Many great civilizations collapsed due to exhaustion of their resource bases, and our civilization is on the brink of repeating history, warns Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute, in World on the Edge. He traces a plethora of present crises brought on by unchecked human activity: rising food prices, shortages of freshwater, instability in dozens of failing states, perva
Running low on key natural resources won’t necessarily consign us to deprivation and hardship, argues Christopher Barnatt, Nottingham University professor of computing and futures studies. He describes an array of up-and-coming innovations in nanotechnology, synthetic biology, and other fields that could enable us to synthesize new resources in their place, boost our health, and undo the environmental damage that our old technologies caused. …
Many European nations rank far ahead of the United States in renewable energy, pollution control, and energy conservation, according to Environmental Defense Fund economist Gernot Wagner. He attributes this lead to one factor: market incentives. European governments instituted policies that made clean energy development more cost-effective to use than status-quo fossil-fuel energy.
by Tim Brown. HarperCollins. 2009. 260 pages. Paperback. $27.99.
Design executive Tim Brown attributes many of the boldest innovations in business today to “design thinking,” a radical product-development strategy that “pulls design out of the studio” and channels the creativity of everyone in a company or organization, from the CEO down to the entry-level employee.
by NBBJ and Bruce Mau. Greenway. 2009. 250 pages. $59.95.
A well-designed building encourages creativity and cooperation within, according to architectural firm NBBJ and design company Bruce Mau. Their jointly authored and richly illustrated book Change Design showcases new buildings that offer new ways of working. Change Design presents real-life stories of 14 organizations that enhanced productivity, employee satisfaction, energy efficiency, or all three by changing the layout of their office buildings.
A great power transition likely to affect populations around the world is now under way as economic and political clout shifts from the United States to China, according to political-science professor Ross and international-studies professor Feng.