"Reduce, reuse, recycle" urge environmentalists; in other words, do more with less in order to minimize damage. But as this provocative, visionary book argues, this approach perpetuates a one-way, "cradle to grave" manufacturing model that dates to the Industrial Revolution and casts off as much as 90 percent of the materials it uses as waste, much of it toxic. Why not challenge the notion that human industry must inevitably damage the natural world?
In fact, why not take nature itself as our model? A tree produces thousands of blossoms in order to create another tree, yet we do not consider its abundance wasteful but safe, beautiful, and highly effective; hence, "waste equals food" is the first principle the book sets forth. Products might be designed so that, after their useful life, they provide nourishment for something new-either as "biological nutrients" that safely re-enter the environment or as "technical nutrients" that circulate within closed-loop industrial cycles, without being "downcycled" into low-grade uses (as most "recyclables" now are).
Elaborating their principles from experience (re)designing everything from carpeting to corporate campuses, William McDonough and Michael Braungart make an exciting and viable case for change.
A Washington Post Best Book of the Year
A Businessweek Best Business Book of the Year
A Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year
In this brilliant, essential book, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Thomas L. Friedman speaks to America's urgent need for national renewal and explains how a green revolution can bring about both a sustainable environment and a sustainable America.
Friedman explains how global warming, rapidly growing populations, and the expansion of the world's middle class through globalization have produced a dangerously unstable planet--one that is "hot, flat, and crowded." In this Release 2.0 edition, he also shows how the very habits that led us to ravage the natural world led to the meltdown of the financial markets and the Great Recession. The challenge of a sustainable way of life presents the United States with an opportunity not only to rebuild its economy, but to lead the world in radically innovating toward cleaner energy. And it could inspire Americans to something we haven't seen in a long time--nation-building in America--by summoning the intelligence, creativity, and concern for the common good that are our greatest national resources.
Hot, Flat, and Crowded is classic Thomas L. Friedman: fearless, incisive, forward-looking, and rich in surprising common sense about the challenge--and the promise--of the future.
Things looked grim for American energy in 2006, but a handful of wildcatters were determined to tap massive deposits of oil and gas that giants like Exxon and Chevron had ignored. They risked everything on a new process called fracking. Within a few years, they solved America’s dependence on imported energy, triggered a global environmental controversy, and made and lost astonishing fortunes.
No one understands the frackers—their ambitions, personalities, and foibles—better than Wall Street Journal reporter Gregory Zuckerman. His exclusive access drives this dramatic narrative, which stretches from North Dakota to Texas to Wall Street.
--More coverage (two full chapters) on the topic of global warming than any other text in this field.
--A new chapter on water economics, including water demand management and water pricing.
--A new chapter on environmental protection and the economy.
--New material on food supply and the food supply crisis, including biofuels and growing meat consumption.
--Expanded green accounting techniques.
First invented in 1947, hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has not only become a major source of energy, it is changing the way we use energy, and the energy we use. It is both a threat and a godsend for the environment, and it is leading the revival of manufacturing in the United States.
A definitive narrative history, The Boom follows the twists and turns in the development and adoption of this radical technology. It is a thrilling journey filled with colorful characters: the green-minded Texas oilman who created the first modern frack; a bare-knuckled Oklahoman natural gas empire-builder who gave the world an enormous new supply of energy and was brought down by his own success and excesses; an environmental leader whose embrace of fracking brought an end to his public career; and an aging fracking pioneer who is now trying to save the industry from itself.
A fascinating and exciting exploration of one of the most controversial and promising sources of energy, The Boom “brings new clarity to a subject awash in hype from all sides…a thoughtful, well-written, and carefully researched book that provides the best overview yet of the pros and cons of fracking. Gold quietly leads both supporters and critics of drilling to consider other views” (Associated Press).
The 100 most substantive solutions to reverse global warming, based on meticulous research by leading scientists and policymakers around the world
“At this point in time, the Drawdown book is exactly what is needed; a credible, conservative solution-by-solution narrative that we can do it. Reading it is an effective inoculation against the widespread perception of doom that humanity cannot and will not solve the climate crisis. Reported by-effects include increased determination and a sense of grounded hope.” —Per Espen Stoknes, Author, What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming
“There’s been no real way for ordinary people to get an understanding of what they can do and what impact it can have. There remains no single, comprehensive, reliable compendium of carbon-reduction solutions across sectors. At least until now. . . . The public is hungry for this kind of practical wisdom.” —David Roberts, Vox
“This is the ideal environmental sciences textbook—only it is too interesting and inspiring to be called a textbook.” —Peter Kareiva, Director of the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, UCLA
In the face of widespread fear and apathy, an international coalition of researchers, professionals, and scientists have come together to offer a set of realistic and bold solutions to climate change. 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.
