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Who's Changing the World?
Alex Steffen, 8 Nov 05

We're hard at work on the book here at Worldchanging Planetary HQ -- a subject about which you'll be hearing more in the next couple weeks. We do, however, have some questions now.

In particular, we'd like to know who you think is worldchanging.

Whose work do you respect? Who do you think is making a profound difference? Who do you think is cool? Who do you think deserves to be better known?

In particular, we're most interested in people working on worldchanging solutions who may be little known outside of their fields, or young and promising but still obscure, or just super cool but not yet entirely famous in the mainstream. We're looking for worldchanging people whose stories deserve to be told. Who would you like us to interview, to profile, to spread the word about? Who would you like to hear more about?

Who would you "nominate" and why?

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I nominate Diana Leafe Christian, long-time editor of Communities Magazine and author of "Creating a Life Together" a how-to manual for starting an ecovillage or intentional community.

I think the wisdom in this book and in this lady's seminars will be invaluable as the world muddles its way through the coming energy descent.

Posted by: Jan Steinman on 8 Nov 05

John Todd – All this talk about biomimicry and he’s doing it. The Living Machines he’s developed are really intriguing. He’s got people thinking that maybe nature really can do things better.

Posted by: Adam on 8 Nov 05

Bill Gates.

A long list of reasons...

The $29USD bn endowed Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.

The recent $258USD m grant he gave to help fight Malaria...

This guy plans on giving away 90% of his wealth after all has been said and done.

Posted by: Ira on 8 Nov 05

This might be really rude, but I would encourage you *not* to interview the same old people who are always being the same old spokepeople for certain environmental issues.

What do I mean?

Well, for energy issues, can we try someone other than Amory Lovins for a change?

For building, can we skip Bill McDonnough this time?

I don't have anything against these guys, but it would be nice to hear from some other folks. How about some people actually doing the work, and not making a living a "the professional spokeperson" for these issues.

Posted by: anonymous on 8 Nov 05

Michael H Smith and Charlie Hargroves who put together 'The Natural Advantage of Nations.' A great book from two inspiring and hardworking researchers.

Posted by: Bek on 8 Nov 05

Mary Catherine Bateson on education and cultural diversity
Christopher Alexander on pattern and design

Posted by: gmoke on 8 Nov 05

I nominate Eliezer Yudkowsky of the Singularity Institute. While it's hard to point to actual World Changing results so far, they're doing extremely important work on Friendly AI. A technological singularity at any point in our future that's either Friendly or unFriendly will be the most world changing process imaginable.

Posted by: Anon on 8 Nov 05

I nominate my boss, Sava Tatic, who is leading efforts to promote open source software among media companies in developing countries, both as a way of cutting costs, but also as a way of limiting the risk of government harassment cloaked as anti-piracy efforts.

Posted by: Douglas Arellanes on 8 Nov 05

Ditto to whoever said "No more Lovins and McDonough." They're overexposed.

Some people I think are getting cool stuff done:

Allen "Gunner" Gunn and Katrin Verclas of Aspiration Tech ( -- they're creating the social networks that are creating open-source software for the global NGO sector.

The entire gang at Climate Solutions ( in Olympia, WA who are doing the hard work of moving clean energy policy through the state legislature, and making all kinds of new friendships with farmers, businesspeople, etc. while doing it.

Posted by: Jon Stahl on 9 Nov 05

Definitely look into the author Derrick Jensen. He spoke at Evergreen in Oly last spring; that was my first exposure to his philosophy/work. Since then I have read his books "The Culture of Make Believe" and "A Language Older Than Words" - both entirely thought provoking. He's poetic yet blunt about his views about our culture, its nasty habits, and what we may need to do to protect our lives and the land base. Whether each of us agree with Derrick or not, he offers insights, passion, and a perspective that is hard to ignore. Check him out!

Posted by: Vanessa on 9 Nov 05

What about Bobo from U2? He is doing a lot of global worldchanging work. Among many other things, he founded Edun, and organic high fashion line that is already popular amoung celebrities and is setting a trend that will trickle down into mainstream.

