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Topic 2: Society and Culture

The Dawn of Everything - Graeber and Wengrow

A dramatically new understanding of human history, challenging our most fundamental assumptions about social evolution—from the development of agriculture and cities to the origins of the state, democracy, and inequality—and revealing new possibilities for human emancipation.

Note: A big tome that many of us have had on our ‘to read’ list…maybe Book Club is the chance to crack the cover!

Citizens - Jon Alexander

Citizens opens up a new way of understanding ourselves and shows us what we must do to survive and thrive - as individuals, as organizations, as nations, even as a species.

Note: Ad-man turned activist Jon has been setting out ideas about citizenship vs consumerism for years through his New Citizenship Project: he will come do a Q&A about his ideas

Waking up - Indra Adnan

Everyone thinks they know what it means to be 'woke' - whether they're proudly declaring it, or angrily attacking it. But writer, political entrepreneur and psychosocial therapist Indra Adnan has written a comprehensive and necessary account of 'waking up' - to the realities of climate crisis, social breakdown, and personal agency - which implicates us all. In the internet era, no one escapes the global revolution of learning, connecting and mobilising and its entangled consequences. This reality demands a political response.

Note: Co-founder of the Alternative UK/Global movement, Indra Adnan writes as an activist

You matter more than you think - Karen O'Brien

Every single one of us matters in the process of transforming our future - but do we really believe that? What if we are underestimating our individual and collective capacity to change ourselves, our cultures, and our systems to create a thriving future for all? Through the lens of quantum social change, Karen O'Brien presents a radically different way of thinking about how we address climate change and wider social change. Inspired by ideas from quantum physics and quantum social science, her book challenges the mindsets of certainty and determinacy that lure us into believing that there is nothing that we can do about complex global problems like climate change. It offers new ways to think about our potential to shift the cultures and systems that perpetuate them.

Norwegian climate science professor Karen O-Brien focuses on the relationships between climate change adaptation and transformations to sustainability.

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