social change

Positive Deviant

coverParkin, Sara (2010) The Positive Deviant: Sustainability Leadership in a Perverse World. Earthscan: London, England.

When I first started reading this book, I was really excited. The intro claimed the book was for those of us who “does the right thing for sustainability, despite being surrounded by the wrong institutional structures, the wrong processes, and stubbornly uncooperative people.” I was so hungry for a book that could help me and others deal with our role in society, of being Cassandra, trying to convince the oblivious masses on the Titanic that we need to turn the ship. I wanted tools and techniques, or at least some commiseration. But the book never fulfilled my hopes.
Section 1 is a nice review of the state of the world and sustainability concepts, with some new info I hadn’t seen (eg a table showing the rates of depletion of critical metals and minerals).
Section 2 covers our dysfunctional system including leadership models and business schools that contribute to the status quo.
Section 3 covers sustainability-literate leadership, including four habits of thought: resilience, relationships, reflection and reverence.
Section 4 is the global to do list.

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