From Oil Age to Soil Age

The Design Museum in London opens at its new home this week with, as its centrepiece, an exhibition called Fear and Love curated by Justin McGuirk. I contributed the following text to the book. (Above: Debra Solomon examines nature’s internet at Schumacher College in England) Why we need a new story In 1971 a geologist […]

Posted in most read | 1 Response

On seeing with new eyes

“The last thing we need to see the world with new eyes is a virtual reality headset“. On a recent visit to Milan, I was interviewed for Domus by Stefania Garassini. The Italian version is online here; the English one is here. (Domus intro) When you hear someone quote Marcel Proust – “The real voyage […]

Posted in [no topic] | 3 Responses

A roof, a skill, a market: The multiple dimensions of scale

“Beware the scale trap”.  In a Letter To Philanthropists Parker Mitchell,  a former CEO of Engineers Without Borders in Canada, advised potential donors that “scale is important, but don’t rush it. Most good ideas take time – to iron out the details, to bring down the costs, to be tested in different environments”. Organic demand-driven scale will […]

Posted in city & bioregion, development & design, learning & design | Comments closed

“Let’s talk about optimism”

Back in November, on the eve of the US book release launch for How to Thrive in the Next Economy, I sat  down with Core77’s Allan Chochinov to talk about the project. AC: When did the book project first begin? Is it something that you’ve been working on for a while, or did it have […]

Posted in [no topic] | Leave a comment

What keeps you awake at night?

I was asked, in an interview for Resilience, what it is that inspires my work, and what keeps me going. 1. Who/what has been your greatest inspiration? And why?
 A:  Rocks. And stones. I’ve always loved stones and rocky places – but it was only when I moved to south west France (where I live […]

Posted in rules & unsolicited advice, social innovation & design | Leave a comment

Manifesto For Utopias Are Over: Cities Are Living Systems

I was asked to write a provocation for DAMN magazine in Italy. 1         Change and innovation are no longer about finely crafted ‘visions’ of some future place and time. Positive change happens when people reconnect – with each other, and with the biosphere – in rich, real-world, contexts. Rather than ask about utopias, I challenge […]

Posted in city & bioregion, most read | Leave a comment

The 72 most cheering things I learned on my book tour

SEPTEMBER 2016 Newsletter Since my book How To Thrive In the Next Economy was published – a year ago this week – I’ve had conversations about it at forty talks and workshops. With thanks to my diverse but always generous hosts, this email is to share the 72 most interesting and cheering things that I […]

Posted in city & bioregion | Comments closed

Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It

Five years ago I obtained an extraordinary 736 page book called Lean Logic: A Dictionary For The Future and How To Survive It. Written over a thirty year period by the English ecologist David Fleming, the book had been published in a limited edition after the author’s untimely death. Now, thanks to an heroic, expert […]

Posted in art & perception, learning & design, transition & design | Comments closed

Biennials and system change

I was invited to give a keynote in Milan to the general assembly of the International Biennials Association. My talk was called Life’s Work: Biennials and Regeneration. Here below is a summary: The sad-looking structure above was the Dutch Pavilion not long after the Hannover World Expo ended in 2000. Having helped to write the […]

Posted in city & bioregion, learning & design | Leave a comment