FW: [ENOUGH] Sufficiency digest #9

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Harris, Craig

Jan 17, 2023, 3:23:11 PMJan 17
to SCORAI Group

possibly of interest . . .





For your information, an example of a recent email circulated to the ENOUGH mailing list.



De : Edouard Toulouse <edouard....@netcourrier.com>
À : enough-...@googlegroups.com
Sujet : [ENOUGH] Sufficiency digest #9
Date : 05/01/2023 22:11:10 Europe/Paris

Dear member,


The ENOUGH network team wishes you a very happy New Year!


Our network continued to grow in 2022. Notably, our bibliographical database on sufficiency has now reached over 400 references.

Here's a new digest of the most recent entries in the database since last July. Yes, it's a long list and it illustrates the growing success of the sufficiency agenda. Congrats to all the authors.


Warmest regards,



Sufficiency digest #9




Dubuisson-Quellier, S. (2022). How does affluent consumption come to consumers? A research agenda for exploring the foundations and lock-ins of affluent consumption. Consumption and Society, 1(1), 31–50. https://doi.org/10.1332/UHIW3894
In the context of the calls for sufficiency held by climate experts, consumption is a major lever of ecological transition. Following numerous social sciences studies, I suggest that the belief that such an ecological transition could rest on the shoulders of consumers alone is illusory. I highlight the strong interdependencies within a political economy of affluent consumption between public policies, corporate business models and consumer practices. Taking an economic sociological and Foucauldian perspective, I develop a research agenda to explore how affluent consumption becomes a legitimised and institutionalised norm. The government of consumption is based on technologies of power that shape and orient consumers’ conduct, leading them to adopt the norms of affluent consumption by activating and playing on their dispositions acquired through market socialisation.


Baltruszewicz et al (2023). Social outcomes of energy use in the United Kingdom: Household energy footprints and their links to well-being. Ecological Economics, 205, 107686. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2022.107686
How energy relates to human need satisfaction, for whom, and with what wellbeing outcomes has remained under-researched. We address this gap by investigating the relationship between household energy footprint and well-being in the UK. Our results indicate that car and air transportation contributed the most to the total energy footprint of high-income and high-energy users. We find significant inequalities in the distribution of energy use and that the top energy users with high well-being are driving excess energy use. A more detailed analysis reveals that individuals with protected characteristics are particularly vulnerable to energy poverty and that their contribution to overall energy demand is negligible. We find that focusing on well-being steers the attention towards questions of sufficiency, overconsumption as well as the context within which we satisfy needs.


Heinonen, J. et al (2022). Too much consumption or too high emissions intensities? Explaining the high consumption-based carbon footprints in the Nordic countries. Environmental Research Communications. https://doi.org/10.1088/2515-7620/aca871
This study not only utilized consumption-based carbon footprints to examine how people living in affluent nations like the Nordic countries can live 1.5 degree warming compatible lifestyles, but it also expanded on this analysis by focusing on which level of GHG intensity per monetary unit of expenditure it is possible to remain below a 1.5-degree compatible target level at different levels of consumption expenditure. To analyze the GHG intensity per monetary unit of consumption, first, the consumption-based carbon footprints from around 8,000 survey responses from the Nordic countries were calculated. Then the average carbon intensity per unit of monetary spending was calculated across the income deciles in each country and compared to target levels that align with the 1.5-degree compatible reduction pathways by 2030. Finally, the intensities for selected low-carbon consumption choices were calculated and compared to the same baseline targets.


Korsnes, M. (2023). Sufficiency in China’s Energy Provision: A Service Understanding of Sustainable Consumption and Production. In A. Hansen & K. Bo Nielsen (Eds.), Consumption, Sustainability and Everyday Life (pp. 111–133). Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-11069-6_5
This chapter qualitatively explores China’s current development path by presenting a social science analysis of electricity consumption and energy services. Seeing needs and demand as socially constructed and developed over time through a variety of influences, the chapter analyses and assesses the services provided by electricity. The working hypothesis of this chapter is that we need to change from efficiency thinking to sufficiency thinking, i.e., the possibility of having enough of something for a particular purpose, and the onus should still be on the affluent population of the world. To make headway, the chapter discusses two points: First, is energy growth in China mainly about developing basic services and infrastructures? Second, is it ethical or practical to argue for restrictions on energy growth in China?




