidance and inputs! The consistent thoughtfulness of this community inspires us and fuels our commitment to support all that you do to create more of what matters. 

We wanted to share what we heard, so you can learn more about your fellow New Dreamers: 

You’re paying attention! 

  • 89% of you stay in touch via our newsletter, followed by our website (18%) and Facebook (17%). Thanks for engaging with our inquiry, and for being here now.  
  • Many of you mentioned the stories we’ve featured over the past year, centering young people and perspectives that we don’t often hear in broader efforts related to sustainability, consumption, and community. We appreciate all of you who acknowledged and support this intentional shift. 
  • Several of you noted that you love what we do—and just want us to keep it up. We’re humbled, and we thank you!

Some issues you care about that New Dream covers:

  • Anything related to reducing consumption
  • Alternatives to “giving,” including SoKind Registry and the idea of no-spend holidays or a Hundred Dollar Holiday
  • Health effects and environmental harms of excess consumption

The things you like about New Dream:

  • “Upbeat and local-oriented attitude”
  • “Inspiration, actions we can take to help realize the New Dream”
  • “Articles about a specific community/person who is making a big difference”

What you want more of from us:

  • Stories, stories, stories: So many of you mentioned the importance of hearing about other people’s journeys to live more simply—with more meaning—and learning about different experiences related to over-consumption and materialism. We’re here for you! Please submit your ideas to the Question Consumption Stories Project; we are actively seeking youth perspectives and multigenerational considerations. 
  • Guides / how-tos / practical tips / links to articles to live more simply: This is always a top request from New Dreamers, and we will continue to deliver. Follow along as we Question Consumption, and learn more ways you can take action as individuals and communities. 
  • 73% of you want to participate in focused (online) workshops, as we continue to Question Consumption. We also heard from several of you who want “ways to share ideas with family, neighbors, church.” We’re happy to report that this content is under development right now! Expect more in the coming months.

“Exceptional” comments

Surveys are always helpful—they represent a highly engaged community of people who “opt in” to share their thoughts. Some comments we received were unique, as we reflect on ways we’re continuing to serve long-time and incoming New Dreamers. 

Here are some outlier comments that stood out, and our thoughts in response: 

  • One person noted that New Dream has become increasingly political, and “not in a good way.” Another asked for more guidance on “how to tactfully disagree.” On social channels, we continue to see engagement with content that connects the dots between policy and our lived realities. We struggle with these tensions all the time. Our environmental reality is, in many ways, a straightforward reflection of what our governments value, tax, protect, and incentivize, as it relates to consumption. Where does New Dream’s work pick up, and leave off, as it relates to the wide range of organizations committed to our vision of improving the well-being of people and the planet? These aren’t easy questions, and we grapple with them every day.

"Where does New Dream’s work pick up, and leave off, as it relates to the wide range of organizations committed to our vision of improving the well-being of people and the planet? "

  • One person offered up: “I’m interested in making community-level systemic changes to alter our consumption habits. I’m literally running for office right now with that goal in mind.” We love the idea of more New Dreamers running for office. A big thanks to this leader for elevating and seeking to represent our issues, and good luck!
  • “I loved keeping track of [individual] commitments and actions on the old site,” offered one long-time New Dreamer. In our commitment to change norms and behaviors around consumption, we have continued to consider ways to support individual action in this way. With so many great resources out there for different kinds of tracking, we remain open to whether there is a role for us to play. We welcome thoughts on what would support your efforts. 

We are so grateful for each person who shared their thoughts with us, and we are happy to have the opportunity to report that we seem to be on track with our vision, as we continue to focus on young people, and explore and define the new dream together. 

Please email us any time with reflections, as you consider what the new dream looks like to you: newdream@newdream.org.