Posted by: James on 9 Nov 05

Typo in last post, should be Bono not Bobo.

Posted by: James on 9 Nov 05

Jeffrey Sachs. Author of "The End of Poverty".

If you're a big fan of this site, i suggest you read that book! It's amazing!

Posted by: Falcon on 9 Nov 05

I would only add that WorldChanging's expertise is on bringing unknown or little-known people to wider recognition, and I would hope the book would continue that aim. Also the people at the cutting edge of whatever they're doing (rather than people who WERE, who set the agenda in the past).

So I'm thinking of some of the Leapfrogging stuff, new technology stuff (MySociety, Global Ideas Bank and so on) and the renewable energy stuff....

Posted by: Nick Temple on 9 Nov 05

I havo two nominees:

 • David Morris of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance

Biodiesel is here and fuel cell cars are coming, but what are we going to do with all of the millions of cars with gasoline engines? The average car has something like ten years before it's taken off the road, and that's a long, long time. Something I've been wanting to do since I was a teenager is help convert some of those gas cars to ethanol, and David Morris has been eloquently speaking to this point since the 70's (if I'm not mistaken). He's working toward replacing the current fossil fuels-based "hydrocarbon economy" with a renewable "carbohydrate economy" and he's he's doing this work at the local, state and national levels.

 • Ivan Stork of Sustainable Marketing and Sustainable Websites

About ten years ago I read somewhere that half a pound of coal is burned in order to power all the computers involved in transfering just one megabyte (1MB!) from here to there over the internet. I dearly wish I could remember the source since this factoid has stayed in my mind for quite some time. (Can someone help me out here?) Considering that we're doing no better today with energy efficiency ~ an increase in efficiency usually leads to a proportionate increase in energy use ~ I nominate folks like Ivan Stork who offer solar- and wind-powered webhosting services.

Posted by: Christefano on 9 Nov 05

For people making stuff happen over the pond here, I'd nominate Pooran Desai and/or Sue Riddleston of the BioRegional Development Group/ BEDZed. They are putting some great and diverse projects together and pulling in some very influential people. It'll be interesting to see how much they achieve with their work on the 2012 Olympics.

Posted by: Sami Grover on 9 Nov 05

In the same neighbourhood as the previous post, I nominate Bill Dunster of Bill Dunster architecs zed factory Ltd. He is clearly focussed on where we need to be in terms of housing by looking at transport, food and work patterns. His proposals are both radical and achievable, as he has demonstrated.

Posted by: Rob Rickey on 9 Nov 05

I nominate Andrew Cohen for his work at the level of human context. In other words, what does it mean to be a human being? He challenges our deepest understanding of our own humanity.

Over the last nineteen years he has developed an integral open-ended multi-dimensional (AND evolving!) perspective that can: encompass cutting-edge science on evolution, physics and cosmology on the one hand; and on the other hand, the perennial insights available to anyone willing to look within.

Effective world-changing work demands a context large enough to encompass the global nature of the problems we face. Cohen blows the mind sufficiently to address the work that needs to be done.

Posted by: Mo Riddiford on 9 Nov 05

I have been a fan of Steve Talbott's newsletter, "NetFuture--technology and human responsibility" for some years. He has a sound take on some of the larger issues of our relationship to contemporary technologies. Just words though -- no pretty pictures and no concrete actions. But words have changed the world more than once....

Posted by: hans samuelson on 9 Nov 05

I nominate the owners of all the bike stores around the country. They battle against Wal-Mart and sports chains everyday, but they are the people who support the trails, the bike to work days and moving people away from cars. And don't forget the smiles they put on kids faces.

Posted by: Ray Daly on 9 Nov 05

Alex et al.

This is a *great* idea, and I especially like the idea of focusing on less-known people. But I think it might be helpful to give a little more guidance about the kinds of people you are looking for?

Are you organizing the book into different topics / categories, for example? NGO leaders, business folks, scientists, political leaders? Or maybe along geographic lines?

Otherwise, I worry you're going to get a somewhat random set of contributions?