Gumbert, T. et al (2022). Sustainable consumption and the power of economic growth: Exploring alternatives to the growth-dependency narrative. Consumption and Society, 1–21. https://doi.org/10.1332/JPPD7512
Increasing shares of the sustainable consumption literature postulate the need for a focus on limits to consumption as a basis for achieving absolute reductions in resource use. However, discussions about limits to consumption immediately meet opposition from political representatives, powerful associations and industry lobby groups alike. Such claims have become very dominant narratives that influence what societies deem ‘realistic’ and ‘possible’ regarding the politics of sustainable consumption, cementing the current status quo. It also shows that research on strong sustainable consumption governance, that is, governance pursuing a reduction in consumption levels and fundamental shift in consumption patterns (especially in the Global North), needs to target such claims head on, if existing paradigmatic barriers to a sustainability transition are to be overcome. But what counter-narrative(s) can scholars offer?


Klinkenborg, H., & Rossmoeller, A. (2022). Connecting sufficiency, materialism and the good life? Christian, Muslim and Hindu-based perspectives on EU-level. Frontiers in Sustainability, 3, 952819. https://doi.org/10.3389/frsus.2022.952819
This article analyses Christian, Muslim, and Hindu-based discourses and practices in relation to sufficiency, materialism, and the good life in the context of the European Union. The current political and scholarly debate emphasizes the need for a sustainability transformation and, more specifically, for reductions in resource use by the global consumer class. Questions about what a “good life”, as opposed to a consumerist lifestyle, means and the need to focus on sufficiency rather than efficiency are being (re-)considered. Given that religions and faith-based actors (FBAs) play an essential role as interpreters of norms and values in societies, especially when societies are facing particular challenges, it is important to understand how they communicate information about relevant ideas and actions. What do FBAs say about sustainable lifestyles, sufficiency, and the role of materialism vis-à-vis those two ideas?


Jensen, C. L., Oldin, F., & Andersen, G. (2022). Imagining and co-creating futures of sustainable consumption and society. Consumption and Society, 1–22. https://doi.org/10.1332/XQUM7064
Decades of research on the sociology of consumption show that lifestyle changes are as much about changes to norms and ideas about what ‘a good life’ is as they are about access to the necessary competences, infrastructures and sustainable alternatives. Acknowledging the growing body of sociological research that seeks to understand how expectations of the future shape processes of social change in the present, more attention could be paid to the role of discourse, narratives and storying when it comes to making efforts towards carbon neutral climate futures. Taking as a point of departure a futuring methodology called the Future Travel Workshop, this article discusses the potential role of stories as inquiry and stories as process for futurity. Comprised of three sessions, the workshop explores what future everyday lives and societies might look and feel like. Interestingly, the participants’ imagined futures went from technologically utopic and tension-free towards tense and radically different conceptions of the needed levels of societal reorganisation.




Lage, J. (2022). Sufficiency and transformation – A semi-systematic literature review of notions of social change in different concepts of sufficiency. Frontiers in Sustainability, 3, 954660. https://doi.org/10.3389/frsus.2022.954660
Sufficiency is an indispensable strategy for sustainable development that is gaining growing attention in both the scientific and the political sphere. Nevertheless, the question of how sufficiency-oriented social change can be shaped by different actors remains unclear. There are many different concepts of sufficiency and all of them entail certain notions of social change. By conducting a semi-systematic literature review on sufficiency and transformation, this article makes explicit notions of social change in various concepts of sufficiency. The literature was sampled by a systematic search in the databases of Web of Science and the ENOUGH-Network, and complemented by texts known to the author. The sufficiency concepts were analyzed regarding two dimensions: the goal of and the approach toward social change. The review founds a theoretical basis for further empirical and theoretical research on shaping sufficiency-oriented social change.