In this powerful and provocative manifesto, Bill McKibben offers the biggest challenge in a generation to the prevailing view of our economy. For the first time in human history, he observes, "more" is no longer synonymous with "better"—indeed, for many of us, they have become almost opposites. McKibben puts forward a new way to think about the things we buy, the food we eat, the energy we use, and the money that pays for it all. Our purchases, he says, need not be at odds with the things we truly value.
McKibben's animating idea is that we need to move beyond "growth" as the paramount economic ideal and pursue prosperity in a more local direction, with cities, suburbs, and regions producing more of their own food, generating more of their own energy, and even creating more of their own culture and entertainment. He shows this concept blossoming around the world with striking results, from the burgeoning economies of India and China to the more mature societies of Europe and New England. For those who worry about environmental threats, he offers a route out of the worst of those problems; for those who wonder if there isn't something more to life than buying, he provides the insight to think about one's life as an individual and as a member of a larger community.
McKibben offers a realistic, if challenging, scenario for a hopeful future. Deep Economy makes the compelling case that the more we nurture the essential humanity of our economy, the more we will recapture our own.
Pity then, or more like disaster, that its fundamental ideas are centuries out of date yet are still taught in college courses worldwide and still used to address critical issues in government and business alike.
That’s why it is time, says renegade economist Kate Raworth, to revise our economic thinking for the 21st century. In Doughnut Economics, she sets out seven key ways to fundamentally reframe our understanding of what economics is and does. Along the way, she points out how we can break our addiction to growth; redesign money, finance, and business to be in service to people; and create economies that are regenerative and distributive by design.
Named after the now-iconic “doughnut” image that Raworth first drew to depict a sweet spot of human prosperity (an image that appealed to the Occupy Movement, the United Nations, eco-activists, and business leaders alike), Doughnut Economics offers a radically new compass for guiding global development, government policy, and corporate strategy, and sets new standards for what economic success looks like.
Raworth handpicks the best emergent ideas—from ecological, behavioral, feminist, and institutional economics to complexity thinking and Earth-systems science—to address this question: How can we turn economies that need to grow, whether or not they make us thrive, into economies that make us thrive, whether or not they grow?
Simple, playful, and eloquent, Doughnut Economics offers game-changing analysis and inspiration for a new generation of economic thinkers.
Take a journey inside the secret world of our biggest export, our most prodigious product, and our greatest legacy: our trash. It’s the biggest thing we make: The average American is on track to produce a whopping 102 tons of garbage across a lifetime, $50 billion in squandered riches rolled to the curb each year, more than that produced by any other people in the world. But that trash doesn’t just magically disappear; our bins are merely the starting point for a strange, impressive, mysterious, and costly journey that may also represent the greatest untapped opportunity of the century.
In Garbology, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Edward Humes investigates the trail of that 102 tons of trash—what’s in it; how much we pay for it; how we manage to create so much of it; and how some families, communities, and even nations are finding a way back from waste to discover a new kind of prosperity. Along the way , he introduces a collection of garbage denizens unlike anyone you’ve ever met: the trash-tracking detectives of MIT, the bulldozer-driving sanitation workers building Los Angeles’ immense Garbage Mountain landfill, the artists in residence at San Francisco’s dump, and the family whose annual trash output fills not a dumpster or a trash can, but a single mason jar.
Garbology digs through our epic piles of trash to reveal not just what we throw away, but who we are and where our society is headed. Are we destined to remain the country whose number-one export is scrap—America as China’s trash compactor—or will the country that invented the disposable economy pioneer a new and less wasteful path? The real secret at the heart of Garbology may well be the potential for a happy ending buried in our landfill. Waste, Humes writes, is the one environmental and economic harm that ordinary working Americans have the power to change—and prosper in the process.
Globalisation, technology and an increasingly competitive business environment have encouraged huge changes in what is known as supply chain management, the art of sourcing components and delivering finished goods to the customer as cost effectively and efficiently as possible. Dell transformed the way people bought and were able to customise computers. Wal-Mart and Tesco have used their huge buying power and logistical skills to ensure the supply and stock management of their stores is finely honed. Manufacturers now make sure that components are where they are needed on the production line just in time for when they are needed and no longer. Such finessing of the way the supply chain works boosts the corporate bottom line and can make the difference between being a market leader or an also ran. This guide explores all the different aspects of supply chain management and gives hundreds of real life examples of what firms have achieved in the field.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Internationally renowned financial expert and bestselling author David Bach has always urged readers to put their financial lives in line with their values. But what if your values are a cleaner and greener earth? Most people think that “going green” is an expensive choice they can’t afford. Bach is here to say that you can have both: a life in line with your green values and a million dollars in the bank.
Go Green, Live Rich outlines fifty ways to make your life, your home, your shopping, and your finances greener—and get rich trying. From driving the right car to making your home energy smart, Bach offers ways to improve the environment while you spend less, save more, earn more, and pay fewer taxes. Best of all, he shows you exactly how to take advantage of the "green wave" in personal finance without the difficult work of evaluating individual stocks. What's more, he will get you thinking about a green business of your own so you can help the world along as it is changing for the better.
