WorldChanging: A User’s Guide for the 21st Century
Book and Online Resource by Alex Steffen, Sagmeister Inc. with foreword Al Gore
Review by Andrew Skurdal
Issue 2 Winter 2009
WorldChanging: A User’s Guide for the 21st Century encapsulates the ideas, solutions and models focused on tackling the unprecedented global and interconnected challenges facing our world. The book is a collaborative encyclopedia of 63 contributors and sustainability experts, headed by Alex Steffen and his team at WorldChanging.com, motivated by a desire to connect aspiring worldchanger’s with the tools and ideas needed to build a better tomorrow. Covering topics from biomimicry to smart grid infrastructure, to human rights, this 500+ page book is intended to be a go-to reference guide for research, insights and solutions to topics you find most relevant. WorldChanging introduces seven sections (Stuff, Shelter, Cities, Community, Business, Politics, and Planet) with concise explorations of each planetary problem while justifying the need for action. The focus, however, is on the insights and information on the existing solutions to each problem, supported with references for further exploration. It serves as a great resource for strategic leaders and individuals who want to see practical solutions and applications that move beyond theoretical discussion. This book is not about establishing the need for sustainability (although it does a good job of reminding you), but focuses on connecting people with existing solutions and tools which can be built upon to inspire breakthrough ideas and bold actions necessary to realize a prosperous future. With a foreword by Al Gore, design by Sagmeister Inc., and so many relevant topics and references for further research, this book deserves to be on the bookshelves of both design and business leaders intent on moving the conversation of sustainability forward with actual application. Be sure to check their blog at Worldchanging.com to discover the latest articles, news, and developments in sustainable thinking and solutions.
Andrew Skurdal is an industrial designer and strategist. He graduated from the Pratt Design Management Program in 2009.