rules & unsolicited advice

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 […]

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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 […]

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Back to work or college? Need an uplift? #ThackaraThrive ebook special

If you could do with an uplift on your way back to work, or college, please consider my book How To Thrive In The Next Economy; as an incentive, my publisher has just slashed the price of the ebook to £3.17 ($4) If paying me $1 for each year I spent writing the book is […]

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“Presidents are only presidents”

Our election night here in France was febrile. As I listened to the results (and finished Sharon Astyk’s book during the dull bits on the box) a tremendous storm raged outside and the power went down several times. That has has not happened here in seven years. All very Macbeth-like. I don’t suppose you need […]

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Money to burn

Passing through London this week, I found the atmosphere to be even more crazed and febrile than is normal even at this time of year. I think I know why: City of London staff (ie the financial hub part of London) have been promised a record £21 billion in bonuses. Some of the biggest deal-makers […]

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Cough, splutter, choke…..

Every time I open my computer these days another monstrosity makes me choke on my cocopops. On Monday it was reading the loony-tunes head of Saatchi and Saatchi talk about “war as a brand” (see below). Today I started to read Wally Olins – another eminence of design and communications universe – reply to the […]

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Send in the Canadians

Ivorybill’s Iraq Journal, a great piece of writing from Kurdistan in Daily Kos, includes this sublime conversation with Ahmed, one of the cab drivers who drove him from Turkey to Kurdish Iraq. “Ahmed’s contact with people outside of Iraq has mostly been with the foreign telecom engineers who erected the (mobile phone) system. The first […]

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Not quite so new

It’s twenty years since Stuart Jane and I made this book for Thames and Hudson. One of the bright young things whose work we put in a book for the first time was James Dyson. By 1986, his patented G-Force vacuum cleaner was being produced in Japan but was not selling well. That early version […]

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Why Englishmen do it with their socks on

Did you know this? “In the old days, women exposed their adulterous husbands by marking their left and right socks”. I never heard this before. But this makes me a minority among Englishmen, I now realise, because they (we) have been ridiculed for decades for making love with our socks on. (Thanks to Lucas Verweij […]

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