David Bach is on a mission to teach the world that you can live a great life by living a green life. With Go Green, Live Rich, you can live in line with your eco-values on the road to financial freedom.
You will see this society through the eyes of Scott and Hella, a couple of the next century. Their living quarters are equipped with a cybernator, a seemingly magical computer device, but one that is based on scientific principles now known. It regulates sleeping hours, communications throughout the world, an incredible underwater living complex, and even the daily caloric intake of the “young” couple. (They are in their forties but can expect to live 200 years.)
The world that Scott and Hella live in is a world that has achieved full weather control, has developed a finger-sized computer that is implanted in the brain of every baby at birth (and the babies are scientifically incubated—the women of the twenty-first century need not go through the pains of childbirth), and that has perfected genetic manipulation that allows the human race to be improved by means of science.
Economically, the world is Utopian by our standards. Jobs, wages, and money have long since been phased out. Nothing has a price tag, and personal possessions are not needed. Nationalism has been surpassed, and total disarmament has been achieved; educational technology has made schools and teachers obsolete. The children learn by doing, and are independent in this friendly world by the time they are five.
The chief source of this greater society is the Correlation Center, “Corcen,” a gigantic complex of computers that serves but never enslaves mankind. Corcen regulates production, communication, transportation and all other burdensome and monotonous tasks of the past. This frees men and women to achieve creative challenging experiences rather than empty lives of meaningless leisure.
Obviously this book is speculative, but it is soundly based upon scientific developments that are now known. And as the authors state:
“You will understand this book best if you are one who sees today only as a stepping stone between yesterday and tomorrow. You will need a sensitivity to the injustices, lost opportunities for happiness, and searing conflicts that characterize our twentieth-century civilization. If your mind can weigh new ideas and evaluate them with insight, this book is for you.
“We have no crystal ball. ... We want you to feed our ideas into your own computer, so that you can find even better ideas that may play a part in molding the future of our civilization.”
In Nature's Fortune, Mark Tercek, CEO of The Nature Conservancy and former investment banker, and science writer Jonathan Adams argue that nature is not only the foundation of human well-being, but also the smartest commercial investment any business or government can make. The forests, floodplains, and oyster reefs often seen simply as raw materials or as obstacles to be cleared in the name of progress are, instead, as important to our future prosperity as technology or law or business innovation.
Who invests in nature, and why? What rates of return can it produce? When is protecting nature a good investment? With stories from the South Pacific to the California coast, from the Andes to the Gulf of Mexico and even to New York City, Nature's Fortune shows how viewing nature as green infrastructure allows for breakthroughs not only in conservation—protecting water supplies; enhancing the health of fisheries; making cities more sustainable, livable and safe; and dealing with unavoidable climate change—but in economic progress, as well. Organizations obviously depend on the environment for key resources—water, trees, and land. But they can also reap substantial commercial benefits in the form of risk mitigation, cost reduction, new investment opportunities, and the protection of assets. Once leaders learn how to account for nature in financial terms, they can incorporate that value into the organization's decisions and activities, just as habitually as they consider cost, revenue, and ROI. Such a rethinking of “natural capital”—nature as a quantifiable asset—can not only increase profitability, but provide crucial protection against the kinds of climate change-driven phenomena—like devastating drought and hundred-year floods—that are no longer the stuff of speculation.
A must-read for business leaders, CEOs, investors, and environmentalists alike, Nature's Fortune offers an essential guide to the world's economic—and environmental—well-being.
“There is a great deal of conventional wisdom about our collective ecological crisis out there in books. The enormous virtue of John Michael Greer’s work is that his wisdom is never conventional, but profound and imaginative. There’s no one who makes me think harder, and The Ecotechnic Future pushes Greer’s vision, and our thought processes in important directions.” —Sharon Astyk, farmer, blogger, and author of Depletion and Abundance and A Nation of Farmers
“In The Ecotechnic Future, John Michael Greer dispels our fantasies of a tidy, controlled transition from industrial society to a post-industrial milieu. The process will be ragged and rugged and will not invariably constitute an evolutionary leap for the human species. It will, however, offer myriad opportunities to create a society that bolsters complex technology which at the same time maintains a sustainable interaction with the ecosystem. Greer brilliantly inspires us to integrate the two in our thinking and to construct local communities which concretely exemplify this comprehensive vision.” —Carolyn Baker, author of Sacred Demise: Walking The Spiritual Path of Industrial Civilization’s Collapse, and publisher/editor, Speaking Truth to Power
In response to the coming impact of peak oil, John Michael Greer helps us envision the transition from an industrial society to a sustainable ecotechnic world—not returning to the past, but creating a society that supports relatively advanced technology on a sustainable resource base.
