The slow movement (sometimes capitalised Slow movement or Slow Movement) advocates a cultural shift toward slowing down life's pace. It began with Carlo Petrini's protest against the opening of a McDonald's restaurant in Piazza di Spagna, Rome in 1986 that sparked the creation of the slow food movement. Over time, this developed into a subculture in other areas, like the Cittaslow organisation for "slow cities". The "slow" epithet has subsequently been applied to a variety of activities and aspects of culture.
Geir Berthelsen and his creation of The World Institute of Slowness presented a vision in 1999 for an entire "slow planet" and a need to teach the world the way of slowness. In Carl Honoré's 2004 book, In Praise of Slow, he describes the slow movement thus:
"It is a cultural revolution against the notion that faster is always better. The Slow philosophy is not about doing everything at a snail's pace. It's about seeking to do everything at the right speed. Savoring the hours and minutes rather than just counting them. Doing everything as well as possible, instead of as fast as possible. It’s about quality over quantity in everything from work to food to parenting."
Professor Guttorm Fløistad summarises the philosophy, stating:
"The only thing for certain is that everything changes. The rate of change increases. If you want to hang on you better speed up. That is the message of today. It could however be useful to remind everyone that our basic needs never change. The need to be seen and appreciated! It is the need to belong. The need for nearness and care, and for a little love! This is given only through slowness in human relations. In order to master changes, we have to recover slowness, reflection and togetherness. There we will find real renewal."
The slow movement is not organised and controlled by a single organisation. A fundamental characteristic of the slow movement is that it is propounded, and its momentum maintained, by individuals who constitute an expanding global community. Its popularity has grown considerably since the rise of slow food and Cittaslow in Europe, with slowness initiatives spreading worldwide.
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