Posted by: Jon Foley on 9 Nov 05

Ezio Manzini and John Thackara

Definitely. Ezio leads a whole generation of students and young professionals into implementing sustainable everyday solutions and working bottom up with what they call "creative communities';

John on the other hand is one of the few people in the design community willing to ask the right questions such as: now that we have all this technology, what do we do with it; and dares to say the Emperor has no clothes on when needed.

All the best,


Posted by: Serge de Gheldere on 9 Nov 05

I would nomiate Tom Brown Jr at the Tracker School. Why? Because changing the world has everything to do with our personal relationship to the earth.

Posted by: Ross on 9 Nov 05

You folks know many more potential nominees than I ever will, but here are a few suggestions, drawn from people I know:

My brother, Jon Foley, who posted here, and who directs the Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE) program at the University of Wisconsin.

John Sterman, Jay W. Forrester Professor of Management and Director, MIT System Dynamics Group.

Mathis Wackernagel, Director of the Global Footprint Network.

Carol Kinsey, Director of SeedTree, an small organization quietly planting trees in strife-torn Nepal, also in Nicaragua; a brave, self-effacing person of enormous strength, doing a lot of good well below the radar screens.

Hal Hamilton, Director of the Sustainability Institute in Hartland Four Corners, Vermont. Everyone else at SI is remarkable too.

Joachim Eble, German "green" architect and urban planner from Tübingen.

Gary Black, California architect and engineer, for many years Chris Alexander's colleague, now at work finding practical ways to implement Chris' ideas, creator of a number of breathtaking buildings.

Steven Strong, New England architect considered a world authority on integrating photovoltaics into buildings:

Varis Bokalders, Swedish "green" architect and professor at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

Posted by: David Foley on 9 Nov 05

Haydi and David Sowerwine who have their own company in Kathamandu, Nepal and are building "wire bridges" with buckets for transporting people across dangerous ravines where they have traditionally been swept away and drowned. Their work has positively impacted entire villages there.

Posted by: Theresa McGallicher on 9 Nov 05

I nominate Mr. Bill Pace, director of the World Federalist Movement ( He has been a major voice for change and democratization of the United Nations for more than 15 years. The coalition on the International Criminal Court, which he founded, was instrumental in the creation of the new human rights court. His views on how to reform and strengthen the institution have been a powerful counterpoint to the unilateralists and nationalists seeking to destroy the UN.

Posted by: Rik Panganiban on 9 Nov 05

Stephen Lewis, UN Secretary-General’s special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa. Director of the Stephen Lewis Foundation (

Posted by: Jim Panou on 9 Nov 05

Andy Rabagliati of Wizzy Digital Courier in South Africa, bringing digital access to remote African computer centers.

Mark Shuttlesworth of the Shuttlesworth Foundation, developer and evangelizing organization for Ubuntu, the African Linux distro that is increasingly popular.

The team at First Mile Solutions ( that is also bringing Internet access to remote villages via "store and forward" technologies and wireless.

Saul Griffith, MIT alum, winner of the 2004 Lemelson Prize for developing a cheap method of making eyeglasses for the poor. Leader of Squid Labs, which is also worth a mention.

Carlo Petrini, of Bra, Italy, who started and is still the leader of the wonderful "Slow Food" movement in southern Europe, headquartered now in Bra.

Posted by: Gary Chapman on 9 Nov 05

Some interesting people who come to my mind:

Junko Edahiro - Japanese entrepreneur/social activist promoting sustainability in Japan - founder of Japan for Sustainability

Carl Folke - professor of systems ecology at Stockholm university, Sweden - an innovator in science and policy

Terry Hughes - one of the top coral reef ecologists in the world - recently helped convince Australia to greatly expand Great Barrier Reef park - changing ideas of how to manage oceans. Professor at James Cook University, Australia.

C.S. “Buzz” Holling – ecologist – co-developed of new ways of thinking about vulnerability and resilience in ecosystems and society as well as new ways of managing ecosystems. Has been a advocate of linking theory of sustainability to its practice for decades. Retired Prof from University of Florida.

Charles Kibert - Professor of Sustainable Construction at University of Florida - author on one of first textbooks on green building.

