Book picks similar to
The Circular Economy: A Wealth of Flows by Ken Webster
More from Less: The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources—and What Happens Next
Andrew McAfee - 2019
Throughout history, the only way for humanity to grow was by degrading the Earth: chopping down forests, fouling the air and water, and endlessly digging out resources. Since the first Earth Day in 1970, the reigning argument has been that taking better care of the planet means radically changing course: reducing our consumption, tightening our belts, learning to share and reuse, restraining growth. Is that argument correct? Absolutely not. In More from Less, McAfee argues that to solve our ecological problems we don’t need to make radical changes. Instead, we need to do more of what we’re already doing: growing technologically sophisticated market-based economies around the world. How can he possibly make this claim? Because of the evidence. America—a large, high-tech country that accounts for about 25% of the global economy—is now generally using less of most resources year after year, even as its economy and population continue to grow. What’s more, the US is polluting the air and water less, emitting fewer greenhouse gases, and replenishing endangered animal populations. And, as McAfee shows, America is not alone. Other countries are also transforming themselves in fundamental ways. What has made this turnabout possible? One thing, primarily: the collaboration between technology and capitalism, although good governance and public awareness have also been critical. McAfee does warn of issues that haven’t been solved, like global warming, overfishing, and communities left behind as capitalism and tech progress race forward. But overall, More from Less is a revelatory, paradigm-shifting account of how we’ve stumbled into an unexpectedly better balance with nature—one that holds out the promise of more abundant and greener centuries ahead.
The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change
Al Gore - 2013
Ours is a time of revolutionary change that has no precedent in history. With the same passion he brought to the challenge of climate change, and with his decades of experience on the front lines of global policy, Al Gore surveys our planet’s beclouded horizon and offers a sober, learned, and ultimately hopeful forecast in the visionary tradition of Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock and John Naisbitt’s Megatrends. In The Future, Gore identifies the emerging forces that are reshaping our world: • Ever-increasing economic globalization has led to the emergence of what he labels “Earth Inc.”—an integrated holistic entity with a new and different relationship to capital, labor, consumer markets, and national governments than in the past. • The worldwide digital communications, Internet, and computer revolutions have led to the emergence of “the Global Mind,” which links the thoughts and feelings of billions of people and connects intelligent machines, robots, ubiquitous sensors, and databases. • The balance of global political, economic, and military power is shifting more profoundly than at any time in the last five hundred years—from a U.S.-centered system to one with multiple emerging centers of power, from nation-states to private actors, and from political systems to markets. • A deeply flawed economic compass is leading us to unsustainable growth in consumption, pollution flows, and depletion of the planet’s strategic resources of topsoil, freshwater, and living species. • Genomic, biotechnology, neuroscience, and life sciences revolutions are radically transforming the fields of medicine, agriculture, and molecular science—and are putting control of evolution in human hands. • There has been a radical disruption of the relationship between human beings and the earth’s ecosystems, along with the beginning of a revolutionary transformation of energy systems, agriculture, transportation, and construction worldwide. From his earliest days in public life, Al Gore has been warning us of the promise and peril of emergent truths—no matter how “inconvenient” they may seem to be. As absorbing as it is visionary, The Future is a map of the world to come, from a man who has looked ahead before and been proven all too right.Praise for The Future “Magisterial . . . The passion is unmistakable. So is the knowledge. Practically every page offers an illumination.”—Bloomberg “In The Future . . . Gore takes on a subject whose scale matches that of his achievements and ambition.”—The New York Times Book Review “Historically grounded . . . Gore’s strengths lie in his passion for the subject and in his ability to take the long view by putting current events and trends in historical context.”—Publishers Weekly “Provocative, smart, densely argued . . . a tour de force of Big Picture thinking.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “A luminously intelligent analysis that is packed with arresting ideas and facts.”—The Guardian
Prosperity Without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet
Tim Jackson - 2009
But in the advanced economies there is mounting evidence that ever-increasing consumption adds little to human happiness and may even impede it. More urgently, it is now clear that the ecosystems that sustain our economies are collapsing under the impacts of rising consumption. Unless we can radically lower the environmental impact of economic activity - and there is no evidence to suggest that we can - we will have to devise a path to prosperity that does not rely on continued growth.Economic heresy? Or an opportunity to improve the sources of well-being, creativity and lasting prosperity that lie outside the realm of the market? Tim Jackson provides a credible vision of how human society can flourish �1/2 within the ecological limits of a finite planet. Fulfilling this vision is simply the most urgent task of our times.This book is a substantially revised and updated version of Jackson's controversial study for the Sustainable Development Commission, an advisory body to the UK Government. The study rapidly became the most downloaded report in the Commission's nine year history when it was launched earlier this year.