Burke, M. J., & Melgar, R. (2022). SDG 7 requires post-growth energy sufficiency. Frontiers in Sustainability, 3, 940958. https://doi.org/10.3389/frsus.2022.940958
Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7) aims to achieve “energy for all” by improving energy security for the world’s poor while supporting a global transition toward low-carbon energy sources. The aim of this policy brief is to evaluate and propose energy sufficiency as a feasible policy response to negative interactions of SDG 7, for climate (SDG 13), the biophysical environment (SDG 14 and 15), and social equity (SDG 10), when linked to the pursuit of unending economic growth (SDG 8). Recommendations for SDG 7 target economy-wide absolute and per capita limits in overall energy use to precede adjustments in technology and behaviour, thus shifting from energy excess for some to energy sufficiency for all.


Essex, J., Sims, P., & Storey, N. (2022). Rethinking Energy Demand. Green European Foundation.
Energy demand is just a subset of how humanity is exceeding planetary boundaries. Whilst this report focuses specifically on reducing direct energy demand, much of the report’s findings could be applied to much wider challenges, including the indirect energy embodied in supply chains, which also need to be reduced if we are to address the interlocking climate and ecological crises. The report is written to inform and provide a resource for policy makers, politicians, climate campaigners and the general public who are motivated to respond to the climate change threat. It also may help to inform the political framing of academic work around demand reduction.


Thredgold, C. et al (2022). Reducing everyday consumption: Mapping the landscape of grassroots social movements and activist households in Australia. Energy Research & Social Science, 91, 102741. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2022.102741
Increasing numbers of relatively affluent people are endeavoring to reduce everyday consumption and waste in response to environmental and social concerns. This paper explores five activist lifestyles and grassroots social movements that aim to reduce everyday consumption to uncover who, why, what and how households reduce consumption. We seek to understand the lifestyle and identity characteristics, motivations, barriers, meanings and cultural beliefs that influence social norms towards less consumption. Our review reveals that most people begin from raised consciousness and concern about production and consumption practices. Evidence is building that shows, for many people, living a less consumptive, more collaborative, simple, frugal, downshifted life is beneficial to human health and well-being and highlights part of the success of these movements and lifestyles.




Neumann, K., & Hirschnitz-Garbers, M. (2022). Material efficiency and global pathways towards 100% renewable energy systems – system dynamics findings on potentials and constraints. Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems, 10(4), 1–20. https://doi.org/10.13044/j.sdewes.d10.0427

Due to interactions between energy demand and material use, improvements in material efficiency promise to contribute to climate mitigation. To analyse such potentials, system dynamics modelling was applied to test four different scenarios towards a 100% renewable energy world. The model findings show that a 100% renewable energy world with zero greenhouse gas emissions seems feasible. However, the chosen pathway matters. While material efficiency reduces emissions and increases availability of secondary raw materials for renewable energy generation, only absolute reductions in energy demand through sufficiency-oriented lifestyles and sustainable choices in food, housing, and mobility seem able to achieve emission reductions needed to stay within 1.5-degree warming. Here, international policies are needed to create globally equitable opportunities for decent lifestyles in a safe and just planetary space.


Baumgartner et al (2022). Sufficiency without regret. Ecological Economics, 200, 107545. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2022.107545
The notion of sufficiency has gained considerable traction in many social sciences as well as in environmental and energy policy. However, sufficiency is not widely discussed in economics, most likely because it is seen as being hard to identify or uninteresting in the context of the standard model of rational choice. In this paper, we introduce a concept of sufficiency, which we define as a change of lifestyle that reduces environmental externalities without compromising individual well-being. We advance a framework of individual choice, where individuals select lifestyles and face uncertainty regarding their preferences in hitherto not experienced lifestyles. We show that changes towards sufficiency are feasible in this setting but, although they can be beneficial to the individual, they might require policy support.


Dall-Orsoletta, A., et al (2022). Review of social dynamics in complex energy systems models. International Journal of Sustainable Energy Planning and Management, 36, 33–52. https://doi.org/10.54337/ijsepm.7478

The problem of techno-economic approaches to evaluating energy transition pathways has been constantly reported in the literature. Existing research recognises the critical role played by social aspects in energy systems models. System dynamics (SD) has been pointed out among modelling techniques as a suitable tool to evaluate the interdisciplinary nature of energy transitions. This paper explores how energy system-related SD models have incorporated social aspects through a literature review. Social aspects considered include behaviour and lifestyle changes, social acceptance, willingness to participate, socio-economic measures, among others. As expected, the representation of social aspects was not standard among the papers analysed. Socio-economic aspects were most commonly included in supply-demand and 3E models.


