Active Hope

This is an antidote to the despair many of us in the sustainability profession feel about the state of the world. The authors provide concepts and tools for us to find satisfaction in our efforts besides the challenges. It includes stories and also exercises and in this way is similar to doing one of Joanna’s workshops, although doing it alone will not be as impactful.

Sustainabilty In Project Management

This book serves as an excellent call to arms for all project managers that will allow us to evolve and embrace our roles as the key agents of change in a new era where the emphasis on sustainability is at an all-time high.

Sacred Economics

I heard Eisenstein speak in Portland (standing room only) so I was curious to read his book. Because his background is more in philosophy than economics, I would love to see an enlightened economist’s critique of his ideas. But it’s interesting to see his view of the world unfold.


This book is a good summary of what is wrong with our economy and what we need to do instead. If you’ve already read a lot about this, as I have, a lot may be redundant. But I did come across a number of different innovations I hadn’t heard about including slow travel, Adobe Alliance, Slipform construction, Bergman’s New Work concepts, Aerogarden, Fablab, Factor-e Farm, Green for All, Green Worker Coop.

Corporate Impact: Measuring and Managing Your Social Footprint.

Henriques asks, given the place of corporations in modern society do they also have a place, or perhaps even a special place in terms of providing solutions to social issues: a place beyond simply not being an impediment. The general purpose of a company is to provide society with what it needs in return it makes a profit for its ownership. They are a means of delivering goods and services.

100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know about People

While this book is intended for web designers, it’s a fascinating window onto recent brain research and what it says about humans, interesting tidbits that have much wider implications. For example:

Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World

This book exposes a paradigm shift going on in the environmental community. Pristine nature is no more. But can we do more than try to conserve little slivers of sensitive habitat in parks? Is there a role for non-native species if the tree provides critical habitat for threatened species and grows faster than natives? Should we assist migration to adapt to climate change, planting trees or moving other species toward the poles?

That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back

This is Friedman’s lament about how the United States lost its leadership and what we should do to gain it back. He explains how we unraveled public/private partnerships on the 5 pillars of society:

  • Public education
  • Infrastructure
  • Immigration
  • Government supported research and development
  • Regulations on private economic activity

He lays out four challenges:

The Sustainability Advantage: Seven Business Case Benefits of a Triple Bottom Line

"What would happen if companies unleashed the untapped creative energies of all their people and encouraged them to help fulfill the vision of sustainable development?" Bob Willard sets out to challenge the reader with what could be, a vision of running a profitable organization because of a focus on sustainability vs. a more traditional and singular focus on the economic indicators.

Creating Wealth:Growing Local Economies with Local Currencies

This book reveals the power of complementary currencies, which the authors define as ways to connect unmet needs with underutilized resources.

This is not just about printing scrip. Frequent flyer programs are one common example. The authors provide wonderful examples including using complementary currencies for education, elder care, better health, and building community cohesion.