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!

Adventure Canada

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

  • 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 ...
    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...
    Mexico City: boom town
    Twenty years ago, Mexico City was considered the ultimate urban disaster. But, recent political and economic reforms have transformed it into a hub of...
    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...

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

New exhibition at London’s Saatchi Gallery by photojournalist Lizzie Sadin,…

Books

by Tim Marshall • Elliott & Thompson • £16.99 (hardback)

Books

by Inara Verzemnieks • Pushkin Press • £16.99 (hardback)

Books

by Andy Kirkpatrick • Vertebrate Publishing • £24 (hardback)

Books

edited by Paul Hawken • Penguin • £16.99 (paperback)

Books

by William Frame and Laura Walker •British Library Publishing • £40…

Books

by Tom Young • Oneworld • £12.99 (hardback)

Exhibitions

An up-market Chinese-art gallery in Mayfair is trying something new,…

Exhibitions

A colourful vision of saddle-billed storks collects the top prize…

Exhibitions

To reflect the 250th anniversary of James Cook’s first voyage…

Exhibitions

From 18-22 July, photography tour company Light and Land will…

Books

by Joe Shute • Bloomsbury • £16.99 (hardback)

Books

by Beau Riffenburgh • Andre Deutsch • £25 (hardback)

Books

by Diana Preston • Bloomsbury • £25 (hardback)

Books

by Michael Benanav • Pegasus Books • £21.99 (hardback)

Books

by Tony Juniper • Profile Books • £16.99/£12.99 (hardback/ebook)

Books

by Roland Jackson • Oxford University Press • £25 (hardback)

Books

by Kristy Leissle • Polity Press • £14.99 (paperback)

Books

by Christopher Somerville  •  Black Swan Publishing  •  £9.99 (paperback)

Books

by Doug Scott  •  Vertebrate Publishing  •  £20 (hardback)