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The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals and Organizations Are Working Together to Create a Sustainable World

Peter M. Senge with Bryan Smith, Sara Schley, Joe Laur and Nina Kruschwitz

Retail Price: $29.95
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Format: Hardcover, 416pp.
ISBN: 9780385519014
Publisher: US Green Building Council
Pub. Date: June 10, 2008

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

Imagine a world in which the excess energy from one business would be used to heat another. Where buildings need less and less energy around the world, and where “regenerative” commercial buildings – ones that create more energy than they use – are being designed. A world in which environmentally sound products and processes would be more cost-effective than wasteful ones. A world in which corporations such as Costco, Nike, BP, and countless others are forming partnerships with environmental and social justice organizations to ensure better stewardship of the earth and better livelihoods in the developing world. Now, stop imagining – that world is already emerging.

A revolution is underway in today’s organizations. As Peter Senge and his co-authors reveal in The Necessary Revolution, companies around the world are boldly leading the change from dead-end “business as usual” tactics to transformative strategies that are essential for creating a flourishing, sustainable world. There is a long way to go, but the era of denial has ended. Today’s most innovative leaders are recognizing that for the sake of our companies and our world, we must implement revolutionary—not just incremental—changes in the way we live and work.

Brimming with inspiring stories from individuals and organizations tackling social and environmental problems around the globe, The Necessary Revolution reveals how ordinary people at every level are transforming their businesses and communities. By working collaboratively across boundaries, they are exploring and putting into place unprecedented solutions that move beyond just being “less bad” to creating pathways that will enable us to flourish in an increasingly interdependent world. Among the stories in these pages are the evolution of Sweden’s “Green Zone,” Alcoa’s water use reduction goals, GE’s ecoimagination initiative, and Seventh Generation’s decision to shift some of their advertising to youth-led social change programs.

At its heart, The Necessary Revolution contains a wealth of strategies that individuals and organizations can use — specific tools and ways of thinking — to help us build the confidence and competence to respond effectively to the greatest challenge of our time. It is an essential guidebook for all of us who recognize the need to act and work together—now—to create a sustainable world, both for ourselves and for the generations to follow.

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About the Authors

Peter Senge, senior lecturer at MIT and the founding chair of the Society for Organizational Learning (SoL), is the author or co-author of several bestselling books, including The Fifth Discipline, Schools That Learn, and Presence. Bryan Smith, coauthor with Senge of The Dance of Change and two other Fifth Discipline fieldbooks, is a member of the faculty at York University’s Sustainable Enterprise Academy, and president of Broad Reach Innovations, Inc. Nina Kruschwitz, manager of the Fifth Discipline Fieldbook Project, is the editor of Reflections: The SoL Journal on Knowledge, Learning, and Change. Joe Laur and Sara Schley co-founded the SoL Sustainability Consortium in 1998; Joe is vice president of content for Greenopolis.com, and Sara is a mentor for the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.

Table of Contents

Pt. I Endings, New Beginnings

1 A Future Awaiting Our Choices 3

2 How We Got into This Predicament 14

3 Life Beyond the Bubble 33

4 New Thinking. New Choices 42

Pt. II The Future Is Now

5 Never Doubt What One Person and a Small Group of Co-Conspirators Can Do 57

6 Aligning an Industry 68

7 Unconventional Allies: Coke and WWF Partner for Sustainable Water 77

Pt. III Getting Started

8 Risks and Opportunities: The Business Rationale for Sustainability 101

9 Positioning for the Future and the Present 119

10 Getting People Engaged 140

11 Building Your Case for Change 157

Pt. IV Seeing Systems

12 The Tragedy and Opportunity of the Commons 168

13 Spaceship Earth 179

14 Seeing Our Choices 196

Pt. V Collaborating Across Boundaries

15 The Imperative to Collaborate 227

16 Convening: "Get the System in the Room" 234

17 Seeing Reality Through Others' Eyes 250

18 Building Shared Commitment 267

Pt. VI From Problem Solving to Creating

19 Innovation Inspired by Living Systems 285

20 Unleashing Everyday Magic 292

21 You Don't Have to Have All the Answers 302

22 From Low-Hanging Fruit to New Strategic Possibilities 310

23 It's Not What the Vision Is, It's What the Vision Does 324

24 Redesigning for the Future 334

Pt. VII The Future

25 The Future of the Corporation 348

26 The Future of Enterprise Variety 356

27 The Future of Leadership 364

28 The Future of Our Relations 374

29 The Future of Us 378

Appendix 382

Notes 387

Index 400

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