Worldchanging: A User’s Guide to the 21st Century is one of my favorite daily reads for the latest in creative world problem solving. But how does a site about building a "bright green future" translate into a printed book?


If reports of environmental apocalypse, global inequity, health crises, human rights abuses and war are getting you down these days, Worldchanging: A User's Guide for the 21st Century is the book for you. If you're looking for a gift for curious students, visionaries or activists of any age, this is the book for them. If you're looking for a gift for someone who has no idea what they're doing or why they're here, this would make an especially thoughtful selection. Spare the cynics; they'll gag. 

R. Buckminster "Bucky" Fuller, described in the book as the "patron saint" of worldchanging innovation, wrote "If success or failure of this planet and of human beings depended on how I am and what I do, how would I be? What would I do?" This beautiful 600 page compendium and sourcebook of innovations and ideas compiled from experts in each field, edited by Alex Steffen, is a good place to start. A descendant of The Whole Earth Catalog and magazine , Worldchanging takes us on a wild ride around the planet, pointing out tools, models and resources for improving our world and drawing connections between disciplines.

Worldchanging illustrates how powerful we are as individuals — and how interdependent we are as a planet. It starts at the individual level, offering practical primers for making better choices regarding food, clothing and our home environments. Each chapter grows bigger in scope, illustrating visions and components for developing sustainable cities, community, business, politics and the planet. You can read it from cover to cover or jump in anywhere for a quick sip of inspiration — alas, it covers so much ground there's not much depth in any particular area. 

A showcase for sustainable publishing methods, Abrams makes the medium part of the message, publishing Worldchanging on paper made with 100% post-consumer waste and processed without chlorine, and it purchased wind power credits equivalent to the amount of electricity used to produce this book. The book literally evolves over time and with exposure to light, thanks to Stefan Sagmeister's cleverly designed slipcover with die-cut holes.

The bottom line:  unequivocally approved. Worldchanging not only educates, empowers and inspires but looks fabulous on your coffee table and makes a great gift.