The founder of the international Transition Towns movement asks why true creative, positive thinking is in decline, asserts that it’s more important now than ever, and suggests ways our communities can revive and reclaim it.
there is plenty of evidence that things can change, and cultures can change, rapidly, dramatically, and unexpectedly — for the better. He has seen it happen around the world and in his own town of Totnes, England, where the community is becoming its own housing developer, energy company, enterprise incubator, and local food network — with cascading benefits to the community that extend far beyond the projects themselves.
On the afternoon of March 11, 2011, massive, overwhelming, incomprehensible disaster struck the northeast coast of Japan. Life for those in the region would never be the same.
This book is about the awakening that follows disaster. About the minutes and hours and months and years that come after now. It is about what happens when we’re smacked on the side of the head and open our eyes, startled out of the trance in which we have been living our days. It is about the opportunities always present, often invisible, to create the lives we want, now.
Why is it that in the aftermath of a disaster, whether manmade or natural, people suddenly become altruistic, resourceful, and brave? What makes the newfound communities and purpose many find in the ruins and crises after disaster so joyous? And what does this joy reveal about ordinarily unmet social desires and possibilities?
In “A Paradise Built in Hell,” award-winning author Rebecca Solnit explores these phenomena, looking at major calamities from the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco through the 1917 explosion that tore up Halifax, Nova Scotia, the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, 9/11, and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. She examines how disaster throws people into a temporary utopia of changed states of mind and social possibilities, as well as looking at the cost of the widespread myths and rarer real cases of social deterioration during crisis. This is a timely and important book from an acclaimed author whose work consistently locates unseen patterns and meanings in broad cultural histories.
The Buy Nothing, Get Everything Plan: Discover the Joy of Spending Less, Sharing More, and Living Generously by Liesl Clark, Rebecca Rockerfeller (available April 14, 2020)
Inspired by the ancient practice of gift economies, where neighbors share and pool resources, “The Buy Nothing, Get Everything Plan” introduces an environmentally conscious 7-step guide that teaches us how to buy less, give more, and live generously. At once an actionable plan and a thought-provoking exploration of our addiction to stuff, this powerful program will help you declutter your home without filling landfills, shop more thoughtfully and discerningly, and let go of the need to buy new things. Filled with helpful lists and practical suggestions including 50 items you never need to buy (Ziploc bags and paper towels) and 50 things to make instead (gift cards and salad dressing), “The Buy Nothing, Get Everything Plan” encourages you to rethink why you shop and embrace a space-saving, money-saving, and earth-saving mindset of buying less and sharing more.
Free market capitalism is one of humanity’s greatest inventions and the greatest source of prosperity the world has ever seen. But this success has been costly. Capitalism is on the verge of destroying the planet and destabilizing society as wealth rushes to the top. The time for action is running short.
Rebecca Henderson’s rigorous research in economics, psychology, and organizational behavior, as well as her many years of work with companies around the world, gives us a path forward. She debunks the worldview that the only purpose of business is to make money and maximize shareholder value. She shows that we have failed to reimagine capitalism so that it is not only an engine of prosperity but also a system that is in harmony with environmental realities, striving for social justice and the demands of truly democratic institutions.
‘Our throwaway society’ is an ebook for parents of children aged 2+ exploring how to set ‘planetary’ boundaries for our children and challenge the endemic consumerism and ‘culture of convenience’ that is threatening our world. Full of fun activities, practical tips and stories of children who are changing the world, this will transform your family’s life. Fifteen percent of profits will go to relevant charities.
The ebook “Beyond Waste: Community Solutions to Managing Our Resources” features our editorial series outlining ways individuals, organizations and communities are reducing waste around the world.
Arvind Dilawar brought us the story of how Bonnie Linden set up a community cupboard in her California neighborhood; Paige Wolf explained how to start a reusable party pack; and Mirella Ferraz told us about the Fashion Detox challenge and the Right to Repair movement. We featured the Eunpyeong Sharing Center in Seoul, South Korea along with other initiatives such as Oakland’s O2AA maker village, the Japan-based MyMizu app, and Precious Plastic’s DIY recycling module. Finally, writer Marina Kelava described how the small Crostian island of Zlarin is getting rid of single-use plastics; and Nithin Coca highlighted how Japan’s Seikatsu Club Cooperative is challenging consumerism. In fact, Seikatsu Club may be the only retailer with anti-consumerist slogan — Stop Shopping. Download our free ebook here.
As close as neoliberalism has brought us to real and prospective extinction of species, six years of research into 71 publications and 649 global networking organisations reveals something shocking — it has also brought us to the cusp of an immediately implementable parrallel non-monetary economy. This economy already exists and using familiar methods, organisations and practices, can revolutionise global commerce. It will afford every living human being the inalienable right to earn for anything that society decides constitutes work or labour. Without conflict or coercion with existing capitalist business, it will transform working relationships and liberate all people, including capitalists, from the inhibiting and disempowering effects of monetary dependency, forming the new non-monetary economic market of the 99 percent. This is the only realistic route to rapid recovery of Earth’s climate crisis, by generating the Fifth Industrial (Eco) Revolution.
Wanderlust: A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit Drawing together many histories-of anatomical evolution and city design, of treadmills and labyrinths, of walking clubs and sexual mores-Rebecca Solnit creates a fascinating portrait of the range of possibilities presented by walking. Arguing that the history of walking includes walking for pleasure as well as for political, aesthetic, and social meaning, Solnit focuses on the walkers whose everyday and extreme acts have shaped our culture, from philosophers to poets to mountaineers. She profiles some of the most significant walkers in history and fiction-from Wordsworth to Gary Snyder, from Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennet to Andre Breton’s Nadja-finding a profound relationship between walking and thinking and walking and culture. Solnit argues for the necessity of preserving the time and space in which to walk in our ever more car-dependent and accelerated world.
Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship — and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.
“Just Mercy” is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.
Authored by Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha is one of the most influential spiritual works of the twentieth century. It is the story of a young man who decides to leave his wife and kids and embark on a journey of suffering and rejection to finally find peace within and attain salvation.
The story revolves around a young man who leaves his home and family on a quest for the Truth. Embarking on a journey that takes him from the austerities of renunciation to the profligacy of wealth. That leads him through the range of human experiences from hunger and want, to passion, pleasure, pain, greed, yearning, boredom, love, despair and hope. A journey that leads finally to the river, where he gains peace and eventually wisdom.