Chief Economist of The Australia Institute Richard Denniss defines affluenza as our modern compulsion to “spend money we don’t have to buy things we don’t need to impress people we don’t know”. His illuminating book Curing Affluenza outlines how we can combat an epidemic encouraged by those who profit from a culture of exploitation and waste. In conversation with George Megalogenis, Richard explores the difference between consumerism – a love of buying things – and a sustainable form of materialism – the love of things themselves.

Richard Denniss (Australian)

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Richard Denniss is the Chief Economist and former Executive Director of The Australia Institute. He is a prominent Australian economist, author and public policy commentator, and an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University. In addition to his academic work he was Chief of Staff to Senator Natasha Stott Despoja and Strategy Adviser to Senator Bob Brown. He was described by Mark Kenny in the Sydney Morning Herald as 'a constant thorn in the side of politicians on both sides due to his habit of skewering dodgy economic justifications for policy'.

George Megalogenis (Australian)

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George Megalogenis is an author and journalist with three decades' experience in the media. The Australian Moment won the 2013 Prime Minister's Literary Award for Non-fiction and the 2012 Walkley Award for Non-fiction, and formed the basis for his ABC documentary series Making Australia Great. His latest book is Australia’s Second Chance. He is also the author of Faultlines, The Longest Decade and Balancing Act: Australia Between Recession and Renewal.