Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

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

Geographical Week

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

Subscribe to Geographical!

University of Winchester

EDUCATION PARTNERS

Aberystwyth University University of Greenwich The 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 Human Game – Tackling football’s ‘slave trade’
    Few would argue with football’s position as the world’s number one sport. But as Mark Rowe discovers, this global popularity is masking a sinister...
    Essential oil?
    Palm oil is omnipresent in global consumption. But in many circles it is considered the scourge of the natural world, for the deforestation and habita...
    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...
    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...
    The true cost of meat
    As one of the world’s biggest methane emitters, the meat industry has a lot more to concern itself with than merely dietary issues ...

MORE DOSSIERS

NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

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...

Exhibitions

Four new galleries at Royal Museums Greenwich explore Britain’s maritime…

Books

by John Foot • Bloomsbury • £25 (hardback)

Books

by Deborah Baker • Chatto & Windus • £25 (hardback)

Books

By Lucy Seigle • Trapexe • £12.99/£6.99 (hardback/eBook)

Books

by Simon Lewis and Mark Maslin • Pelican • £8.99 (paperback)

Books

by Christoph Baumer • IB Tauris • £30 (hardback)

Books

by Charles Lane • River Books • £40 (hardback)

Books

by Graham Hoyland• William Collins • £20 (hardback)

Books

by Dr Lucy Jones• Doubleday Books • £19.99 (hardback)

Books

by Daniel Pinchbeck• Watkins • £9.99 (paperback)

Books

by Jasper Winn • Profile Books • £16.99 (hardback)

Books

by Nathan H Lents • Weidenfeld & Nicolson • £16.99…

Films

This hard-hitting marine conservation film – part of the Ocean…

Films

Here are the newest non-fiction offerings to satisfy that craving…

Exhibitions

The Society’s Earth Photo exhibition captures the planet’s natural riches…

Books

by Alanna Mitchell • Oneworld • £16.99 (hardback)

Books

by Christopher J Preston • The MIT Press • £20.95…

Books

by Jamal Mahjoub • Bloomsbury • £25 (hardback)

Books

by Joanna Kafarowski • Dundurn Press • 15.99 (hardback)

Books

by Peter Dauvergne • Polity Books • £9.99 (paperback)