WE DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY: The Outsiders Rebooting Our World by Mark Stevenson

WE DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY: The Outsiders Rebooting Our World by Mark Stevenson
08 May
2017
‘When the winds of change blow some people build walls, others build windmills,’ quotes Stevenson. ‘This is a book about the windmills.’

True to his word, in We Do Things Differently he investigates a series of global challenges, ranging from the rise of drug resistant diseases to a declining faith in democracy, and introduces us to the unlikely figures – including an Austrian basketball player-turned-engineer and a Brazilian former guerrilla – who are building metaphorical windmills in order to solve these crucial problems, and consequently change the world for the better.

It has the language and tone of a science book but, if you consider the huge global challenges the people within set out to solve (or did so accidentally, as occurred a few times), it also contains a distinct geographical edge. From significantly improving rice yields in India despite minimal water or fertilisers, to creating ‘liquid air’ as a source of low-carbon refrigeration, to turning derelict housing into urban farms in the ‘food desert’ of Detroit, it’s a positive set of stories for anyone feeling particularly negative about humanity’s prospects in the coming years.

The book is in a way a victim of its own success; the large numbers of subjects contained within mean that it is necessary to skip quickly from one issue to the next, without the opportunity to delve into each one in as much detail as perhaps we might wish. It makes you wonder how much more to each story we could be missing out on.

Nevertheless, Stevenson’s ability to cover such a wide range of challenges should be applauded, and perhaps be seen as a starting point for independently researching the issues we each find most engaging. Combined with his engaging commentary, this certainly has the ability to restore your faith in human ingenuity in the face of adversity.

Click here to purchase We Do Things Differently: The Outsiders Rebooting Our World by Mark Stevenson

Share this story...

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to Twitter

Geographical Week

Get the best of Geographical delivered straight to your inbox every Friday.

Subscribe Today

EDUCATION PARTNERS

Aberystwyth UniversityUniversity of GreenwichThe University of Winchester

TRAVEL PARTNERS

Ponant

Silversea

Travel the Unknown

DOSSIERS

Like longer reads? Try our in-depth dossiers that provide a comprehensive view of each topic

  • The Air That We Breathe
    Cities the world over are struggling to improve air quality as scandals surrounding diesel car emissions come to light and the huge health costs of po...
    National Clean Air Day
    For National Clean Air Day, Geographical brings together stories about air pollution and the kind of solutions needed to tackle it ...
    Diabetes: The World at Risk
    Diabetes is often thought of as a ‘western’ problem, one linked to the developed world’s overindulgence in fatty foods and chronic lack of physi...
    The Nuclear Power Struggle
    The UK appears to be embracing nuclear, a huge U-turn on government policy from just two years ago. Yet this seems to be going against the grain globa...
    Hung out to dry
    Wetlands are vital storehouses of biodiversity and important bulwarks against the effects of climate change, while also providing livelihoods for mill...

MORE DOSSIERS

NEVER MISS A STORY - follow Geographical

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in REVIEWS...

Books

by Kiyonori Kanasaka (translated by Nicholas Pertwee) • Renaissance Books…

Books

by Steven Price Brown • Bloomsbury • £16.99 (hardback/eBook)

Books

by Jo Woolf • Sandstone Press • £24.99 (hardback)

Films

An epic journey through the Amazon in a traditional dugout…

Books

by Victor Mallet • Oxford University Press • £20 (hardback/eBook)

Books

Get 30% off the cover price of this in-depth journey…

Exhibitions

Twenty one years, sixteen countries, seven continents... RGS-IBG director, Rita…

Books

by Peter Millar • Arcadia Books • £20 (hardback)

Books

by the National Archives • £25/£21.99 (hardback/eBook)

Books

by Leon McCarron • IB Tauris • £17.99 (hardback)

Books

by Alex de Wall • Polity Books • £16.99 (paperback)

Books

by Jacki Hill-Murphy • Adventuress Publishing • £9.99 (paperback)

Films

An emotional and divisive documentary that explores the trophy hunting…

Books

by Paul Murton • Birlinn • £14.99 (softback)

Books

by Harry Hook • HIP Editions • £54 (hardback)

Books

by James Suzman • Bloomsbury • £18.99 (hardback)

Books

by Thorkild Hansen • New York Review Books • £11.99…