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John Thackara Publications

How to Thrive in the Next Economy (September 2015)

Drawing on an inspiring range of examples, from a temple-led water management system in Bali that dates back hundreds of years to an innovative e-bike collective in Vienna, Thackara shows that below the radar of the mainstream media there are global communities creating a replacement economy―one that nurtures the earth and its inhabitants rather than jeopardizing its future―from the ground up. Each chapter is devoted to a concern all humans share―land and water management, housing, what we eat, what we wear, our health, how and why we travel―and demonstrates that it is possible to live a rich and fulfilling life based on stewardship rather than exploitation of the natural environment.

Clean Growth (2008)

Eighty percent of the environmental impact of today’s products, services and infrastructures is determined at the design stage. Design decisions shape the materials and energy required to make them, the ways we operate them, and what happens to them when we no longer need them. Design therefore has an enormous impact on resource efficiency in our economy, and can make a critical contribution in the transition to sustainability. We need a new model of development in which sensitivity to context, and proper accounting for social capital, demarcate a transition from mindless development, to design mindfulness.

In the Bubble (2006)

Technology is not going to go away, but the time to discuss the end it will serve is before we deploy it, not after. We need to ask what impact all this stuff will have on our daily lives. Who will look after it, and how? In the Bubble is about a world based less on stuff and more on people. Thackara describes a transformation that is taking place now — not in a remote science fiction future; it’s not about, as he puts it, “the schlock of the new” but about radical innovation already emerging in daily life. We are regaining respect for what people can do that technology can’t. In the Bubble describes services designed to help people carry out daily activities in new ways.