Fusing human ecology and history, this book challenges assumptions held by mainstream and alternative thinkers about the evolution of human societies. Human societies, like ecosystems, evolve in complex and unpredictable ways, making it futile to try to impose rigid ideological forms on the patterns of evolutionary change. Instead, social change must explore many pathways over which we have no control. The troubling and exhilarating prospect of an open-ended future, he proposes, requires dissensus—a deliberate acceptance of radical diversity that widens the range of potential approaches to infinity.
Written in three parts, the book places the present crisis of the industrial world in its historical and ecological context in part one; part two explores the toolkit for the Ecotechnic Age; and part three opens a door to the complexity of future visions.
For anyone concerned about peak oil and the future of industrial society, this book provides a solid analysis of how we got to where we are and offers a practical toolkit to prepare for the future.
John Michael Greer is a certified Master Conserver, organic gardener, and scholar of ecological history. He blogs at The Archdruid Report (www.thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com), and is the author ofThe Long Descent.
This book, a major revision and expansion of Peter H. Pearse's 1990 classic, provides this grounding. Updated and enhanced with advanced empirical presentation of materials, it covers the basic economic principles and concepts and their application to modern forest management and policy issues.Forest Economics draws on the strengths of two of the field's leading practitioners who have more than fifty years of combined experience in teaching forest economics in the United States and Canada. Its comprehensive and systematic analysis of forest issues makes it an indispensable resource for students and practitioners of forest management, natural resource conservation, and environmental studies.
Running the economy for tomorrow as well as today will require a wide range of policy changes. The top priority must be ensuring that we get a true picture of long-term economic prospects, with the development of official statistics on national wealth in its broadest sense, including natural and human resources. Saving and investment will need to be encouraged over current consumption. Above all, governments will need to engage citizens in a process of debate about the difficult choices that lie ahead and rebuild a shared commitment to the future of our societies.
Creating a sustainable economy--having enough to be happy without cheating the future--won't be easy. But The Economics of Enough starts a profoundly important conversation about how we can begin--and the first steps we need to take.
In this new history Bartow J. Elmore explores Coke through its ingredients, showing how the company secured massive quantities of coca leaf, caffeine, sugar, and other inputs. Its growth was driven by shrewd leaders such as Asa Candler, who scaled an Atlanta soda-fountain operation into a national empire, and “boss” Robert Woodruff, who nurtured partnerships with companies like Hershey and Monsanto. These men, and the company they helped build, were seen as responsible citizens, bringing jobs and development to every corner of the globe. But as Elmore shows, Coke was usually getting the sweet end of the deal.
It continues to do so. Alongside Coke’s recent public investments in water purification infrastructure, especially in Africa, it has also built—less publicly—a rash of bottling plants in dangerously arid regions. Looking past its message of corporate citizenship, Elmore finds a strategy of relentless growth.
The costs shed by Coke have fallen on the public at large. Its annual use of many billions of gallons of water has strained an increasingly scarce global resource. Its copious servings of high-fructose corn syrup have threatened public health. Citizen Coke became a giant in a world of abundance. In a world of scarcity it is a strain on resources and all who depend on them.
There are three unique features of this book:
The first is its organization. The material is organized around two common economic models used in forest and natural resources management decision making.
The second is the use of case studies from various disciplines: Outdoor and Commercial Recreation, Wood Products Engineering, Forest Products, and Forestry. The purpose of these case studies is to provide students with applications of the concepts being discussed within the text.
The third is revisiting the question of how to use economic information to make better business decisions at the end of each chapter. This ties each chapter to the preceding ones and reinforces the hypothesis that a solid working knowledge of these economic models and the information they contain are necessary for making better business decisions.
This textbook is an invaluable source of clear and accessible information on forestry economics and management for not only economics students, but for students of other disciplines and those already working in forestry and natural resources.
The book offers chapters about neighbourhoods, the economy, and poverty, using stories from practice to help solve puzzles posed by academic research. Based on the most recent demographic and economic trends, it overturns conventional ideas about how to build more livable places and vibrant economies that offer opportunity to all. This thought-provoking book provides a framework to deal with the new inequities created by the movement for more livable - and expensive - cities, so that our best plans for sustainability are promoting more equitable development as well.
This book will appeal to students of urban studies, urban planning and sustainability as well as policymakers, planning practitioners, and sustainability advocates around the world.
Jim Rogers is leading a grand collaborative effort to bring sustainable, clean electrical power to everyone who lacks it. This reverse engineering, he contends, could solve the energy crises of America and Europe, while also making the world a cleaner, smarter place. But it won't be easy. In Lighting the World, Rogers details the bold thinking, international cooperation, and political will required to illuminate the future for everyone.
The alternative is ecological economics, an emergent field that accepts limits to what humans can accomplish economically on a finite planet. Zencey explains this new school of thought and applies it to current political and economic concerns: the financial collapse, terrorism, population growth, hunger, the energy and oil industry's social control, and the deeply rooted dissatisfactions felt by conservative "values" voters who have been encouraged to see smaller government and freer markets as the universal antidote. What emerges is a coherent vision, a progressive and hopeful alternative to neoconservative economic and political theory--a foundation for an economy that meets the needs of the 99% and just might help save civilization from ecological and political collapse.
