ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- 'Business as usual' is no longer cutting it in the face of momentous social and technological change - this is the premise of this book from Jess Scully, who in her daily disguise is the Deputy Lord Mayor of Sydney. Our outdated social infrastructure around workplace laws, taxation, banking, and media are lagging the changes that technology and globalisation have brought about. So what can we do? Where will change come from? Well, Jess has been talking with some remarkable individuals who are breaking, bending and skirting around the system. Re-envisioning. Mapping slums? Radical banking? It's exciting stuff and a clarion call that the status quo need not be taken as 'carved in stone'. Craig Kirchner
It's hard to be excited about the future right now. Climate change is accelerating; inequality is growing; politics is polarised; institutions designed to protect us are strained; technology is disrupting the world of work. We need to upgrade the operating systems of our society. Jess Scully asks, 'What can we do?' The answer is: plenty! All over the world, people are refusing the business-as-usual mindset and putting humans back into the civic equation, reimagining work and care, finance and government, urban planning and communication, to make them better and fairer for all.
Meet the care workers reclaiming control in India and Lebanon, the people turning slums into safe havens in Kenya and Bangladesh, and champions of people-powered digital democracy in Iceland and Taiwan. There are radical bankers funding renewable energy in the USA and architects redesigning real estate in Australia, new payment systems in Italy and the Philippines that keep money in local communities, and innovators redesigning taxation to cut pollution and incentivise creative solutions.
Glimpses of Utopia is a call for optimism. Humans everywhere are rising up to confront our challenges with creativity, resilience and compassion. Harnessing technology and imagination, we can reshape our world to be fair and sustainable. This book shows us how.