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The World We Made: Alex McKay's Story from 2050 [Paperback]

Jonathon Porritt
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
RRP: 24.95
Price: 16.97 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

7 Oct 2013
Our planet’s environmental future is usually described in terms of doom and despair. But now, for the first time, The World We Made presents a credible, positive vision of our planet that is green, fair, connected and collaborative.

Part history, part personal memoir, The World We Made reveals how it is possible to reach a genuinely sustainable world by 2050; describing the key events, technological breakthroughs and lifestyle revolutions that will transform our planet. 

Packed with images that bring to life this exciting, high-tech and human world, featuring futuristic photographs, graphics and hand-drawn sketches, The World We Made covers topics as wide-ranging as the 'energy internet' to slow travel airships; 3D printing to robotics; and personal genomics to urban agriculture – all grounded in cutting edge technological insights.

Providing all the tools and advice to prepare yourself for what is ahead, the book is essential reading for everyone interested in a positive future for our planet.  All royalties will go to support the work of Forum for the Future, one of the world’s leading sustainable development non-profits.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press (7 Oct 2013)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 0714863610
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714863610
  • Product Dimensions: 24.9 x 17.8 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

An optimistic story that depicts a world where things went right.FastCoExist.com

The futuristic look in The World We Made is a powerful reminder of the many global challenges we must address today if we want to create a sustainable and equitable planet in the near future. As a business leader, I am evermore convinced after reading The World We Made that building a sustainable future urgently requires collaboration, technological innovation, and a shift to sustainable lifestyles being commonplace, but above all it needs leadership.Kees Kruythoff, president of Unilever North America

Revealing the gift in the arms of the problem, Jonathon Porritt beautifully shows how your applied hope, fearless action, and relentless patience can turn the world we inhabit into the world we envision.Amory Lovins, Founder and Chief Scientist, Rocky Mountain Institute

Jonathon Porritt's book dreams big, as if our future depends on it. And it does.Richard Branson

Jonathon Porritt has, not for the first time, found both the facts and the spirit required for imagining a working future.Bill McKibben, author of Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist

In a world where doom and gloom surrounds us everywhere, Jonathon Porritt shows us that another future is possible?.Jonathon is arguably more responsible for helping to create that positive future than anyone I know.Jeffrey Hollender, Co-founder of Seventh Generation and Co-chair of Greenpeace US

About the Author

Jonathon Porritt has been a renowned figure in the world of sustainable development for the last 40 years. A former Director of Friends of the Earth, he is the founder director of Forum for the Future, and eminent commentator, author and broadcaster. He has been closely involved in developing the sustainability strategies for companies like Unilever, Nike, Pepsi, M&S, Telefonica and Carillion, and is an advisor to the Prince of Wales and many other leaders in the field.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Hopeful Future.....if 28 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback
We blank out a dismal vision of our future due to climate change because it is too depressing to contemplate. No government has had the courage to tackle the problem and move towards a more sustainable world for fear of losing votes, so why should we take the initiative?
The World We Made foresees a model society in 2050 where (after several worldwide catastrophes) we have halted the pessimistic prophecies of scientists through innovative advances in our living practices. It is told through the eyes of a teacher living in 2050 and recounts all of the main technological, cultural and political breakthroughs which have led to a sustainable society.
It is the first hopeful prediction for the future that I have read and it is tremendously inspiring. However, the book comes with a big but: it is only ever going to happen if businesses, governments and people like you and me make it happen. In my opinion, The World We Made should be a set book for 6th form students, forced reading for all politicians and thoroughly recommended for everyone else.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Visionary! 16 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book takes all the good and bad things happening in the world today, from solar energy to climate change, from 3D printing to overfishing, and creates a vision of how these trends play out in 2050.

For me, the vision he creates is not important, it is merely a snapshot of one scenario.

For me, the magic is in the way Jonathon floats all these ideas up in the air, which triggers so many thoughts about bigger issues…
- Why does everyone think so short term at the moment?
- Does real change only really happen in the face of disaster?
- How do we make our crappy politicians more useful?
- How can I make a difference?

This book
- IS suitable for… anyone hoping to get some ideas how they can do their bit to help make the world a better place
- ISN'T suitable for… anyone who reads the Daily Mail
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I cannot recommend this book enough; upon opening it I couldn't put it down. I've subsequently gifted it to several family members and friends. This is not 'sandals and soya beans', this is a reasoned, scientific proposal wrapped in a clever fictional narrative.