Hermann Knoflacher – radical Austria traffic engineer who has tirelessly fought for valuing human wellbeing over cars. Prof at Technical Unviersity of Vienna, Austria.

Louis Lebel - Prof Chiang Mai University, Thailand - promoting sustainability in Thailand and SE Asia.

Dennis Meadows - one of the original authors of 'Limits to Growth' he has worked tirelessly to train people in systems thinking and promote new ways of thinking about sustainability.

Daniel Pauly - director sea around us project at University of British Columbia - changing ideas about how to manage oceanic fisheries

Hugh Possingham, Prof University of Queensland, Australia. Key developer of ideas of ‘theoretical applied ecology’ – has developed new ways of thinking about conservation and ecological management.

Walt Reid - Director of Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (he was the scientific/bureaucratic entrepreneur who convinced people to do the thing as well).

Johan Rockstrom - Director of Stockholm Environmental Institute - linking science and action in global development.

Chirapol Sintunawa, prof Mahidol University - has promoted green ideas in Thailand’s tourist industry and development (your colleague Alan AtKisson knows him well)

Mathis Wackernagel, Co-invented Ecological Footprints – main promoter and further developer of the idea.

I'd suggest making sure you get an diverse mix of different types of people from different parts of the world. While I think there is no problem with including people like Amory Lovins - I do think people would be more interested in seeing more diversity - in terms of new approaches and non-US approaches.

Posted by: Garry Peterson on 9 Nov 05

I think it would have to be someone with a vision, a person with ideas, someone who changes the way we look at reality, not so much someone who's putting things into practise.

I'm thinking of Peter Sloterdijk, who opens up vistas of the New Man, taking away the taboo that still rests on genetic "enhancements" of mankind.

Or Michel Houellebecq who's more or less on the same line with his literary work about life in a post-human world.

Posted by: Lorenzo on 9 Nov 05

Author JARED DIAMOND. He's the man! Read the last chapter of COLLAPSE.

Posted by: Carl Schellenberg on 9 Nov 05

Someone who really does incredible work is anthropologist Filip De Boeck. He writes about Congo, a place we never hear about, and he does so from an anthropological perspective. He's one of the only people on the planet who really practises anthropology, the radical way.

His work on the 'invisible' mega-city of Kinshasa -- how this city is lived and shaped through the body, not so much through its (neo)colonial architecture -- won the grand award at the Venice Biennale for Architecture.

So many worldchangers, architects and people who work in the developing world, are extremely lazy, still caught up in a modernist discourse, still projecting their own representations and knowledge systems on others, trampling on the people themselves; while De Boeck tries to understand what the people themselves think and feel.

It's literally unique. Nobody else is doing this kind of work. Not with that intensity, I think.

With his work on Kinshasa, he has changed architecture and anthropology completely and pushed it once and for all out of its modernistic carcas.

There's an online (video) lecture about his work, which he gave at Documenta 11, at the Platform about urbanism and life in African mega-cities:

rtsp:// (Check under video's)

Or his beautiful book:

Kinshasa. Tales of the Invisible City.

He also works about processes of state collapse, post-colonial identities, child witches, autochthonous exchange systems, etc... Interesting and worldchanging ideas.

Posted by: Lorenzo on 9 Nov 05

Elisabet Sahtouris - an accessible voice of sense, compassion and inspiring hope.

Mitsuaki Iwago for capturing the beauty of animals.

Gerald Durrell

I support motions for all the individuals who do their bit without recognition

And ultimately, I would dedicate the book to the hard working gazillions of bacteria and various micro-organisms without whom we wouldn't exist.

Posted by: Flannel Flower on 9 Nov 05

I've been appreciating Rita Nakashima Brock and Brian Sarrazin and their deliberative work at Faith Voices for the Common Good. I'm not a Christian, but I've heard Rita speak and had conversations with her, and I think she addresses spiritual issues in a way that transcends specific religious preferences. Brian developed the conceptual design for Synanim, "an internet system that enables vast numbers to engage one another online in a creative learning process, working together in small groups of six to ten. Through structured dialogue, participants synthesize consensus, create documents and identify leaders."