Tom Szaky dropped out of Princeton a decade ago to found TerraCycle, a company that makes the nonrecyclable recyclable. TerraCycle is now at the forefront of the eco-capitalist movement, partnering with more than 35 million people in twenty countries in the collection of waste and transforming that waste into useful products. Creating trash cans from chip bags and plastic benches from cigarette butts, TerraCycle has redefined recycling.
Revolution in a Bottle is a rollicking tale of entrepreneurial adventure and an essential guide to creating a company that’s good for people, good for profits, and good for the planet.
Since Revolution in a Bottle was first published in 2009, TerraCycle has grown dramatically from a small company offering worm poop in a soda bottle to a pioneer of recycling worldwide. This completely revised and expanded edition continues the story of this incredible company.
With a team of international authors from leading universities in research and teaching in higher education for sustainable development this Handbook brings together a broad range of research approaches and shows how these approaches are reflected in the research practice in higher education for sustainable development. Key topics include:Research Paradigms and Methodologies Ongoing and Future Directions of Research Meta-Analysis and Reviews Policy and Politics Challenges for Implementation Action Research and Transdisciplinary Perspective Gender, Diversity and Post-Colonial Perspectives Operationalising Competencies Outcome-Oriented Research Curriculum Change Organisational Change and Organisational Learning Community and Partnerships University Appraisal Systems and Indicators Evaluation Approaches Engaging Academic Teachers Good Practice Learning and Teaching Transformative Leadership and Change Strategies
This Handbook is an invaluable research and teaching tool for all those working in higher education for sustainable development.
For a decade, the vision of Canada's future as an energy superpower has driven the country's political agenda, as well as the fast-paced development of Alberta's oil sands and the push for more pipelines like Keystone XL across the continent to bring that bitumen to market. Anyone who objects to pipelines and tanker-train traffic, north or south of the US border, is labeled a dreamer, or worse--an environmentalist: someone who puts the health of the planet ahead of the economic survival of their neighbours.
In The Carbon Bubble, Jeff Rubin compellingly shows how an economic vision that rests on oil is dead wrong. Changes in energy markets in the US--where domestic production is booming while demand for oil is shrinking--are quickly turning the oil dream into an economic nightmare. Like U.S. coal stocks, the share values of oil-sands producers have been drastically reduced by falling fuel prices and are increasingly exposed to the world's efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
Rubin argues that there is a lifeline to a better future. The very climate change that will leave much of the country's carbon unburnable could at the same time make some of Canada's other resource assets more valuable: its water and its land. In tomorrow's economy, he argues, Canada won't be an energy superpower, but it has the makings of one of the world's great breadbaskets, as everything from the corn belt to viniculture heads to higher latitudes. And in the global climate that the world's carbon emissions are inexorably creating, growing food will soon be a lot more valuable than mining bitumen.
In a compelling and accessible style, Jeff Rubin reveals that despite the recent recessionary dip, oil prices will skyrocket again once the economy recovers. The fact is, worldwide oil reserves are disappearing for good. Consequently, the amount of food and other goods we get from abroad will be curtailed; long-distance driving will become a luxury and international travel rare. Globalization as we know it will reverse. The near future will be a time that, in its physical limits, may resemble the distant past.
But Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller is a hopeful work about how we can benefit–personally, politically, and economically–from this new reality. American industries such as steel and agriculture, for instance, will be revitalized. As well, Rubin prescribes priorities for President Obama and other leaders, from imposing carbon tariffs that will increase competition and productivity, to investing in mass transit instead of car-clogged highways, to forging “green” alliances between labor and management that will be good for both business and the air we breathe.
Most passionately, Rubin recommends ways every citizen can secure this better life for himself, actions that will end our enslavement to chain-store taste and strengthen our communities and timeless human values.
From the Hardcover edition.
Learning Management System Technologies and Software Solutions for Online Teaching: Tools and Applications focuses on the interaction between learning management systems and relevant teaching methodologies to bring attention to developments in distance learning technologies and programs. This book covers commercial and open-source LMSs as well as technologies used for synchronous and asynchronous course delivery, offering a comprehensive discussion of factors influencing the transition from one LMS to another. Discussing topics such as virtual labs, electronic portfolios, and technological solutions related to the problems of plagiarism, student tracking, assessment, and security of e-learning environment, this book proves to be a comprehensive guide on the available technological solutions in the area of online education.
Vance D. Bell | Chairman and CEO, Shaw Industries Group, Inc.
The world today is more swift, more severe… and has never been more full of opportunity.
The rapid wave of change is sweeping outdated strategies away quicker than ever before, but those who can get in front of this wave will achieve untold success and customer loyalty. And the solution for how to get in front of this wave is as inspiring as it is surprising.