As a parent with young children I've been increasingly thinking about what lies ahead for them. At a time when media coverage seems obsessed with vacuous celebrities, or the horrible things happening in the world, this book delivers an inspirational alternative take on the future.

With each chapter being tiny (~4 pages) the reader is taken on a whirl wind tour of science, engineering, agriculture, education, finance, transportation and social change. Rather than depress us with horror stories Porritt inspires action through painting a picture of the future based on things happening right now - stuff within our grasp.

If we make use of what we have (our intelligence, aptitude and technologies) and refocus on what's important we can not just survive but truly excel - we can create a fantastic world for future generations.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
How will humanity cope with climate change, resource depletion, mass extinctions in the animal kingdom, providing a dignified old age for people as modern medicine extends lifespans, rebalancing of the global economy as developing countries catch up developed ones and the many other sustainability challenges we face?

This book gives answers in 49 short, illustrated, easy-to-read chapters. The chapters are independent so readers can choose the topics which most concern them.

While I find it over-optimistic and don’t agree with all the positions it takes (e.g. I’m pro nuclear power), I strongly recommend it for anyone concerned about the challenges we face and wanting to make the world a better place.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History in both directions 14 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The World We Made is full of surprises. In turning over each page I wasn't sure what I was going to find, although it follows very logically and is both informative and entertaining.

The first few surprises were coming to a page on blue paper, then opening up a double-page colour photo crammed with creative solutions to matters such as growing vegetables, using a roof that collects electricity from the sun, and sharing the family saloon with the neighbours. Nothing ‘new new’ except the way they are integrated and laid out – the photo is dated January 7th 2050.

Jonathan Porritt's subjects are those that have held my interest for many decades: world politics, food, the environment, energy, terrorism, human collaboration for positive ends, fairness and above all, leaving the world a better place for our successors. Jonathan's breadth of approach is breathtaking. It makes me feel I have only dabbled on the edges of my special subjects - agriculture, forestry, fisheries and renewable energy. He has gone much wider.

It is written many years ahead of now, yet, as I read, I have to check the dates he gives 'has this happened yet, because it's something I've always feared, hoped for, predicted or expected'. So often the date in the book might be 'in 2024 or 'I remember back in 2030...'.

We read how 'the banking crisis' was resolved in the twenty twenties; and how the multi-nationals lost their evasive powers when they had to pay tax properly following governments got their act together. We see, in projected future news reports, how nuclear power met its match when hackers and cyber-invaders were able to disable operating software.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Uplifting, engaging and enlightening
This is an extraordinary book. Packed with knowledge and insight into tomorrow's solutions to, what appear to be, today's insoluble problems. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Sarah Daly
1.0 out of 5 stars the world we made review
For the first time since I started purchasing books in Amazon I found this book to my opinion at least poorly written with poor book presentation or presentation. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Abraham Goldberg
1.0 out of 5 stars Porritt at Hay
I have just been to listen to Porritt at the Hay book festival and while I don't agree with much of his politics, I do believe, for instance, that economic growth will remain the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by M. Broom Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars A surprisingly uplifting book about the mess we're in
This engaging and easy-to-read book is written as a series of short chapters and, by the end of each one, you understand what the problem is, what the solutions might be and what... Read more
Published 2 months ago by K. Symonds
5.0 out of 5 stars Thirty Five Years On.
Thirty five years on and a very different world. Will we make it? I am far from certain but there are encouraging signs if you look hard enough. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Brian Hadley
3.0 out of 5 stars Possible Futures
An interesting approach a bit dry; good graphics; no character development. Felt like an exercise for schools and will make useful discussion tool.
Published 3 months ago by Geoff Kemp
5.0 out of 5 stars A highly educated guess at the future.
Jonathon Porritt's qualifications for guessing about our future could not be more impressive. This is no stab in the dark, nor a rant from a Grumpy Old Green. Read more
Published 4 months ago by D. Paynter
5.0 out of 5 stars A provocative lesson in how to survive to 2050
The book gives a totally new perspective on the environmental challenges the world faces. Porritt writes as if he's a thoughtful citizen living in 2050 and reviewing the difficult... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Val
5.0 out of 5 stars Room for Hope
Just finished reading 'The World We Made' by Jonathan Porritt. A positive look back from 2050 at how we can start to turn things round for the planet. Read more
Published 6 months ago by P. Warren
5.0 out of 5 stars Stylish and Inspiring
No-one can predict the future (not even the IPCC) but this book isn't an attempt at accurately doing so - it is more about trying to make us think a little more about what life... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Harmsy
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