BOOK OF THE DAY: This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein
Klein is clear: We are in for a shock. All of us. And this means a great opportunity to upgrade everything we do.
Our current energy paradigms are running down the climate and destroying the fabric of the ecology that we depend on to stay alive, organize our societies, and create new opportunities. The author of today’s book, Naomi Klein, wrote in the negative about the shocks we collectively experience in The Shock Doctrine (another excellent read). Often, shocks in the form of natural disasters, economic crises, political events, and war are (mis)used by those who wield great power to affect sweeping changes… many of which the public or those involved would never accept without the ethos created by the shock in progress.
With this knowledge, the positive side of shocks – current and futurecasted – is that we can decide to respond with thinking and actions that are beyond, more evolved, elegant, and all-encompassing than the factors that created the shock (present or in-the-making) in the first place.
“Developed countries have created a global crisis based on a flawed system of values. There is no reason we should be forced to accept a solution informed by that same system.”
—Marlene Moses, Ambassador to the U.N. for Nauru, 2009
And that is the subject of This Changes Everything. Klein looks at how we think and act in truly evolutionary, large-scale, next-level capacities to redesign our technology, economies, worldviews, and global cooperation to address our changing ecological realities.
We need to remember that the work of our time is bigger than climate change. We need to be setting our sights higher and deeper. What we’re really talking about, if we’re honest with ourselves, is transforming everything about the way we live on this planet.”
—Rebecca Tarbotton, Executive Director of the Rainforest Action Network, 1973–2012
Klein is basically talking about Conscious Capitalism, which is another relevant and topical book by the CEO of Whole Foods Market, John Mackey. The term “conscious capitalism” refers to businesses that serve the interests of all major stakeholders—customers, employees, investors, communities, suppliers, and the environment.
These are important topics, and I find they inform me on my decisions from the grocery store (including how often I go and how I get there) to conversations on citizenship and a Great Society to what I see in political candidates and how I vote at the ballot box.
For more on these two books, This Changes Everything and Conscious Capitalism, you may enjoy the two videos below featuring the authors and their work.