Posted by: Jon Lebkowsky on 9 Nov 05

I would like to nominate Bunker Roy, Founder and Director of the Barefoot College. (and I apologize ahead of time if he is deemed too well known). I think his work is truly transforming in many aspects but especially in light of the impending water crisis we will be suffering over the next 50 years. All too often we may intellectually understand what life must be like without access to abundant water but not at a real tangible level. In revolutionizing water collection methods in these arid regions of India, Bunker Roy may well be ensuring their future. I am not doing the broad scope of his work justice in this short post (more on BR – I think we all have a lot to learn from this man.

Posted by: Coco NL on 9 Nov 05

lots of good people popping up here. Maybe I can add a few:

Gail Hochachka, of Drishti Centre for Integral Action - author of "Developing Sustainability, Developing the Self – an Integral Approach to Community and International Development."

Chris Corrigan, working with "open space technologies" - from his website: "a facilitator of conversation in the service of emergence. My business is supporting invitation: the invitation to collaborate, to organize, to find one another and make a difference in our communities, organizations and lives."

Posted by: katuah on 9 Nov 05

I nominate William McDonough, world-renowned architect, designer, and winner of three U.S. presidential awards. Recognized as a “Hero for the Planet” by Time magazine, Mr. McDonough has tremendous insights on sustainable design and development--articulated in his book: “Cradle to Cradle." McDonough makes the case that an industrial system that “takes, makes and wastes” can be transformed into a system whose goods and services generate ecological, social and economic value. I've heard him speak, along with an audience of researchers and engineers and designers and environmentalists, and his ideas span the whole gamut!

Also, go to (Caroline Casey's website) and peruse her list of guests. You'll find lots of great folks there who are changing the world!

I also nominate Wren Walker & Fritz Jung of The Witches' Voice ( for their hard-working commitment to bringing Wise Ones together! :-D

Posted by: Peggy on 9 Nov 05

Lovins and McDonough are great; the Mc Donough talk in San Francisco this sunday was a real inspiration, and blew my friends' minds. Bringing some less-known folks to the fore would be great too.

There is a lot of focus on designers here, but who is willing to risk putting these ideas into practice on a large scale; in other words, who, if any, are the worldchanging politicians? I think mayors and former mayors Enrique Penalosa, Jaime Lerner, Ken Livingstone, Vera Katz, Pasqual Maragall, and John Norquist have shown commitment and taken risks putting worldchanging ideas into practice in their cities.

Posted by: Tom Radulovich on 9 Nov 05

Remember those whose work has lived on way past their time on this planet...

Fred Cuny (Alex - already mentioning him in my piece)
Sambo Mockbee.

ditto on the 'Bunker' comment -- also Sergio Palleroni and Jaime Lerner...
This list is like a year old and missing alot but a few more here


Posted by: Cameron Sinclair on 9 Nov 05

This list is making me uneasy. Like the list of authors, there's no way I can be worldchanging AND learn about what all these other people are doing. Plus my little mind is trying to organize all these in neat conceptual categories.

So far, the most obvious category is professional worldchanger. The Architects for Humanity, Engineers without Borders- there's organizations for just about every profession. When trying to inspire people, those tend to be fairly tangible.

Trying to make my list I had to revisit ideas about change ("Doing Democracy" by Moyer et al. was helpful, but probably limited for our efforts). The worldchangers a person nominates says a lot about how they think the world needs to and is changing. I don't consider a guru teaching meditation at the UN to be especially worldchanging, but others could. Many don't see the point of some of the things I have done either :)

Organizations like Peace Brigades International have done amazing work, and I've had the opportunity to meet some of their members. There tends to be some overlap between those and the fair trade and jubilee advocates- other movements I consider worldchanging (and the recent debt forgiveness efforts stem from that Jubilee movement).

Posted by: Daniel Haran on 9 Nov 05

Hey Dan.
Did you mean Architecture for Humanity? if so, cheers...