Diesendorf, M. (2022). Scenarios for the rapid phase-out of fossil fuels in Australia in the absence of CO2 removal. Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1080/14486563.2022.2108514

The rapid growth of renewable electricity generation in Australia raises the prospect of substituting for all fossil fuel use, including their use in transport and heating, by 2050 or even 2040. This article uses simple scenarios to identify the combinations of trends in total final energy consumption and renewable energy generation that together could result in the complete substitution of renewable energy for fossil fuels for energy generation by 2040 and 2050. It finds that, at current or increasing levels of energy consumption, in the absence of substantial CO2 removal, it is very unlikely that renewable energy could substitute for all fossil energy consumption by 2040 and 2050, even if renewable energy grows exponentially. Because time is of the essence in addressing the climate crisis, energy consumption must be reduced substantially while transitioning to renewables.




Hausdorf, M., & Timm, J. (2022). Business research for sustainable development: How does sustainable business model research reflect doughnut economics? Business Strategy and the Environment, bse.3307. https://doi.org/10.1002/bse.3307

In this study, we explore sustainable business model (SBM) research through the lens of doughnut economics (DE). By conducting an integrative literature review, we analyse concepts that reflect the seven principles of DE at the business model level. We identify 23 SBM concepts and develop a framework that draws on cognitive science theory to distinguish between seven abstract and 16 concrete concepts. The contribution of our study is threefold: First, the framework enhances the theoretical understanding of SBM concepts that mirror DE. Second, our study presents seven unique avenues for shifting the SBM research agenda. Third, the findings have the potential to inspire SBM innovation in practice.


Konash, A., & Nasr, N. (2022). The circular economy and resource use reduction: A case study of long-term resource efficiency measures in a medium manufacturing company. Cleaner Production Letters, 3, 100025. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clpl.2022.100025

The circular economy is the paradigm of the societal operation model that aims to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation through a system of efficiency measures. However, a growing body of literature reported the failure of efficiency measures to conserve energy and resources in the current socio-economic environment. In this paper, we addressed the lack of data on the microeconomic one-company rebound effect investigation by presenting the case study of a medium manufacturer from the US that implemented energy, water and material efficiency measures. While the company qualified as a top-performing “circularity developer” according to the published self-assessment questionnaire, it retained its linear business model. In conclusion, it was found that the system focused exclusively on efficiency was incapable of conserving resource use and delivering on CE decoupling promise. Wider societal acceptance of sufficiency measures was suggested to improve resource-saving capacity in manufacturing.


Frick, V. (2022). Mit Suffizienz zur Energiewende. Institut Fur Okologische Wirtschaftforschung GmBH (IÖW). https://www.ioew.de/fileadmin/user_upload/BILDER_und_Downloaddateien/Publikationen/2022/IOEW_SR_224_Mit-Suffizienz-zur-Energiewende.pdf

In order to implement the energy transition in Germany, it is necessary to reduce absolute energy consumption in addition to switching to renewable energies. Sufficiency is a central strategy for this, but it has so far been underrepresented. This publication explores the question of how energy cooperatives can promote sufficiency in households. As players in the energy industry, energy cooperatives pursue the goal of decentralized, environmentally friendly energy generation. They create acceptance, involve citizens and are thus a driving force of the energy transition. The study shows which communicative strategies energy cooperatives are already using to promote sufficiency and which others they could potentially use in the future.




Gaspard, A., et al (2022). Introducing sufficiency in the building sector in net-zero scenarios for France. Energy and Buildings, 112590. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2022.112590

The article presents findings from Transition(s) 2050, a set of scenarios developed for the whole economy by ADEME, the French Environmental Transition Agency. It focuses on sufficiency: which role can it play in the decarbonation of the building sector, both in the use-phase and beyond? What would enabling conditions be? Sufficiency can contribute to achieve further energy savings compared to “efficiency-only” scenarios in areas such as domestic electrical appliances or space cooling, hence easing the wider decarbonation effort. Furthermore, sufficiency has systemic implications beyond the use-phase.




