Worldchanging, the book

The Worldchanging book, “A user’s guide to the 21st century,” is published today. Our friends at in Seattle have been for a few years now publishing an insightful and inspiring collective blog disseminating information about sustainability and social change and describing pragmatically what’s possible, what new technologies are coming along, what solutions to the world’s global and local most pressing problems people and organizations are putting in place.

Now a lot of that cleverness has been packed into a 600-pages book, with great photographs accompanying the inspiring stories by more than sixty writers (plus forewords by Al Gore and Bruce Sterling). “We need, in the next 25 years or so, to do something never before done. We need to consciously redesign the entire material basis of our civilization,” Alex Steffen writes in his editor’s introduction (Alex spoke at TEDGLOBAL last year). As we face a planetary crisis, “we also find ourselves in a moment of innovation unlike any that has come before… We live in an era when the number of people working to make the world better is exploding.” Many of them are TEDsters.

Worldchanging is sometimes a bit visionary, but it’s not naive. They have a sane optimism about the future that carries through the book, which covers topics as diverse – yet interconnected – as biomimicry, clean energy, water, disaster relief, green design and architecture, transportation, megacities challenges, education, public health, South-South science, social entrepreneurship,
microfinance, start-ups, ecological economics, networked politics, transparency, citizen media, climate foresight, etc. It’s a fabulous compendium of ideas. A very timely one: the newspapers these days are full of the Stern Review about the economics of climate change, and the WWF report on human footprint.

A smart book of ideas and solutions could not come without an idea for making it a success – for making sure that those ideas travel far. So Worldchanging is asking for help to “hack the publishing system”:

Our book is not Big. It is thick; it is packed with solutions. But … we have no marketing budget at all… Here’s what we do have: you… We have the capacity, if we work together, to put the Worldchanging book on the top of the Amazon bestseller list (so that) every other bookseller, reviewer, producer and store manager will hear about Worldchanging.

Or you can buy it at an independent local bookseller if you prefer not to send business Amazon’s way, and in order to save the monetary and ecological costs of shipping if you live outside of the US. But do buy it, and read it, and discuss it, and present it to others, because this is an important, smart, world-changing book.

(Cross-posted on LunchOverIP)