With many of us in lockdown, we suddenly find we have a little extra time on our hands. Some may have turned to DIY, binged scores of Netflix series or found themselves in many endless social media chasms. However, this period of downtime can also be used to reflect, build and prepare for the future. While it may seem unclear exactly what lies ahead, we can invest time now in opening our minds to exploring new ways of thinking, and taking a different approach on our participation within a global society.
Currently, there are many visionaries bringing a fresh perspective to every industry and, in a time where community is more critical than ever, we must look to each other for support, comfort and, most of all, motivation to keep going in these challenging times ahead.
Reading is a constructive way to expand your mindset and, in remaining open to new ideas and viewpoints, it helps to become adaptable, especially in a world where situations change daily.
My 5 top reads to focus on, while going through this period, are outlined below:
Generation Share: The Change-Makers building the Sharing Economy by Benita Matofska and Sophie Sheinwald
In a time where new schemes are emerging each day, the development of the sharing economy is currently prolific. In this 2019 publication, speaker and industry expert Benita Matofska and award-winning visual storyteller, Sophie Sheinwald, examine the positive results which come from a world of distribution and contribution.
Generation Share brings 200 untold stories to a wider audience, all of which are saving and transforming lives across the world. Each case study demonstrates the social, economic and environmental values of sharing, proving that its more than just a far-flung idea or short-lived phenomenon. As the stories entail, food sharing could end world hunger, while, at the same time, eliminating the vast levels of provisions we throw away each year. Alongside car sharing to reduce pollution, and the use of vacant homes for the homeless, each idea expands ones’ comprehension of the possibilities available, in a world where surplus becomes supply.
Purchase Generation Share here.
Modern Life from Wilder Land by Sebastian and Brogan Cox
Furniture designer and environmentalist, Sebastian Cox, is bringing a revived outlook to the design world, not only with his creations, but with a renewed take on what a resourceful future could propose. This manifesto, which looks at nature-first land and resource use, is key to redefining the future of agriculture and farming. Based on the UK as a study case, Cox examines the factors which have depleted resources over recent years and how ‘re-wilding’ can increase biodiversity and boost ecological systems to provide for a growing population.
Encouraging us to become comfortable with a ‘wilder’ aesthetic, the research focuses on our use of materials, energy, carbon and food, with proposals to rethink each sector in the striving for a sustainable environmental future. An imperative read, Cox’s approach is not only instructive but a view which could transform ecosystems, economies and lives simultaneously throughout the coming years.
Purchase Modern Life from Wilder Land here.
The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac (Manilla Press)
Both Figueres and Rivett-Carnac were instrumental in leading negotiations for the historic Paris Agreement of 2015, and, as is seen in this publication, their vision and insight is eye-opening and informative. Starkly laying out the possibilities of two very different futures, one which fails to meet the current climate targets in place and the other which puts forward a regenerative approach, it argues the need for urgent acknowledgement in confronting the environmental crisis we all face.
Climate change is becoming more apparent each day and, as a society, we must educate ourselves in order to adapt and reduce our impact on this planet we are privileged to inhabit. And, while the book is an immersive and arresting call-to-action, its optimism is reassuring, outlining the possibility of shifting the direction of humanity as we know it.
Purchase The Future We Choose here.
Biophilia: You+Nature+Home by Sally Coulthard
Connecting with nature is an outlet many are currently realising the positive outcomes of. As best-selling author and designer, Sally Coulthard, reveals in this guide, creating a ‘biophilic home’ can have a huge impact on your wellbeing; improving your mood and encouraging healthier sleep patterns.
Drawing on environmental research and neuroscience, the beautifully illustrated guide investigates the relationship between ourselves and nature. Offering tips, advice and suggestions on how to implement positive changes within the home, the book will help to create a haven which allows you to thrive at your best. Be it plants, materials, colour or light, it’s enlightening to see how small changes can make a big difference, while deepening your respect and correlation to the natural world.
Purchase Biophilia: You+Nature+Home here.
Mess Magazine: Sustainable X Conscious
If you don’t have the headspace or focus to begin another book currently, look to the many periodicals which can be lighter to read, but also just as thought-provoking. Mess magazine’s latest issue (available digitally and in print), titled ‘Sustainable X Conscious’, explores a new wave of fashion designers looking to positively refresh the industry. Founded by Domi Perek, the magazine continues to highlight emerging talent and the bold ideas being worked on in an industry under the environmental and ethical spotlight.
Pre-order Mess Magazine here.
And so, in times of unchartered territory, why not explore new visions, mindsets and creative outlets to broaden your attitude to new ways of living?
Keep focusing on the future while looking out for those currently in need, offering support to the many, who in this global crisis, may remain neglected, forgotten or disadvantaged because of circumstance. As global citizens, through educating ourselves with the words of such visionaries, we can own our responsibility, shrinking the disparity within society and carving a path towards a more ethical and environmentally harmonious future for all.