Worldchanging: the community, the website, the new book

To finish up my theme of the week, about the explosion of  new ideas to deal  with our 21st century problems, I point out Worldchanging.

I have watched this effort from the very beginning, and I know the founders, Alex Steffen and Jamais Casio, well. It pretty much started as a two person blog with the idea of pointing out all the new tools and ideas and people who are already creating a 21st century world that is sustainable and works for all, in their language, one that is bright green. Worldchanging is a positive place, with none of the gloom and doom talk that so many traditional environmental sites have. As their tag line says: “Another world is here.” The solutions are all around us, we just need to catalyze them, scale them up, and make it all work for everyone.

Over the years they have grown from the two of them to a vibrant worldwide community. They got a boost a couple years ago  when the elite TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference chose them as one of three places for their affluent attendees to support. Since then they have taken off and are building a national infrastructure to spread their ideas into the mainstream.

Their most recent effort is a book, Worldchanging: A Users Guide for the 21st Century. It acts more like a reference book, not something you would read cover to cover. But you can flip through it and find all kinds of new ideas and heartening developments. It is broken up into sections that pertain to huge areas that need to be radically reworked, like the business world, cities, and, yes, politics. The politics they talk  about is more people-powered and less about inside legislation. And it also has a very global viewpoint, as do the solutions throughout the book. But it is well worth reading for those in DC and state government and politics. This is particularly true for those who want to focus on solutions that deal with  our myriad environmental challenges, like climate change.

It’s a heartening book, one that hopefully will  inspire other similar efforts.  A good gift for the holidays…

Peter Leyden