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500 Ways To Change The World Paperback – 3 Oct 2005

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Collins (3 Oct. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007214588
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007214587
  • Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 2.7 x 16.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 525,835 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


The British are famously good at grumbling and then not doing anything,so it's surprising that an Institution as optimistic,empowering and proactive as the Global Ideas Bank should have been born here in England. Brian Eno

About the Author

Global Ideas Bank

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Format: Paperback
500 Ways To Change The World is a compendium of ideas that have been submitted to the online Global Ideas Bank. Ideas range from how to turn a tower block into a 'flower block' to developing an index on each country's contributions to war and peace. Some ideas are purely fun (have a hibernation day for national regeneration!), some are very practical (finding out when buses are due by texting) and some seemingly impossible but absolutely worth putting forward (having an international sign language that is taught in all schools). The 500 ideas are a mix of suggestions that are still be turned into a reality and schemes that are taking place around the world and that could be replicated elsewhere.
It has a nifty size and although it is 400 pages does not feel overwhelming. You can dip into it at any page and read an idea. Individually they are interesting and amusing but together they represent a groundswell of change that can turn the tide on the poverty, environmental devestation and conflict in the world.
Written with an informal, engaging tone that inspires without (thankfully!) being too earnest, it is a practical and highly enjoyable read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.3 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected 6 May 2013
By Chris - Published on
Verified Purchase
The book was defiinitely not what I had expected. It's a bit cheesy and not what I would consider a "real" read.
4.0 out of 5 stars I misunderstood what it was going to be about... 25 Aug. 2008
By Diane Moore - Published on
Format: Paperback
But, it's still a pretty good book. I thought that it was going to be about "going green," and 500 ways to do it. But, the book is more about changing the world through "social inventions."

"Social inventions can be clever thinking on a modern problem--say, disposable credit-card numbers to prevent theft-or innovations thousands of years old to solve equally ancient conumdrums."

Some of the ideas give you a website that goes along with it, such as "apologize worldwide on the web," where you can anonymously apologize for past wrongdoings or, leave your name if you feel really brave.

Some are ideas haven't happened yet, but could, if more people made it possible. Such as, people staying after a particular movie, to have discussions about it.

Some are funny, yet clever, such as: police in Blackpool give lollipops to people leaving clubs to keep the noise level down. Police in Staffordshire recommend that citizens paint their garden tools pink or other bright colors to keep thieves from stealing and re-selling their tools. Also, some officials in Germany suggested that dogs should have license plates, so they are able to be identified if their owners are not following the law.

Like the previous reviewer, I agree that at first glance, the ideas seem very involved and use larger words to make a point. This may turn others away and make it less accessible. But, if you sit down and actually read it (This is not a simple idea book) you could come across some great ideas to use in your city, neighborhood, etc. Sadly, a majority of the ones come from Europe, New Zealand, and Australia, but there are some in the United States. (Mostly in big cities) It makes sense, because Europe is way ahead of us on some issues. Hopefully, this will inspire some of us to make the world a better place, or at least, get our brains working on how to do it.
2 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for a gift 24 July 2006
By sam - Published on
Format: Paperback
It was ok. Most of the ideas are good, some are quite confusing because the book uses a lot of big words, while some were impractical and hard. It's a good gift for someone not really close to you I guess. I guess it's just something nice to read when you want to kill some time.
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