Hess, A.-K. (2022). The relationship between car shedding and subjective well-being. Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives, 15, 100663. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trip.2022.100663

The sufficiency strategy for sustainable development aims to reduce energy and resource consumption beyond technological modifications. One way to do this is to forgo ownership of certain consumer goods, such as cars. Although proponents of sufficiency claim that car shedding (i.e., giving away a vehicle so that the household no longer has its own car) might increase subjective well-being (SWB), there is little empirical evidence supporting this. This paper aims to help fill this gap by adding empirical evidence on the relationship between car shedding and SWB. Data from the Swiss Household Panel is used (2006–2017) with a fixed-effects model assessing the year-to-year changes in evaluative and affective well-being (life satisfaction, leisure satisfaction, joy, and anger) before and after car shedding. Separate analyses for non-affordability-driven and affordability-driven car shedders were conducted. Results show that non-affordability-driven car shedding has a positive effect on feelings of joy one to three years after the event. Affordability-driven car shedding, in contrast, is associated with a decrease in leisure satisfaction and feelings of joy up to three years later.


Cass, N. (2022). Hyper-aeromobility: The drivers and dynamics of frequent flying. Consumption and Society, 1–23. https://doi.org/10.1332/LCWC4408

This article interrogates the drivers and dynamics behind ever-increasing amounts of air travel ascribable to a minority, whose flying contributes an ever-larger proportion of travel-related energy consumption and carbon emissions. Treating flying and frequent flying as ‘consumption behaviour’ has tended to focus on individualised behavioural explanations, but understanding and tackling rising hyper-aeromobility involves grasping expanding systems of provision, and social and cultural positive feedback loops involving socialisation, habituation and internationalisation of social practices. Understanding these requires a multidisciplinary approach analogous to the ‘needs satisfier escalator’ model relating to increasing car use which has been proposed by Brand-Correa et al (2020). The article then provides data from qualitative research on high-energy-consuming households to provide backing for the particular relevance and importance of a subset of more sociological and structural drivers as contributing to the expansion of aeromobility and its concentration in a hyper-aeromobile elite.


Hoffmann, S. et al (2023). Flying rebound: Consequences of the imposed flying sufficiency during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 1–20. https://doi.org/10.1080/09669582.2022.2162062

This paper introduces the concept of imposed flying sufficiency and asks whether this could lead to a flying rebound. A major contribution of this paper is combining the economic mechanisms with moral-psychological aspects of rebound effects in an experimental study. In a 2 (with/without economic hint) × 2 (with/without ecological hint) between-subjects experimental study, this paper analyses how the awareness of monetary savings and the awareness of ecological consequences affect consumers’ flying intentions. The study reveals an interaction effect of these two aspects: While awareness of the monetary savings will increase flying intentions, awareness of the ecological consequences will buffer this effect. Furthermore, the degree to which consumers feel flight shame, strongly moderates the economic and ecological hints’ impact. Finally, the paper provides implications for managers and policymakers.




Cué Rio, M., et al (2022). The elephant in the room is really a cow: Using consumption corridors to define sustainable meat consumption in the European Union. Sustainability Science. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11625-022-01235-7

Reducing meat consumption is an obvious strategy to put the European food system on track to meet the Green Deal’s goals. This cannot be achieved by focusing solely on consumer choice and individual responsibility. Stronger governance is required to reduce the scale of meat consumption to sustainable levels. Such governance needs to be informed by a holistic definition of “sustainable meat consumption”, designed to ensure that important sustainability priorities are not neglected, and to account for all emissions associated with EU consumption, regardless of where production takes place. This article presents a conceptual framework to define “sustainable meat consumption” based on the concept of consumption corridors (CCs). A CC is the space between a minimum (the floor) and maximum (the ceiling) consumption level, which allows everybody to satisfy their needs without compromising others’ ability to meet their own.