Mission Economy: A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism
Mariana Mazzucato - 2020
They required new forms of collaboration between the public sector (notably, NASA) and private companies. This book asks: what if the same level of boldness - the boldness that set inspirational goals, took risks and explicitly recognized that this requires large spending but will be worthwhile in terms of long-term growth - was applied to the biggest problems of our time, climate change, disease and inequality, to name only a few? Mariana Mazzucato argues that applying innovation to societal goals and structuring government budgets more explicitly to the long-term, as the moon programme did, we can do government differently.
Green Swans: The Coming Boom In Regenerative Capitalism
John Elkington - 2020
Green Swans is a manifesto for system change designed to serve people, planet, and prosperity. In his twentieth book, John Elkington—dubbed the “Godfather of Sustainability”—explores new forms of capitalism fit for the twenty-first century. If Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s “Black Swans” are problems that take us exponentially toward breakdown, then “Green Swans” are solutions that take us exponentially toward breakthrough. The success—and survival—of humanity now depends on how we rein in the first and accelerate the second.Green Swans draws on Elkington’s first-hand experience in some of the world’s best-known boardrooms and C-suites. Using case studies, real-world examples, and profiles on emergent technologies, Elkington shows how the weirdest “Ugly Ducklings” of today’s world may turn into tomorrow’s world-saving Green Swans. This book is a must-read for business leaders in corporations great and small who want to help their businesses survive the coming shift in global priorities over the next decade and expand their horizons from responsibility, through resilience, and onto regeneration.
Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered
Ernst F. Schumacher - 1973
Schumacher's riveting, richly researched statement on sustainability has become more relevant and vital with each year since its initial groundbreaking publication during the 1973 energy crisis. A landmark statement against "bigger is better" industrialism, Schumacher's Small Is Beautiful paved the way for twenty-first century books on environmentalism and economics, like Jeffrey Sachs's The End of Poverty, Paul Hawken's Natural Capitalism, Mohammad Yunis's Banker to the Poor, and Bill McKibben's Deep Economy. This timely reissue offers a crucial message for the modern world struggling to balance economic growth with the human costs of globalization.
Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes
Dana Thomas - 2019
More than ever, we are told it should be something new. Today, the clothing industry churns out 80 billion garments a year and employs every sixth person on Earth. Historically, the apparel trade has exploited labor, the environment, and intellectual property--and in the last three decades, with the simultaneous unfurling of fast fashion, globalization, and the tech revolution, those abuses have multiplied exponentially, primarily out of view. We are in dire need of an entirely new human-scale model. Bestselling journalist Dana Thomas has traveled the globe to discover the visionary designers and companies who are propelling the industry toward that more positive future by reclaiming traditional craft and launching cutting-edge sustainable technologies to produce better fashion.In Fashionopolis, Thomas sees renewal in a host of developments, including printing 3-D clothes, clean denim processing, smart manufacturing, hyperlocalism, fabric recycling--even lab-grown materials. From small-town makers and Silicon Valley whizzes to such household names as Stella McCartney, Levi's, and Rent the Runway, Thomas highlights the companies big and small that are leading the crusade.We all have been casual about our clothes. It's time to get dressed with intention. Fashionopolis is the first comprehensive look at how to start.
