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A Book For Going Green--A User's Guide to the 21st Century.

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on November 5, 2006

If you’re looking for help in designing for sustainability—designing an economy, a society or a planet, check out this book from At 600 pages, it is full of innovation and pragmatic solutions.

Yes, it leans left and it appears to downplay the role of markets as a possible solution (something that is working in Europe and the US). And I don’t think it helps to have the first sentence to the intro on business be “Business doesn’t have to be destructive.” Nobody driving a SUV has to be destructive. Nice rich liberal folks building 10—50,000 square foot MacMansions in Aspen, Sante Fe or Montana don’t have to be destructive. OK.

Here’s just a bit of overview from the books site:

“The Worldchanging book contains over 600 pages, divided into 7 sections which include a vast range of topics.

green design, biomimicry, sustainable food, clothing, trade and technology

green building and landscaping, clean energy, water, disaster relief and humanitarian design

smart growth, sustainable communities, transportation, greening infrastructure, product-service systems, leapfrogging and megacity challenges

education, women’s rights, public health, holistic approaches to community development, South-South science, social entrepreneurship and micro-lending, and philanthropy

socially responsible investment, worldchanging start-ups, ecological economics, corporate social responsibility and green business

networked politics, new media, transparency, human rights, non-violent revolution and peacemaking

big picture — everything from placing oneself in a bioregion to climate foresight to environmental history to green space exploration “

The book was celebrated by a party at the NYC headquarters of TED and here are a couple of comments off the TED blog on it:

“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.”

Sounds great to me. And if you haven’t read the Stern Report out of the UK, check it out. It goes into the economics of climate change—and the costs.

Reader Comments

Nathan Schock

November 23, 2006 1:49 AM

The Stern Report is very interesting. I've often wondered why those who are in favor of responding to climate change don't make an economic argument. This report certainly does that when it says that you can pay now, or five times more later. Thanks for pointing it out.


December 29, 2010 1:09 AM

The system also has the capacity to align interests -- including compensation schemes, with long-term metrics rather than short-term get-rich-retire-to-another country schemes.
Why do you insist on calling this mess innovation? Conflating a bunch of worthless crap and buying a good bond rating for it is fraud, not creativity.

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Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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