The Surprising Solution describes the revolution in business in which the corporations that can best address environmental and social issues by creating superior products will thrive and profit in this new world. Discover how to take hold of this vital new force in business and improve both the world and your bottom line at the same time.
Going green is no longer something businesses just do for good PR...it's the most important and revolutionary factor driving the incredible success of businesses that are a part of the movement, and hurting those that are falling behind.
PRAISE FOR THE SURPRISING SOLUTION
"The Surprising Solution is a must-read during this time of economic turmoil."
Steve Percy | Former CEO of BP America and Coordinating Lead Author of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment
"This book should be read by all consumers and social and business leaders concerned about this new century. Bruce Piasecki writes in an engaging and readable style about items of consequence to your life and firm."
Frank Boren | Former CEO of the Nature Conservancy, Former ARCO Board Member, and Founder of Sustainable Conservation
"Read this book and learn how today's business leaders are innovating, growing, and enhancing the economic performance of their companies while building long-term social, environmental, and moral capital for their shareholders."
Tyler J. Elm | Operating Partner, 2Degrees Capital Partners
"Read Bruce Piasecki's The Surprising Solution for your future, your family, and financial health."
Jay Whitehead | Editor and Publisher, CRO magazine
SURVIVING THE "S-FRONTIER"
New Book By Expert Bruce Piasecki Reveals Why Social Responsiveness Is Key To Long Term Profitability And Sustained Success
For nearly thirty years, Bruce Piasecki and his firm, AHC Group, have been helping companies become more socially responsive without sacrificing bottom-line success. Today, as we stand at what Piasecki calls the "S-Frontier," social responsiveness is no longer a choice — it is imperative for survival. In his new book, THE SURPRISING SOLUTION: Creating Possibility in a Swift and Severe World (SourceBooks, Inc.; November 2009), Piasecki offers practical, hands-on advice, supported by in-depth case studies of such corporations as Toyota , Suncor Energy, and Hewlett-Packard to explain precisely what companies can do to thrive in this new frontier.
How the S-Frontier Affects Product Development
According to Piasecki, the S-Frontier is comprised of three key elements: the swiftness of information; the severity of such global problems as climate change and the rising price of oil; and the need for business leaders to become "social response capitalists." To flourish in the coming decades, companies must be on the upswing of the S-Frontier, and create innovative products that help solve the problems confronting customers in the 21st century. In addition to long-term viability, this "social response product development," will create other business benefits as well, including margin improvement, rapid cycle time, global market access, and product differentiation.
A master of social response product development is Toyota, a firm with which Piasecki worked as a consultant for many years. "The core of Toyota's product strategy," he explains, "lies in its reading of public needs, in advance, to anticipate and build long-term markets for its products," he writes. Not only has Toyota, with its energy-efficient Prius, been on the forefront of automobile technology, it has, from the beginning, intended to install hybrid engines into ten core car models — demonstrating a powerful commitment to responding to social needs over the long-term.
How Leaders Can Meet the Challenges of the S-Frontier
For Piasecki, leadership demands in the S-Frontier are more complex than ever. "The best leaders are both in this world and in the world of the near future at the same time," he writes. In THE SURPRISING SOLUTION, he outlines his key insights into the leadership skills needed to meet these new challenges, including the ability to tolerate discomforting information and thrive on constant learning; the willingness to listen to input from a variety of sources and then choose the right path to follow; and the ability to articulately spread the word about new business models and social goals. Piasecki also points to the need for leaders to look outside their "trade group box" in the search for superior products and processes, explaining how Seattle's Virginia Mason hospital was able to drastically cut costs and raise patient satisfaction by applying lessons learned from "just in time" manufacturing and Toyota's assembly line techniques.
Show Me the Money: How Companies are Valued in the S-Frontier
The S-Frontier also impacts the money side of business. With greater transparency and access to information, the ways that individuals and institutions choose to invest is changing. At the same time, traditional valuation models don't take into account many of the factors — such as the launch of initiatives designed to reduce future liabilities and create new, unique business opportunities — that influence a company's success or failure. In his book, Piasecki describes how such organizations as the Calvert Group, Innovest, and even Standard and Poor's are discovering ways to measure these intangibles — further incentive for companies to find their way to the upswing of the S-Frontier if they hope to attract investment capital in the future.
The Need for a Smart, Readjusted Form of Global Capitalism
"To profit in a sustained way, you must leverage your money, corporate resources, energy, and people in a fashion that answers mounting social needs," writes Piasecki. This is what will separate companies that thrive from those that wither in the new S-Frontier. THE SURPRISING SOLUTION is a critical handbook for creating success for your firm and your future.