Capitalism at the Crossroads: Aligning Business, Earth, and Humanity
Stuart L. Hart - 2007
The author offers a pioneering roadmap to responsible macroeconomics and corporate growth."-Clayton Christensen, Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School and author of The Innovator's Dilemma"I hope this book will be able to influence the thought processes of corporations and motivate them to adapt to forthcoming business realities for the sake of their own long-term existence. Besides business leaders, this is a thought-provoking book for the readers who are looking for solutions to capitalism's problems."-Muhammad Yunus, Founder and Managing Director, Grameen Bank, Bangladesh and 2007 Nobel Peace Prize recipient"Capitalism at the Crossroads is a practical manifesto for business in the twenty-first century. Professor Stuart L. Hart provides a succinct framework for managers to harmonize concerns for the planet with wealth creation and unambiguously demonstrates the connection between the two. This book represents a turning point in the debate about the emerging role and responsibility of business in society."-C.K. Prahalad, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, co-author of Competing for the Future and author of The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid "Stuart Hart was there at the beginning. Years ago when the term 'sustainability' had not yet reached the business schools, Stuart Hart stood as a beacon glowing in the umbrage. It is clear commerce is the engine of change, design the first signal of human intention, and global capitalism is at the crossroads. Stuart Hart is there again; this time lighting up the intersection."-William McDonough, University of Virginia, co-author of Cradle to Cradle"Professor Hart is on the leading edge of making sustainability an understandable and useful framework for building business value. This book brings together much of his insights developed over the past decade. Through case studies and practical advice, he argues powerfully that unlimited opportunities for profitable business growth will flow to those companies that bring innovative technology and solutions to bear on some of the world's most intractable social and environmental problems."-Chad Holliday, Chairman and CEO, DuPont"Capitalism at the Crossroads clearly reveals the essence of what sustainability means to today's business world. Hart's analysis that businesses must increasingly adopt a business framework based on building sustainable value speaks to the entire sustainability movement's relevance. Sustainability is more than today's competitive edge; it is tomorrow's model for success."-Don Pether, President and CEO, Dofasco Inc."Stuart Hart has written a book full of big insights painted with bold strokes. He may make you mad. He will certainly make you think."-Jonathan Lash, President, The World Resources Institute"A must-read for every CEO--and every MBA."-John Elkington, Chairman, SustainAbility"This book provides us with a vast array of innovative and practical ideas to accelerate the transformation to global sustainability and the role businesses and corporations will have to play therein. Stuart Hart manages to contribute in an essential way to the growing intellectual capital that addresses this topic. But, beyond that, the book will also prove to be a pioneer in the literature on corporate strategy by adding this new dimension to the current thinking."-Jan Oosterveld, Professor, IESE Business School, Barcelona, Spain Member, Group Management Committee (Ret.), Royal Philips Electronics"Capitalism at the Crossroads captures a disturbing and descriptive picture of the global condition. Dr. Hart constructs a compelling new corporate business model that simultaneously merges the metric of profitability along with societal value and environmental integrity. He challenges the corporate sector to take the lead and to invoke this change so that the benefits of capitalism can be shared with the entire human community worldwide."-Mac Bridger, CEO of Tandus Group"Stuart L. Hart makes a very important contribution to the understanding of how enterprise can help save the world's environment. Crucial reading."-Hernando de Soto, President of The Institute for Liberty and Democracy and author of The Mystery of Capital"Stuart Hart's insights into the business sense of sustainability come through compellingly in Capitalism at the Crossroads. Any businessperson interested in the long view will find resonance with his wise reasoning."-Ray Anderson, Founder and Chairman, Interface, Inc."This stimulating book documents the central role that business will play in humanity's efforts to develop a sustainable global economy. Professor Hart presents an attractive vision of opportunity for those corporations that develop the new technologies, new business models, and new mental frames that are essential to a sustainable future."-Jeffrey Lehman, Former President of Cornell University"The people of the world are in desperate need of new ideas if global industrial development is ever to result in something other than the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, with nature (and potentially all of us) suffering the collateral damage. Few have contributed more to meeting this need over the past decade than Stuart Hart by helping to illuminate the potential role for business and new thinking in business strategy in the journey ahead. Capitalism at the Crossroads challenges, provokes, and no doubt will stimulate many debates--which is exactly what is needed."