Publications and films

Information and ideas about what’s not working with our current economic system and how it could be changed

Economic and business framework

'The Responsible Company' by Yvon Chouinard and Vincent Stanley
This book by the founder and owner of Patagonia draws on their 40 years' experience at Patagonia – and knowledge of current efforts by other companies – to articulate the elements of responsible business for our time.

'The Story of Stuff'
American film explaining how the current economic system works and how it is unethical and unsustainable. It is US focused but the issues highlighted are relevant for the UK too. Film can be viewed for free online.

'The Corporation' by Joel Bakan
Book and film that explores how the legal structure of corporations and the framework within which they operate affects their behaviour.

'The New Economics' by David Boyle and Andrew Simms
Book calling for a new approach to economics focusing on increasing levels of well-being and environmental sustainability rather than having and consuming more things. The positive role of communities is an important theme that runs through the book.

'Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth' by Juliet Schor
This book offers a road map for creating a new, sustainable, way of living that will mean we can actually have higher levels of well-being and be more economically secure. And Schor observes that Plenitude is already emerging. People are starting to move away from the conventional market and create lifestyles that offer a way out of the work and spend cycle.

'Prosperity without Growth' by Tim Jackson
This book is really useful for getting a quick understanding of how the global economic system works. It also discusses how we can prosper without the current form of economic growth which is environmentally unsustainable.

'The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone' by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett
Groundbreaking book showing how almost everything - from life expectancy to mental illness, violence to illiteracy - is affected not by how wealthy a society is, but how equal it is.

Food industry

'The Landgrabbers' by Fred Pearce
The new fight over who owns the earth. How city financiers, chinese billionaires, oil sheikhs and agribusiness are buying up our hungry, crowded world in the name of feeding the world.

'Food Inc'
Documentary which lifts the veil on the highly mechanised, mainstream food industry and its effect on the environment, our health, the economy, workers' rights and animal welfare. Also looks at the issue of GM. Trailer can be viewed online.

'The End of the line' by Charles Clover
Book and film revealing the impact of overfishing on our oceans. Trailer can be viewed online.

'Feeding People is Easy' by Colin Tudge
This book argues that it should not be difficult to feed everyone in the world sustainably, but that governments and modern commerce are getting in the way. It also covers the importance of biodiversity and the role of communities.

'Pig Business'
Documentary which uncovers the true cost of cheap meat to animals, people and the environment. Film can be viewed for free online.

'Black Gold'
Short film detailing the multi-billion dollar coffee industry and its effect on impoverished Ethiopian coffee growers. Trailer can be viewed online.

Climate change, energy and the environment

WWF Living Planet Report
The Living Planet Report is the world's leading, science-based analysis on the health of our only planet and the impact of human activity.

'Age of Stupid'
Film starring Pete Postlethwaite as a man living in the devastated future world of 2055, looking at old footage and asking: why didn’t we stop climate change when we had the chance?

'The Climate Game and the World's Poor'
Short film following the frustrations of the delegates from the countries most vulnerable to climate change as they attend the COP15 climate-change negotiations that took place in Copenhagen in 2009. Film can be viewed online for free.

'The Transition Companion: making your community more resilient in uncertain times' by Rob Hopkins
Inspiring tales of communities working for a future where local economies are valued and nurtured, where lower energy use is seen as a benefit, and where enterprise, creativity and the building of resilience have become cornerstones of a new economy.

WWF - Water Footprint
The WWF website has good information on a variety of topics but in particular this is a useful section on water footprints and the global pressure on freshwater resources.

Greenpeace - What We Do
This section of Greenpeace's website has clear information on issues such as Climate Change, Forests, Oceans, Nuclear Power, GM Food and Toxic Chemicals.