Kanerva, M. (2022). Consumption Corridors and the Case of Meat. Journal of Consumer Policy. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10603-022-09524-5

This article discusses one emerging policy tool within strong governance, namely consumption corridors which could bring about absolute reductions in the negative impacts of consumption in a just manner and using deliberative democracy. Consumption corridors are applied in the context of the current meat system, a common driver for the twin crises, and an issue central to achieving the sustainable development, biodiversity, and Paris climate goals. The recently developed planetary health diet offers a useful plan for the transformation of global food systems, and could be combined with sustainable consumption corridors for meat. Systems thinking identifies change in societal paradigms as most effective. To support such change, this article suggests two metaphors as discourse tools, whereby individual and societal transformation in meat consumption occurs as a journey along a continuum of different meatways.


Hémar-Nicolas, V., & Hedegaard, L. (2022). La sobriété alimentaire, une démarche ancrée dans l’éthique d’Epicure: Cadre d’analyse et agenda de recherche. Recherche et Applications En Marketing (French Edition), 076737012211411. https://doi.org/10.1177/07673701221141113

In the context of the ecological crisis, our food consumption patterns must be transformed with a view to sustainability. Food sufficiency is a key lever of this transformation. However, it raises the question of its compatibility with pleasure, a strong pillar of "eating well". At the crossroads of philosophy and marketing, this theoretical research is based on Epicure's ethics to answer this question. On the one hand, it highlights an epicurean consumption value, the foundation of individual and collective "eating well". On the other hand, it proposes an analytical framework showing how a process of food sufficiency, centred on the satisfaction of essential needs, gives access to this value.




Eiríksdóttir, K. (2022). Understanding views on sufficient clothing consumption. Lund University.

Sufficiency shifts the focus to affluent societies consuming less, and understanding sufficiency from the consumer perspective is therefore of utmost importance. This thesis aims to explore consumers’ perceptions about sufficiency by answering two research questions. 1) How do consumers understand and perceive sufficiency in their clothing consumption? 2) How can sufficient clothing consumption be encouraged according to consumers? This thesis employs Q methodology to capture different perspectives on sufficient clothing consumption among female millennial Icelandic consumers. The results were analysed with Social Practice Theory, focusing on the meaning and competence elements of the theory.


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Heyman, Josiah M

Jan 17, 2023, 7:30:07 PMJan 17
to SCORAI Group

Thanks for these fascinating references. Thinking of urban working class people in the global south, and increasingly rural folks also, I’d like us always to remember that consumption is something that many people have too little of. As the subtitle of my appended chapter expresses our (sometimes unconscious) discursive frames, we need to think about consumption “beyond greed and guilt.”


2004 Heyman, Josiah McC. “The Political Ecology of Consumption: Beyond Greed and Guilt,” in Susan Paulson and Lisa Gezon, eds., Political Ecology Across Spaces, Scales and Social Groups, Rutgers University Press, pp. 113-132.


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Lifset, Reid

Jan 18, 2023, 9:59:53 PMJan 18
to SCORAI Group, edouard....@netcourrier.com, enough-...@googlegroups.com

Dear colleagues,


I would like to suggest two papers for the bibliographical database on sufficiency:


Wiprächtiger, M., Rapp, M., Hellweg, S., Shinde, R., & Haupt, M. (2022). Turning trash into treasure: An approach to the environmental assessment of waste prevention and its application to clothing and furniture in Switzerland. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 26, 1389– 1405. https://doi.org/10.1111/jiec.13275


This paper quantifies the environmental impact of sufficiency strategies for clothing and furniture (along with other waste prevention activities).


Quitzau, M.-B. and Røpke, I. (2008), The Construction of Normal Expectations. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 12: 186-206. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1530-9290.2008.00017.x


This paper presents an especially interesting investigation of how “normal” expectations regarding consumption are formed in everyday life—a key component of notions of sufficiency



Reid J. Lifset
Research Scholar; Founding Editor, Journal of Industrial Ecology

Center for Industrial Ecology
T +1-203-432-6949

F +1-203-432-5912



Yale School of the Environment


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