Personally I'm into grassroots organizations that are on the ground, many of which don't really have names or proper organization setup - usually its a couple of core people working with a wide array of 'changemakers'


Posted by: Cameron Sinclair on 9 Nov 05

A few more suggestions:

I second Garry's nomination of Dennis Meadows - Dennis is an old friend, and vitally important - yet I would have thought he fits into the "celebrity" category. If she were still alive, Donella Meadows would be indispensable. "Interview" her through the writings she left.

Garry's nomination of Chirapol Sintunawa also.

Robert Kates:

Mia Birk, transportation consultant, former director of bicycle programs for Portland, Oregon:

Lynn Margulis

Peter Warshall

Wes Jackson of the Land Institute in Salinas, Kansas.

Joanna Macy

Thom Hartmann

Posted by: David Foley on 9 Nov 05

Cameron: yes, my bad- I did mean Architecture for Humanity :)

Posted by: Daniel Haran on 9 Nov 05

I support Tom's suggestion for Ken Livingstone, what an inspiring eg!! He really lives his principles and influences general society.

On another note, "young and promising" gets a lot of airplay, but I would like to see attention on "not young but still promising". The young are often idealistic & bushy-tailed, plus there are many programmes these days to encourage youthful endeavours, but many well-meaning youngsters lose their way in the big real world... older folks and the system itself can inspire but more often stomps on youthful ideals. A lot of the challenges we face have historical parallels. Are we learning from our elders? Are we telling them how very important their actions are? Encouraging them to make a difference alongside us?

I'm keen to see tales of 'experienced' people who have a realisation and then get off their butts to build something better. To me that's more world-changing, when mature adults can change their actions, take on a new life-purpose & pave the way for others. Do many of you know such people?

Posted by: Flannel Flower on 10 Nov 05

Robert G. Shibley and Lynda Schneekloth for their contributions to architecture and planning - specifically in realms of placemaking, "smart growth" and sustainable futures.

Posted by: David R. Brown on 10 Nov 05

I nominate Ben Harwood, president of, a sustainability IT social venture started by Columbia University students.

Eco-Logic is in the process of mapping out progressive US cities (NY now, soon SF, LA, denver, chicago, boston) and creative complete user-friendly directories of eco-progressive service providers and stores.

They are also building a local/national/global eco-marketplace for sustainable products, designed to let you swap all your conventional products for sustainable ones, and optimally locally/regionally made ones.

The new webtool will be up sometime at the beginning of december, look for it to make a lot of waves- I know a bunch of the guys at eco-logic and they're doing great work.


Posted by: Shane Applewood on 10 Nov 05

How about Pliny Fisk at Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems in Austin, a not-for-profit design & consulting firm?
Or Rangini Hamidi with Afghans for a Civil Society for her work in developing women's work centers in the Middle East?

Posted by: Sarah M. on 10 Nov 05

Some 'big' names that are still not as well known as they deserve outside their fields:
-Wes Jackson: President of the Land Institute
-Vandana Shiva: Founder of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology, and Ecology
-Joe Kennedy: Co-Founder of Builders without Borders (well aligned with A4H)

WC crew: why not have some of these younger up-and-comers conduct the interviews with established names? Make the linkages visible!


Posted by: Justus on 10 Nov 05

I really appreciate Ken Wiwa's articles and writings. He carries a heavy burden of being the son of someone whose sacrifice made international waves and does so with humour, humility and grace not often seen these days.

Posted by: Britt Welter-Nolan on 10 Nov 05

The trouble with a list like this is that they place all the attention on individuals, usually the organisers...but I guess this is something you already know!

Anyway, my suggestions are:

- Peter Ackerman and Jack Duvall: authors of 'A Force More Powerful'. In this age of Iraq, Palestine, and Darfur any suggestion that social change can be achieved through non-violent means, even in the face of the most brutal tyranny, is to be welcomed. That non-violence is perhaps the *most* effective means of achieving such change is a truly World Changing concept.

- Ricardo Semler: CEO of Brazilian firm Semco, and enthusiastic advocate of workplace democracy. Some of the ideas in his books 'Maverick' and 'The Seven Day Weekend' are, different, but certainly worth a look. If you think his ideas wacky, remember that his company has practised them for over twenty years, and has survived a paralysing economic depression.