-Peter Senge, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chairperson of the Society for Organizational Learning, and author of The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of The Learning OrganizationNew Foreword by Al Gore Brand-New Second Edition, Completely Revised with: Up-to-the-minute trends and lessons learned New and updated case studies The latest corporate responses to climate change, energy, and terrorism Global capitalism stands at a crossroads-facing terrorism, environmental destruction, and anti-globalization backlash. Today's global companies are at a crossroads, too-searching desperately for new sources of profitable growth. Stuart L. Hart's Capitalism at the Crossroads, Second Edition is about solving both of those problems at the same time.It's about igniting new growth by creating sustainable products that solve urgent societal problems. It's about using new technology to deliver profitable solutions that reduce poverty and protect the environment. It's about becoming truly indigenous to all your markets, and avoiding the pitfalls of first-generation "greening" and "sustainability" strategies.Hart has thoroughly revised this seminal book with new case studies, trends, and lessons learned-including the latest experiences of leaders like GE and Wal-Mart. You'll find new insights from the pioneering BoP Protocol initiative, in which multinationals are incubating new businesses in income-poor communities. You'll also discover creative new ways in which corporations are responding to global warming and terrorism. More than ever, this book points the way toward a capitalism that's more inclusive, more welcome, and far more successful-for both companies and communities, worldwide.Paths to profitable sustainability: Lessons from GE and Wal-Mart Shattering the "trade-off" myth New commercial strategies for serving the "base of the pyramid" What enterprises have learned about doing business in income-poor regions Becoming indigenous-for real, for good Codiscovering new opportunities, cocreating new businesses with the poor Learning from leaders: 20+ new and updated case studies Best practices from DuPont, HP, Unilever, SC Johnson, Tata, P&G, Cemex, and more About the Author xiiAcknowledgments xiiiForeword: Al Gore, Former Vice President of the U.S. xxivForeword: Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO, S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. xxviiPrologue: Capitalism at the Crossroads xxxiPART ONE: MAPPING THE TERRAIN Chapter 1: From Obligation to Opportunity 3Chapter 2: Worlds in Collision 31Chapter 3: The Sustainable Value Portfolio 59PART TWO: BEYOND GREENING Chapter 4: Creative Destruction and Sustainability 87Chapter 5: The Great Leap Downward 111Chapter 6: Reaching the Base of the Pyramid 139PART THREE: BECOMING INDIGENOUS Chapter 7: Broadening the Corporate Bandwidth 169Chapter 8: Developing Native Capability 193Chapter 9: Toward a Sustainable Global Enterprise 223Epilogue 249Index 254
Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition
Charles Eisenstein - 2011
Today, these trends have reached their extreme—but in the wake of their collapse, we may find great opportunity to transition to a more connected, ecological, and sustainable way of being. This book is about how the money system will have to change—and is already changing—to embody this transition. A broadly integrated synthesis of theory, policy, and practice, Sacred Economics explores avant-garde concepts of the New Economics, including negative-interest currencies, local currencies, resource-based economics, gift economies, and the restoration of the commons. Author Charles Eisenstein also considers the personal dimensions of this transition, speaking to those concerned with "right livelihood" and how to live according to their ideals in a world seemingly ruled by money. Tapping into a rich lineage of conventional and unconventional economic thought, Sacred Economics presents a vision that is original yet commonsense, radical yet gentle, and increasingly relevant as the crises of our civilization deepen.Sacred Economics official website: http://sacred-economics.com/About the Imprint: EVOLVER EDITIONS promotes a new counterculture that recognizes humanity's visionary potential and takes tangible, pragmatic steps to realize it. EVOLVER EDITIONS explores the dynamics of personal, collective, and global change from a wide range of perspectives. EVOLVER EDITIONS is an imprint of North Atlantic Books and is produced in collaboration with Evolver, LLC.
Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist
Kate Raworth - 2017
It has failed to predict, let alone prevent, financial crises that have shaken the foundations of our societies. Its outdated theories have permitted a world in which extreme poverty persists while the wealth of the super-rich grows year on year. And its blind spots have led to policies that are degrading the living world on a scale that threatens all of our futures.Can it be fixed? In Doughnut Economics, Oxford academic Kate Raworth identifies seven critical ways in which mainstream economics has led us astray, and sets out a roadmap for bringing humanity into a sweet spot that meets the needs of all within the means of the planet. En route, she deconstructs the character of ‘rational economic man’ and explains what really makes us tick. She reveals how an obsession with equilibrium has left economists helpless when facing the boom and bust of the real-world economy. She highlights the dangers of ignoring the role of energy and nature’s resources – and the far-reaching implications for economic growth when we take them into account. And in the process, she creates a new, cutting-edge economic model that is fit for the 21st century – one in which a doughnut-shaped compass points the way to human progress.Ambitious, radical and rigorously argued, Doughnut Economics promises to reframe and redraw the future of economics for a new generation.
Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming
Paul Hawken - 2017
One hundred techniques and practices are described here—some are well known; some you may have never heard of. They range from clean energy to educating girls in lower-income countries to land use practices that pull carbon out of the air. The solutions exist, are economically viable, and communities throughout the world are currently enacting them with skill and determination. If deployed collectively on a global scale over the next thirty years, they represent a credible path forward, not just to slow the earth’s warming but to reach drawdown, that point in time when greenhouse gases in the atmosphere peak and begin to decline. These measures promise cascading benefits to human health, security, prosperity, and well-being—giving us every reason to see this planetary crisis as an opportunity to create a just and livable world.
