How To Thrive In The Next Economy

How To Thrive In The Next Economy

In his new book, John Thackara considers new ways of doing things that don't require us to devour the natural world in pursuit of endless growth that ultimately achieves financial profit only for the mighty few

By Abby Trow
John Thackara

Writer John Thackara has long been preoccupied with how we can ensure a sustainable future. In this book he considers creative ways people around the world are tackling issues such as how to grow food, build, work and travel without continuing to devour natural resources. And great that it's a book without pictures because we're all losing the capacity to read more than a picture caption these days!  How To Thrive In The Next Economy is published by Thames & Hudson, £18.95

While legislation by governments is the big driver in change, a lot of us forget that governments and smaller authorities down the organisational foodchain are influenced by ground-up movements that start small and local.

Writer and sustainability expert John Thackara's new book How To Thrive In The Next Economy looks at how communities around the world aren't sitting back and waiting for big technology to come up with answers to global challenges; rather they're finding creative workable solutions for themselves. 

And many of these communities are creating what he calls a replacement economy based on stewardship rather than exploitation of the natural environment.

Thackara suggests we should start to think of the world not in terms of nation states but as bio-regions which need different approaches if people are to live successfully in them.


How To Thrive In the Next Economy
lots of people around the world are taking action to protect their environments

He divides the book into topics, starting with Changing: From do less harm to leave things better, and then considers new approaches to managing land, conserving water, how cities are being developed for healthier, cleaner living and transport, as well as healthcare, the sharing community and he ends with a look at new ways and mindsets for us to live.

It's an optimistic book without being naive or utopian. That's because Thackara draws on an inspiring range of examples, from a temple-led water management system in Bali to a system that allows poor farmers in Brazil to manage water in periods of drought, to an innovative e-bike collective in Vienna.