Posted by: Tony Fisk on 10 Nov 05

I nominate K Erik Drexler not for what he did but what he wrote to inspire a whole generation about the potential of Molecular Nanotechnology, how worldchanging is that!

Posted by: Chris on 10 Nov 05

I guess that those Superflex cats ( aren't exactly hurting for publicity (at least in the art-as-activism world), but I think they're still worth a mention. Aside from their "Biogas" project (blogged on Worldchanging by Alex), they also have some interesting projects involving the net and streaming-broadcasts as tools for fomenting and exploring localized, neighborhood-level community-building and self-organization. They also helped to start a project ( in which an Amazonian guarana-farmers' cooperative produced, branded, and marketed its own soft drink as a form of community-empowering entrepreneurialism (and has a totally ruling ad-campaign).

Posted by: egrec on 10 Nov 05

I would nominate Professor Alexander Gorlov, a professor of mechanical engineering at Northeastern University in Boston for his work on free-flowing helical water turbines. He envisions harvesting some of the tremendous power of the Gulf Stream with his turbines to produce gigawatts of steady, reliable electric power. Of course the technology could also be used in free-flowing rivers, bay entrances and other locales to provide renewable, green, electric power. I'd like to see articles on new developments in free-flowing hydro power generation.

Posted by: Timetrvlr on 10 Nov 05

I would like to nominate a small but very worthwhile project based in Montreal, Canada. It is called Rooftopgardens and promotes urban agriculture, food security and stronger communities, and most of the crop grown in the main demonstration garden is donated to a Meals-on-Wheels organisation. Young and not so young come together under the sun to green their city, feed people, learn about urban agriculture and meet new friends who share similar values as well as a desire to change the world. (

Posted by: Julie Lanctot on 11 Nov 05

I nominate the Rooftop Garden Project also. This project in Montreal is headed up by a group of young, dynamic folks, but run mainly by volunteers. Therefore, there is not just one person to nominate, it is a whole project. The goals are many: improving food security in cities, urban greening, producing organic foods locally, reducing the urban heat island effect, and creating new community spaces (to name a few).

This project shows that people are not just talking about what's going wrong on our earth and in our cities. They're doing things, too. Very inspiring.

Posted by: Rotem on 11 Nov 05

The rofftop garden project by santropol roulant and alternatives in montreal does a lot to educate people about food security worldwide, urban gardening, and environment issues in general.

It is a great meeting place to exchange ideas on how to make our cities greener and it encourages people to get involved.

An superb initiative!

Posted by: karine on 11 Nov 05

I nominate Alistair Mcintosh for his words and deeds. He is a human ecologist from Scotland and a very engaging and pursuasive worldchanger:

I'd also be interested to hear from worldchangers in the developing world such as:

Nora castaneda of the Womens Development Bank (Venuzuala)

Sunita Narian (CSE India)

I'm also interested in Walt Reid as mentioned above (the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment could yet be very influential), and a whole list of interesting academics in this field - perhaps Robert Costanza or Partha Dasgupta?

Posted by: Ali on 11 Nov 05

I would nominate those in the younger generation who are leading change at their colleges and universities. Groups in Canada like the Sierra Youth Coalition who train youth activists to convince their schools to take on University Transit Passes, bike-sharing programs and local organic food coops.

Posted by: howie c on 11 Nov 05

Wow! These nominations are great. Thank you to the crew at WorldChanging for hosting this exchange. While reading the comments I was Happy to see Santropol Roulant's Rooftop Garden nominated and would like to support that nomination. This unique project has provided a platform for really interesting discussions on food security between people of many generations. People in their 70's and 80's have seen the rise of agri-business, pesticide use, unsustainable farming practices... and have been able to give me alot of insight into the policies and context that contributed to their expansion. Growing the food for the meals-on wheels was fantastic, but how the project organized the people around the initiative was remarkable and unique.

