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The Power of Just Doing Stuff: How Local Action Can Change the World Paperback – 4 Jun 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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  • The Power of Just Doing Stuff: How Local Action Can Change the World
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  • The Transition Handbook: From Oil Dependency to Local Resilience (Transition Guides)
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  • Local Food: How to Make it Happen in Your Community: How to Unleash a Food Revolution Where You Live (The Local Series)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Green Books (4 Jun. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857841173
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857841179
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 44,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

"We can talk forever, but actually learning to live well within planetary boundaries is about doing things differently here and now. Rob Hopkins is a master at doing stuff. He makes the necessary look desirable and possible. Hopkins has understood that paths are made by walking and that what matters is taking steps. Dealing with global challenges will need important rules set at high levels, but we will only survive and thrive if we become enchanted by positive change locally, where we experience the world. This book is that spell to help rapid transition happen." --Andrew Simms, author, "Cancel the Apocalypse "

"Rob Hopkins's book is a truly unique piece of work that anyone who cares about our future in this densely populated and threatened world should read. It offers original thought and clear analysis. It also combines realism and hope." --Jonathan Dimbleby, writer and broadcaster

"There's a buzz around this book, and its message, that gives great grounds for optimism on topics that are often rather doom-laden. Its true power lies in the fact that its many smart ideas are already underway. The idea that local food can be better for communities, for local economies, for our well-being, and for the planet is now widely accepted. "The Power of Just Doing Stuff" captures the potential of applying that thinking beyond food, to how we think about energy generation, development, investment, [and] job creation and to the shift to an economy appropriate to the 21st century." --Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, celebrity chef, television personality, journalist, food writer, and "real food" campaigner

"A wonderful combination of civic local engagement and a worldwide network. In many towns throughout the world people get together, finding community, enthusiastic about the idea of together envisioning a future model for their town that will make it worth living in." --Horst Kohler, former German president and former president of the IMF, on "The Transition Handbook"

We can talk forever, but actually learning to live well within planetary boundaries is about doing things differently here and now. Rob Hopkins is a master at doing stuff. He makes the necessary look desirable and possible. Hopkins has understood that paths are made by walking and that what matters is taking steps. Dealing with global challenges will need important rules set at high levels, but we will only survive and thrive if we become enchanted by positive change locally, where we experience the world. This book is that spell to help rapid transition happen. Andrew Simms, author, "Cancel the Apocalypse ""

Rob Hopkins s book is a truly unique piece of work that anyone who cares about our future in this densely populated and threatened world should read. It offers original thought and clear analysis. It also combines realism and hope. Jonathan Dimbleby, writer and broadcaster"

There s a buzz around this book, and its message, that gives great grounds for optimism on topics that are often rather doom-laden. Its true power lies in the fact that its many smart ideas are already underway. The idea that local food can be better for communities, for local economies, for our well-being, and for the planet is now widely accepted. "The Power of Just Doing Stuff" captures the potential of applying that thinking beyond food, to how we think about energy generation, development, investment, [and] job creation and to the shift to an economy appropriate to the 21st century. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, celebrity chef, television personality, journalist, food writer, and real food campaigner"

A wonderful combination of civic local engagement and a worldwide network. In many towns throughout the world people get together, finding community, enthusiastic about the idea of together envisioning a future model for their town that will make it worth living in. Horst Kohler, former German president and former president of the IMF, on "The Transition Handbook""

About the Author

Rob Hopkins is the co-founder of Transition Town Totnes and of the Transition Network. He has many years' experience in education, teaching permaculture and natural building, and set up the first two-year full-time permaculture course in the world, at Kinsale Further Education College in Ireland, as well as coordinating the first eco-village development in Ireland to be granted planning permission. He is author of The Transition Handbook: from oil dependence to local resilience and The Transition Companion: making your community more resilient in uncertain times, and co-author of Local Food: how to make it happen in your community (all published by Green Books / Transition Books); also Transition in Action: Totnes and District 2030: an Energy Descent Plan (co-author), Woodlands for West Cork! and Energy Descent Pathways. The Transition Handbook has been published in seven other languages to date, and was voted the fifth most popular book taken on holiday by MPs during the summer of 2008. Rob publishes www.transitionculture.org, which has been voted 'the fourth best green blog in the UK'. He is the winner of the 2008 Schumacher Award, is an Ashoka Fellow and a Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute, served as a Soil Association Trustee for three years, and was named by the Independent as one of the UK's top 100 environmentalists. He is the winner of the 2009 Observer Ethical Award in the Grassroots Campaigner category, and in December 2009 was voted the Energy Saving Trust / Guardian's 'Green Community Hero'. He lectures and writes widely on peak oil and Transition, and has recently completed a PhD on Transition and Resilience at Plymouth University. Central to The Transition Handbook and The Transition Companion is the concept of 'resilience', which refers to the ability of a community to withstand external shocks and stresses. Rob argues that just cutting carbon emissions is insufficient: we need to rebuild the ability of our communities to provide for their core needs, and doing so will create huge opportunities for local economic regeneration. His books are about hope and optimism, and their untapped potential for engaging people in repairing their communities, their towns and cities, and, ultimately, their planet. The Transition Companion expands on the ideas in the Handbook, combining practical advice on starting and maintaining a Transition initiative with inspiring stories about groups across the world who are putting these ideas into practice. Rob regularly features as a keynote speaker, and has participated at the following events: Community Land Trust Conference; WWF (talk to the various teams); Sustainable Consumption and Production Conference; Dorset Schools Eco-Summit; Eco-Build Summit; Prince's Foundation Annual Conference at St James's Palace; Skype presentation to the Nova Scotia Planning Directors Association (NSPDA) Conference; Skype presentation for the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) conference. He lives in Devon with his wife and four children. He has particular passions for cob building and walnut trees, and is staggered by the rate at which the Transition concept has spread.


Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you are either a 'head in the sand' person, or a 'we're all doomed!' person you should read this deceptively simple book and 'get real'!!

If you already know that things could be better if only someone would listen to you, then you must read this book and then get on joining with local, likeminded people and making your voices heard.

So that covers everyone then??!!
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Format: Paperback
The Power of Just Doing Stuff is a small inspiring book which serves as an introduction to what can be done by setting up local scale Green projects.
Author Rob Hopkins, Co-Founder of the Transition Movement, takes a quick tour of several successful projects that have captured the essence of local scale sustainable development.
The projects are a range from several different countries, showing that the transition to low carbon communities can be rooted in many different cultures.

The examples explored include local food projects, shops, community orchards, communal vegetable growing, local currencies, tool libraries and local energy cooperatives. Behind all these projects is a desire to combat climate change and the issues raised by the issue of peak oil, and the need for alternatives. Local communities are seen as the place where resilience against price shocks and shortages can be tackled by groups coming up with alternatives that are sustainable.

A message coming over clearly from the book is don't wait for government permission, get together with others in your community and start on a manageable scale. The challenges are big. This small volume shows that some positive changes are already happening. It is ordinary people who are developing local networks with locally available skills, money and time. They are rebuilding communities from the bottom upwards.

I think this is a very useful volume that summarises some very helpful activities. It does not give step by step recipies about setting up groups. For that it is worth considering getting a copy of The Transition Handbook which is the first book that I am aware of to be produced by the Transition Movement. However for a quick inspiring introduction to some of the gains made by initiating projects on a local scale, it is well worth a read. There are also entire transition books about sustainability in local currencies, food and housing, for those wanting to be more involved.
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Format: Paperback
As Billy Bragg said way back when: "The system has failed, you don't fail yourself." The system has failed. Governments around the globe - including the UK - are attempting to prop up a system that is unsustainable and, frankly uninspiring and depressing. This book suggests a new way forward. A new way of looking at society. Without doubt, the Transistion movement offers a way forward that just might work. Read the book and discover how focusing on small, local issues and finding collaborative ways to overcome them can build a ground swell of positive activism. If new ways of doing things interests you, and you want to be part of the solution, read this, join your local Transition group (or look around your neighbourhood and remedy local problems with a group of friends) and check out the New Economics Foundation (an economic think-tank). The system may have failed, but that doesn't mean it has to...Buying this book could be the most powerful tenner you ever spend.
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Format: Paperback
This book is an essential read for all those out there who are aware of change in the air, but don't know what to DO about it, and instead do nothing, hoping it will all go away.
Rob Hopkins offers some very sound advice, and incredibly inspiring, and heartening examples of what some other communities across the world are doing in response to the perceived change.
The touch is light, non- 'doom', and very well articulated and researched.

Do yourself and your friends/neighbourhood a favour- buy this book!
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Easy to read and just makes you want to get up and get going on 'stuff'. Loads of good ideas and practical tips with a really excellent and well researched, well backed up first chapter that lays out the backdrop of what's going on in the world. It should be on the present list for ALL your friends and family.
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Format: Paperback
I did read this book in just a few days. It is well written, fast paced and very inspiring. It must have been a huge effort to condense all this experience from more than 10 years into this book of 158 pages!
As I was not involved with Transition Towns before (although I did hear about them), I now feel that I am having a clear perspective on the great purpose of this globally growing movement.
Community and personal resilience is key, so go and apply the learnings in your own situation.
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Format: Paperback
In the doom, gloom and despair of environmental discourse there are beacons of hope and this is one of them.There are times to talk and times to just get on with it - the time is now! I found some of the examples truly inspiring.
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Format: Paperback
I really wanted to like this book, because the whole Transition Town project is so inspiring and sympathetic. But unfortunately, this short book doesn't do it justice. It feels like it has been written a little too quickly and takes a little too much for granted in its attempt to help people understand and relate to the challenges and solutions it presents.

The book is split in 4 parts:
- a rather fast and depressing run-through of challenges that the Transition movement is seeking to solve
- a little too brief and general description of the mindset and principles behind the Transition movement
- a long, long list of examples of Transition projects, which don't really go into enough detail to be of much use
- a decent summary of some mature Transition projects that indicate a vision for the future

The whole point of the book is to make it easy for people to get started Just Doing Stuff, then this book leaves a little too many questions unanswered. What if you don't want to use the integrated Transition-style approach? How do you actually get started with these projects? Unfairly put, the book simply suggests that you bring a bunch of people together for a meeting and then find out what to do. I didn't really need a book to help me figure that out. That is not to say that the book isn't helpful and clever. It's just not as helpful and clever as it had the potential to be.

Instead, I'd recommend John-Paul Flintoff's brillant How to Change the World: The School of Life

Full disclosure: I wrote this review because I was invited to write it by an automated email from the Transition Network. You're welcome. :-)
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