Visit these sites for more information about Bruce Piasecki:
"it is a series of hard-hitting essays by a diverse collection of writers that wraps its arms around everything from simplicity to climate change to economic metrics to happiness. I approached each chapter (each new writer) with skepticism and a willingness to put the book down, and I found my self delighted time after time. This is a book anyone would be glad to have on their shlf." - Lyle Estill
"Here is a book with its roots in the earth that can move you to new places, stimulate ideas and encourage change. Less is More will show you how to divest gradually, to live more in the present moment, while still paying attention to technology, health, politics and the environment. Simplicity is not a turning away. It is a rejoining." Barbara Bamberger Scott
"The anthology's true strength comes in the diversity of its voices - which include not only journalists and activists, but also businesspeople and ministers. Less is More will serve as an informative and inspiring primer." - Ryan Williams, ForeWord Magazine
"Andrews and Urbanska are masterful in their prose and their ability to bring together an eclectic array of writers, thinkers and sustainability adovcates who live in ways that echo what they write about. " John Ivanko
"No good idea stays local for long," writes Jay Walljaspsr in Less is More, a smart collection of essays that chant the simplicity mantra without oversimpifying the issues at stake. Many of these ideas seem bound to travel far." - Utne Reader
"I am both educated and inspired by the writings in Less is More. Living simply, like finding the heart, is the work of a lifetime. It is not easy to get there, but it provides a life of ease once the goal is reached. This book is a wonderful contribution to reorienting our lives away from the alienating influences of our shame-inducing consumer culture back toward what is really important: the choice to care for ourselves, others and the planet in a simple, loving way." - Glenn Berger, PhD, glennbergerblog
People are afraid and anxious. We’re destroying the planet, undermining happiness, and clinging to an unsustainable economy. Our obsessive pursuit of wealth isn’t working.
But there’s another way. Less can be More. Throughout history wise people have argued that we need to live more simply—that only by limiting outer wealth can we have inner wealth. Less is More is a compelling collection of essays by people who have been writing about simplicity for decades. They bring us a new vision of Less: less stuff, less work, less stress, less debt. A life with Less becomes a life of More: more time, more satisfaction, more balance, and more security.
When we have too much, we savor nothing. When we choose less, we regain our life and can think and feel deeply. Ultimately, a life of less connects us with one true source of happiness: being part of a caring community. Less is More shows how to turn individual change into a movement that leads to policy changes in government and corporate behavior, work hours, the wealth gap, and sustainability. It will appeal to those who want to take back their lives, their planet, and their well-being.
While acknowledging that liberals and conservatives do not see eye to eye on many issues, Gingrich and Maple argue successfully that environmental stewardship is a mainstream value that transcends partisan politics. Their thoughtful approaches to our environmental challenges are based on three main premises: environmental leadership is integral to America's role in the world, technologically savvy environmental entrepreneurs can and should be the cornerstone of environmental solutions, and cooperation and incentives must be dramatically increased to achieve workable and broadly supported environmental solutions.
Gingrich and Maple believe that most people—regardless of how they categorize themselves politically—are weary of the legal and political conflicts that prevent individuals and communities from realizing the benefits of environmental conservation. The foundation of the book—a ten-point Contract with the Earth—promotes ingenuity over rhetoric as the way forward.
Priviledged Goods: Commoditization and Its Impact on Environment and Society suggests that our propensity toward environmental destruction - a tragic flaw of the modern economy - can be understood as a result of hidden economic forces. These forces drive social and economic development towards increasing mobilization of energy and material beyond what is actually needed to achieve general prosperity and meet basic human needs. The author explains the complex concept of commoditization using examples from key sectors of society.
Interdisciplinary in scope, Privileged Goods: Commoditization and Its Impact on Environment and Society will appeal to a wide variety of environmental professionals. It explains the key concepts, discusses the history of public policy, analyzes the "appropriate technology" movement of the 70s and compares it to the sustainable development movement of today.
This book is intended to provide students and practitioners the knowledge and theoretical tools they need in order to answer these and other more general questions in the context of so-called environmental finance theory, a new field of research that investigates the economic, financial and managerial impacts of market-based environmental policies.
We're beset by an array of natural resource and environmental challenges. They pose a tremendous risk to human prosperity, to world peace, and to the planet itself.
Yet, if we act, these problems are addressable. Throughout history we've overcome similar problems, but only when we've focused our energies on innovation. For the most valuable resource we have isn't oil, water, gold, or land - it's our stockpile of useful ideas, and our continually growing capacity to expand them.
In this remarkable book, Ramez Naam charts a course to supercharge innovation - by changing the rules of our economy - that can lead the whole world to greater wealth and human well-being, even as we dodge looming resource crunches and environmental disasters and reduce our impact on the planet.