Posted by: Marc Nisbet on 11 Nov 05

I nominate Sharon Kinnier for proving that preservatives are not unnatural out of necessity.

This ought to have arrested the industry's attention. Along with (NON-GMO) bioplastic it should revolutionize distribution network infrastructure away from petrochem plastics to a completely non-toxic, renewable cycle.

Speaking of bioplastic:

Posted by: dynamist on 11 Nov 05

I'd like to nominate us ;) and specifically Andrius Kulikauskas and many others (I'm not giving names as I'll surely forget many important ones) at

btw, What about the license of the book and/or acompanying CD/DVD/website? Will we all be able to strip from the book and add to wikipedia, to public domain efforts like, etc?

Public domain allows for all global "partners in change" to use the stuff, no hassle. Please consider using it and adding to it.

Please do keep us updated on your painful doubts about how to proceed! :)

Posted by: Lucas Gonzalez on 12 Nov 05

I nominate the California Student Sustainability Coalition (CSSC).

The CSSC, which spans across the campus' of the University of California system and connects with the California State University system with the RenewCSU renewable energy campaign, unites and empowers students to actively collaborate with the UC Office of the President and the UC Board of Regents with the common goal of assuring a sustainable future for California and the world.

The CSSC is STUDENTS changing the world now.

For a brief history and detailed information about the CSSC, head to their website at . The CSSC's current campaign areas cover green building (they got the UC system to adopt green building and renewable energy policy), sustainable transportation (currently working with UC to change fossil fuel consumption and single occupancy vehicle use), and sustainable purchasing and food systems (working to create sustainable purchasing policy, waste reduction and green dining facility standards).

The CSSC is also the parent organization of the highly popular and successful Education for Sustainable Living Program (ESLP) that is being offered at five UC campuses and Santa Barbara City College. (ESLP's website:

ESLP is world-changing, and offers students the opportunity to create and teach action-research based classes of their own design. ESLP is also a lecture series that brings world-renowned thinkers and doers of sustainability and other topics to share their knowledge with students. I taught a course on UC Santa Cruz campus planning last spring, and the ESLP program at UCSC had over 200 students in it. The seven different "action research teams" (the classes) had a truly awe-inspiring amount of positive energy and produced amazing projects to help the santa cruz campus and community.

Also, with the assistance of the US Partnership for the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (, the CSSC organized the International Youth-Student Forum for a Sustainable Future that was held at UN World Environment Day 2005 in San Francisco.

The CSSC does other things too-- working to organize chancellor's committees on sustainability at UC campuses, holding campus-wide earth summits, and is even organizing a student exchange program with India.

And most importantly, the CSSC organizes, energizes, build relationships among, and helps sustain and develop an emerging community of STUDENT leaders in sustainability. The CSSC is absolutely world-changing, and is playing an integral role in shaping the people and places that will inhabit the world of our future.

Posted by: Matt Waxman on 13 Nov 05

Torbjörn Lahti

For 23 years he's been applying the principles of sustainability to revive the economies of small communities.

He's been walking the walk.

Posted by: Kent Tenney on 13 Nov 05

Dr Susan Roaf, School of Architecture, Oxford Brookes University

author of Ecohouse, Ecohouse2 and Adapting Buildings and Cities for Climate Change amongst others; campaigner for solar power and convenor of the 2nd International Solar Cities Congress, Oxford April 3-6th 2006.

Posted by: Mike on 14 Nov 05

Michel Bauwens has been researching and writing extensively on P2P, and I feel he is certainly worthy of a nomination. There is an extensive archive of his Foundation For Peer To Peer Alternatives Newsletters at and his pioneering essay on P2P and Human Evolution: Placing Peer to Peer Theory in an Integral Framework, is located at This is work that pushes current thinking on P2P to new levels with profound implications. Extremely provocative and groundbreaking and worthy of a much larger audience.

Posted by: Jeff Petry on 14 Nov 05

For those making a profound difference in the world today, I'd nominate:
Samaritin's Purse Community Development Program:
Wellspring International Little Drops Program:
World Vision International Development Programs:

Posted by: Ryan Westrom on 18 Nov 05



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