To do things differently, we need to see things differently.

The author of this blog is John Thackara. He does live and online talks
, and produces events, for cities, institutions and organisations around the world. The outcomes of each collaboration are, typically: a shared perception of new opportunities; a good idea of how to exploit them; and new connections between people to make those actions happen.

Scroll down for summaries in Dutch, Chinese, Italian, Spanish, and French
 – and here’s an interview in German.

John Thackara
(Photograph: Uros Abram)

For more than thirty years John Thackara has traveled the world in his search of stories about the practical steps taken by communities to realize a sustainable future. He writes about these stories online, and in books; he uses them in talks for cities, and business; he also organizes festivals and events that bring the subjects of  these stories together.

John is the author of a widely-read blog (you’re reading it now) and of How To Thrive In The Next Economy. His previous book was the best-selling In the Bubble: Designing In A Complex World (MIT Press). John organizes conferences and festivals in which social innovators share knowledge.

A Brit who now lives in south west  France, John studied philosophy, and trained as a journalist, before working for ten years as a book and magazine editor. He was the first director (1993—1999) of the Netherlands Design Institute in Amsterdam; he was program director of Designs of The Time (Dott07), the social innovation biennial in England; he was commissioner in 2008 of France’s main design biennial, Cité du Design.

John is a Senior Fellow of the Royal College of Art, in London, and a Fellow of Musashino Art University in Japan. He is also a member of the UK Parliament’s Standing Commission on Design.

Earlier, John edited the magazine Design for five years, and was later Modern Culture Editor of Harpers & Queen, and design correspondent of The Guardian. He then started a conference and exhibition company, with offices in London and Tokyo, which created and organised events at the Pompidou Centre, Victoria & Albert Museum, Axis Gallery in Tokyo, and other venues. From 1989-1992  John was Director of Research at the Royal College of Art.

Among John’s 12 books are Design After Modernism: Beyond the Object (1987), and Lost in Space: A Traveller’s tale (1995). His most recent book, the best-selling In the Bubble: Designing In A Complex World, was published by MIT Press in May 2005 and has since been published in nine other languages. He has lectured in more than forty countries.

Fast Company described John Thackara as “a business provocateur….”. For the Wall Street Journal, he “has established a global reputation as a cutting edge design expert”. Wired called him a “a design luminary”. The San Francisco Chronicle described him as a “wired era visionary”. The Economic Times of India noted his “brilliant insights into the internet and sustainability”. For the influential weblog Rhizome he is “top dog in the space of flows”.

JOHN THACKARA is publicist, designer, filosoof- maar vooral iemand die beweging brengt. Als geen ander is hij in staat om woorden te geven en patronen te duiden: hoe kleine acties leiden tot grote systeemveranderingen. Zijn motto is ‘to do things differently, we need to see things differently’- en daarin kent hij het ontwerpen een belangrijke rol toe. In september 2015 is zijn nieuwste boek verschenen “How to Thrive in the Next Economy: designing tomorrow’s world today”.

John Thackara是一位哲學家,作家和活動統籌,積極尋找可持續發展的未來的實例,並於網誌Doors of Perception發表所見所聞,並為企業和政府提出建議。他的最新著作“How to Thrive in the Next Economy: Designing Tomorrow’s World Today”,介紹世界各地的社區如何由土地開始建設更好的經濟體系。每一章節是關於以創意解決永恆的需求:恢復土地、分享水源、建設家園、遊歷、種植糧食、設計服裝,和照顧不同的需求者。整本書著重以小行動來改變大局,而項目大多與社會和生態系統有關。此全新的經濟體系中,成長是指越見健康的土壤、生物多樣性,和水源,及適應能力更強的社會。它的核心價值正是取代腐爛和提取,取而代之為健康與適當管理。

John Thackara ha una formazione da filosofo e dieci anni di esperienza da giornalista. Inglese, vive da anni nel sud della Francia e si definisce un narratore di professione. In pratica viaggia per il mondo per raccogliere testimonianze sul modo in cui le persone si stanno organizzando, dal basso, per costruire un futuro ecosostenibile. Da trent’anni osserva la nascita di network e comunità in tutto il mondo, portandone testimonianza nei suoi libri, al Royal College of Art di Londra, alla Musashino Art University a Tokyo e sul suo blog, che è diventato un punto di riferimento per il tema dell’ecosostenibilità. La ricerca di Thackara parte da una constatazione: il bisogno di energia e risorse naturali per l’uomo è aumentato moltissimo lungo l’arco della sua evoluzione.


Business Week dice que “una de las grandes voces de la sostenibilidad y que trabajando en la intersección entre los negocios, la tecnología, la sustentabilidad y el diseño, mira en lo cotidiano para encontrar oportunidades de diseño”. John Thackara es escritor, orador, crítico de diseño y productor de eventos. Autor del libro: “In the bubble: designing in a complex world” (En la burbuja: Diseñar en un mundo complejo)- MIT Press, y de otros trece libros. Escribe un Blog muy leído en todo el mundo Doors of Perception, sobre el diseño de una economía restaurativa. Como fundador y director de ese espacio, John Thackara organiza festivales en todo el mundo, en una escala de ciudad-región, donde las comunidades pueden imaginar un futuro sostenible y tomar medidas prácticas para llevarlas a cabo. Thackara estudió filosofía, se formó como periodista, trabajó como conductor de autobús de Londres, y más tarde fue editor y editor de una revista en Londres y Sydney. Fue director de investigación en el Royal College of Art de Londres, y luego de 1993-2000 fue Director del Instituto Holandés de Diseño en Amsterdam. Thackara produjo siete Conferencias Doors en Amsterdam, y luego otras en la India. En 2007, fue director del programa de los Designs of the Time (Dott), la innovación social en Inglaterra. En 2008 fue comisionado en Cité du Design, la principal Bienal de diseño de Francia. Miembro Asociado de la Young Foundation en Londres; miembro del Consejo de Asesores de la Pixelache Festival de Helsinki y la Fundación Pecha Kucha en Tokio. Miembro de la Comisión Permanente del Parlamento del Reino Unido para el diseño. Colaborador del portal Design Observer. John Thackara vive en Francia.

Healing The Metabolic Rift: Designing In Social-Ecological Systems

John Thackara, philosophe et auteur-praticien de renomee internationale, travaille sur des projets collaboratifs, en lien avec des preoccupations liees au quotidien (transport, alimentation). Son travail connecte un réseau mondial de designers, penseurs, personnes dans le domaine de la recherche et de l’innovation.Pour lui, l’économie verte existe déja à l’échelle locale mais ces pratiques et ces innovations souffrent d’un manque de visibilité et d’interconnexion et ses actions contribuent les recenser et les transmettre. Dans plusieurs villes du monde, John impulse des rencontres et créé des projets et festivals vivants et inédits auxquels participent à la fois des citoyens, des designers, des experts et tous ceux qui mettent en oeuvre et pensent des solutions au gaspillage des ressources. Ils y abordent deux principaux axes de réflexion : « A quoi ressemblerait notre vie dans un monde durable ? » et « Comment le design peut-il nous aider à y arriver ?»