"Most books about the future are written by blinkered Pollyannas or hand-wringing Cassandras. Ramez Naam--Egypt-born, Illinois-raised, a major contributor to the computer revolution--is neither. Having thought about science, technology and the environment for decades, he has become that rarest of creatures: a clear-eyed optimist. Concise, informed and passionately argued, The Infinite Resource both acknowledges the very real dangers that lie ahead for the human enterprise and the equally real possibility that we might not only survive but thrive." --Charles Mann, New York Times bestselling author of 1491 and 1493
"An amazing book. Throughout history, the most important source of new wealth has been new ideas. Naam shows how we can tap into and steer that force to overcome our current problems and help create a world of abundance." --Peter H. Diamandis, MD, chairman and CEO, X PRIZE Foundation; chairman, Singularity University; and author, Abundance--The Future Is Better Than You Think
“That’s all changed now.” —from the Introduction
Many Americans today rightly fear that they are constantly exposed to dangerous toxins in their immediate environment: tap water is contaminated with chemicals; foods contain pesticide residues, hormones, and antibiotics; even the air we breathe, outside and indoors, carries invisible poisons. Yet we have responded not by pushing for governmental regulation, but instead by shopping. What accounts for this swift and dramatic response? And what are its unintended consequences?
Andrew Szasz examines this phenomenon in Shopping Our Way to Safety. Within a couple of decades, he reveals, bottled water and water filters, organic food, “green” household cleaners and personal hygiene products, and “natural” bedding and clothing have gone from being marginal, niche commodities to becoming mass consumer items. Szasz sees these fatalistic, individual responses to collective environmental threats as an inverted form of quarantine, aiming to shut the healthy individual in and the threatening world out.
Sharply critiquing these products’ effectiveness as well as the unforeseen political consequences of relying on them to keep us safe from harm, Szasz argues that when consumers believe that they are indeed buying a defense from environmental hazards, they feel less urgency to actually do something to fix them. To achieve real protection, real security, he concludes, we must give up the illusion of individual solutions and together seek substantive reform.
Andrew Szasz is professor and chair of the department of sociology at the University of California at Santa Cruz and author of the award-winning EcoPopulism (Minnesota, 1994).
Now, as demonstrators worldwide demand change, Occupy World Street offers a sweeping vision of how to reform our global economic and political structures, break away from empire, and build a world of self-determining sovereign states that respect the need for ecological sustainability and uphold human rights.
In this refreshingly detailed plan, Ross Jackson shows how a handful of small nations could take on a leadership role; create new alliances, new governance, and new global institutions; and, in cooperation with grassroots activists, pave the way for other nations to follow suit.
Irrigation productivity rose dramatically over the past 40 years as a result of the Green Revolution. However, even if we disregard the environmental impacts caused by that revolution, we are no nearer to achieving global food security than we were 40 years ago, as every time we come close to filling the food production gap population growth and ecosystem decline associated with water diversions to human purposes set us back. Our natural and agricultural ecosystems are trying to tell us something.
This book pursues these overarching themes connecting to water and food production at global and regional scales. The collection offers a comprehensive discussion of all relevant issues, and offers a wide-ranging discussion with the aim of contributing to the global debate about water and food crises.
Ancient civilizations relied on shackled human muscle. It took the energy of slaves to plant crops, clothe emperors, and build cities. Nineteenth-century slaveholders viewed critics as hostilely as oil companies and governments now regard environmentalists. Yet the abolition movement had an invisible ally: coal and oil. As the world's most versatile workers, fossil fuels replenished slavery's ranks with combustion engines and other labor-saving tools. Since then, cheap oil has transformed politics, economics, science, agriculture, and even our concept of happiness. Many North Americans today live as extravagantly as Caribbean plantation owners. We feel entitled to surplus energy and rationalize inequality, even barbarity, to get it. But endless growth is an illusion.
What we need, Andrew Nikiforuk argues in this provocative new book, is a radical emancipation movement that ends our master-and-slave approach to energy. We must learn to use energy on a moral, just, and truly human scale.
In this award-winning book, a Canadian bestseller, journalist Andrew Nikiforuk exposes the disastrous environmental, social, and political costs of the tar sands, arguing forcefully for change. This updated edition includes new chapters on the most energy-inefficient tar sands projects (the steam plants), as well as new material on the controversial carbon cemeteries and nuclear proposals to accelerate bitumen production.
The twenty-first century ushered in an era of declines, including:Oil, natural gas, and coal extraction Yearly grain harvests Climate stability Economic growth Fresh water Minerals and ores such as copper and platinum
To adapt to this profoundly different world, we must begin now to make radical changes to our attitudes, behaviors, and expectations.
Featuring a new author preface and discussion guide, Peak Everything addresses many of the cultural, psychological, and practical changes we will have to make as nature dictates our new limits. This landmark book from Richard Heinberg, author of three of the most important books on Peak Oil, touches on the vital aspects of the human condition at this unique moment in time.
A combination of wry commentary and sober forecasting on subjects as diverse as farming and industrial design, this book describes how to make the transition from The Age of Excess to the Era of Modesty with grace and satisfaction, while preserving the best of our collective achievements. Peak Everything is a must-read for individuals, business leaders, and policy makers serious about effecting real change.