The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability--Designing for Abundance
William McDonough - 2013
Now, drawing on the green living lessons gained from 10 years of putting the Cradle to Cradle concept into practice with businesses, governments, and ordinary people, William McDonough and Michael Braungart envision the next step in the solution to our ecological crisis: We don't just use or reuse and recycle resources with greater effectiveness, we actually improve the natural world as we live, create, and build. For McDonough and Braungart, the questions of resource scarcity and sustainability are questions of design. They are practical-minded visionaries: They envision beneficial designs of products, buildings, and business practices—and they show us these ideas being put to use around the world as everyday objects like chairs, cars, and factories are being reimagined not just to sustain life on the planet but to grow it. It is an eye-opening, inspiring tour of our green future as it unfolds in front of us.The Upcycle is as ambitious as such classics as Rachel Carson's Silent Spring—but its mission is very different. McDonough and Braungart want to turn on its head our very understanding of the human role on earth: Instead of protecting the planet from human impact, why not redesign our activity to improve the environment? We can have a beneficial, sustainable footprint. Abundance for all. The goal is within our reach.
The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations
Daniel Yergin - 2020
Out of this tumult is emerging a new map of energy and geopolitics. The "shale revolution" in oil and gas has transformed the American economy, ending the "era of shortage" but introducing a turbulent new era. Almost overnight, the United States has become the world's number one energy powerhouse. Yet concern about energy's role in climate change is challenging the global economy and way of life, accelerating a second energy revolution in the search for a low-carbon future. All of this has been made starker and more urgent by the coronavirus pandemic and the economic dark age that it has wrought.World politics is being upended, as a new cold war develops between the United States and China, and the rivalry grows more dangerous with Russia, which is pivoting east toward Beijing. Vladimir Putin and China's Xi Jinping are converging both on energy and on challenging American leadership, as China projects its power and influence in all directions. The South China Sea, claimed by China and the world's most critical trade route, could become the arena where the United States and China directly collide. The map of the Middle East, which was laid down after World War I, is being challenged by jihadists, revolutionary Iran, ethnic and religious clashes, and restive populations. But the region has also been shocked by the two recent oil price collapses--and by the very question of oil's future in the rest of this century.A master storyteller and global energy expert, Daniel Yergin takes the reader on an utterly riveting and timely journey across the world's new map. He illuminates the great energy and geopolitical questions in an era of rising political turbulence and points to the profound challenges that lie ahead.
On the Future: Prospects for Humanity
Martin J. Rees - 2018
Our world is unsettled and rapidly changing, and we face existential risks over the next century. Various outcomes--good and bad--are possible. Yet our approach to the future is characterized by short-term thinking, polarizing debates, alarmist rhetoric, and pessimism. In this short, exhilarating book, renowned scientist and bestselling author Martin Rees argues that humanity's prospects depend on our taking a very different approach to planning for tomorrow.The future of humanity is bound to the future of science and hinges on how successfully we harness technological advances to address our challenges. If we are to use science to solve our problems while avoiding its dystopian risks, we must think rationally, globally, collectively, and optimistically about the long term. Advances in biotechnology, cybertechnology, robotics, and artificial intelligence--if pursued and applied wisely--could empower us to boost the developing and developed world and overcome the threats humanity faces on Earth, from climate change to nuclear war. At the same time, further advances in space science will allow humans to explore the solar system and beyond with robots and AI. But there is no "Plan B" for Earth--no viable alternative within reach if we do not care for our home planet.Rich with fascinating insights into cutting-edge science and technology, this accessible book will captivate anyone who wants to understand the critical issues that will define the future of humanity on Earth and beyond.
How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need
Bill Gates - 2021
Gates says, "we can work on a local, national, and global level to build the technologies, businesses, and industries to avoid the worst impacts of climate change." His interest in climate change is a natural outgrowth of the efforts by his foundation to reduce poverty and disease. Climate change, according to Gates, will have the biggest impact on the people who have done the least to cause it. As a technologist, he has seen first-hand how innovation can change the world. By investing in research, inventing new technologies, and by deploying them quickly at large scale, Gates believes climate change can be addressed in meaningful ways. According to Gates, "to prevent the worst effects of climate change, we have to get to net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases. This problem is urgent, and the debate is complex, but I believe we can come together to invent new carbon-zero technologies, deploy the ones we have, and ultimately avoid a climate catastrophe."