Author of Carbon Zero: Imagining Cities That Can Save the Planet
"Alex Steffen explores our planet’s future, telling powerful, inspiring stories about the hard choices facing humanity … and our opportunity to create a much better tomorrow."—TED.com
"Want to know what greens will be talking about in a few years? Follow Alex Steffen. He’s talking about it today."—David Roberts, Grist.org
Steffen has a rare ability to connect planetary thinking to our most practical concerns, and his lively, engaging talks have wowed hundreds of audiences with their combination of practical sense, visionary insight and humor. From the stage of the TED Conference to boardrooms of leading corporations to lecture halls in some of the world's most prestigious universities, Steffen has shown a remarkable talent for helping audiences understand the role of world-changing ideas and trends in their own lives and work.
From 2003-2010, Steffen built his track record as a visionary by leading the pioneering website Worldchanging.com. Under his guidance, the solutions-based magazine became the second-largest sustainability site on the planet. Its 12,000 articles won many of the Web's highest honors, including being a 2008 Webby Official Honoree and a winner of the Utne Independent Press Award.
Steffen's first Worldchanging book was an international best-seller; Al Gore remarks in his introduction to the book, "Taken together, these solutions present a picture of a future that is not dark or catastrophic, but one that is full of hope and within our grasp." Steffen's Worldchanging 2.0, a monumental anthology focusing on cities and urban issues, garnered further critical acclaim. His latest book, Carbon Zero, has been hailed as "a breakthrough," a "deep and inspiring manual for imagining how our cities can become the solution to our climate woes" and a vision of how to "survive and even thrive in the face of a planetary challenge that political leaders... have been reluctant to face."
Carbon Zero: Imagining Cities That Can Save the Planet
Cities are the answer to climate change, energy challenges and resource scarcity. How we grow our cities, how we choose to get around in them, how we provide housing, how well we incorporate nature into the places we live-- these are the challenges that will largely determine our future... and the future of the planet. Steffen tackles the latest successful urban innovations and looks at how quality of life is actually improved in the process of retrofitting our cities for the seemingly impossible, yet surprisingly practical, goal of carbon neutrality.
How to Think Like a Worldchanger
In these optimistic and customizable talks, Steffen shows us the worldchanging solutions and people who are meeting the planet's most pressing problems in innovative and creative ways-- and how we can all learn from their examples to think about our own futures. By understanding the outlook these pioneers, inventors and change leaders bring to the problems they face, we can all learn to think like worldchangers, and find new solutions to the problems around us in our own lives and workplaces. An extremely popular keynote for business and professional conferences and universities.
Bright Green Strategies for Thriving in Tough Times
There's a new green in town: one that shows that aggressively pursuing sustainability can actually deliver big competitive advantages, especially when times are tough. Many of the regions leading the global race for sustainable prosperity-- from the City of Vancouver to the nation of Denmark-- have formally adopted Steffen's "bright green" thinking. In this talk, Steffen showcases this new approach to saving the planet by seeking out competitive opportunities to address the scope, scale and speed of the changes we're called to make. Big changes, Steffen says, can mean big success for companies and cities. Regular people will find it inspiring. Business leaders will find it revealing and actionable. With authority, ingenuity, and hope, Steffen, in this talk, hits the epicenter of the next big trend: a bright (prosperous) and green (sustainable) future.
The Future for Beginners
Having foresight and being able to think clearly about new trends and patterns aren't skills reserved just for those who call themselves "futurists." Many of the tools futurists use can be used in our own lives and businesses to help us understand the changes around us and make better decisions, today. In this light-hearted talk, Steffen offers a few simple, memorable guidelines to help audiences begin to look into the future themselves.
Carbon Zero: Imagining Cities That Can Save the Planet
Carbon Zero is a short, clear, optimistic look at how cities can succeed in the age of climate consequences. It’s about changing how we grow our cities, so we can seize a better future. Whether your main concern is the future of your neighborhood or the future of the planet, this is a book you need to read.
The climate crisis is upon us, it’s massive and it’s getting worse quickly. We must make bold and rapid reductions in our climate emissions. In fact, in just the next couple decades we must achieve net-zero climate emissions. That target, zero carbon, presents a stupendous challenge.
Our cities, though, give us amazing opportunities to reduce our climate emissions while improving both our economy and our communities.
Solutions abound. From cutting edge green buildings to more walkable neighborhoods, new “walkshed” technologies to green infrastructure, the sharing economy to the reconnection of urban places to rural nature, we have a tool chest of approaches that can make our lives frugal in energy but abundant in wealth and quality of life. If we bring the best solutions together in our cities, we can build cities that can lead us into the zero-carbon future.
We can’t build, though, what we can’t imagine. Carbon Zero takes on the task of imagining how all these innovations might work together, and gives you the tools to reimagine the possibilities of your city. It’s not a blueprint. It’s not a manifesto.
Carbon Zero is an invitation to imagine winning the climate fight.
Worldchanging: Revised and Updated Edition
Five years after the initial publication of Worldchanging, the landscape of environmentalism and sustainability has changed dramatically. The average reader is now well-versed--even inundated--with green lifestyle advice. In 2011, green is the starting point, not the destination. This second edition of the bestselling book is extensively revised to include the latest trends, technologies, and solutions in sustainable living. More than 160 new entries include up-to-the-minute information on the locavore movement, carbon-neutral homes, novel transportation solutions, the growing trend of ecotourism, the concept of food justice, and much more. Additional new sections focus on the role of cities as the catalyst for change in our society. With 50 percent new content, this overhauled edition incorporates the most recent studies and projects being implemented worldwide. The result is a guided tour through the most exciting new tools, models, and ideas for building a better future.
Praise for Worldchanging, Revised and Updated Edition:
"If you haven't yet had an opportunity to take a look at this ambitious and impressively comprehensive how-to guide on sustainable living, now is an excellent time . . . it doesn't matter what catches your eye in Worldchanging-whether it's finding an online magazine that will give you ideas on how to re-use your old doorknobs, or joining an alliance of 'bridge bloggers'-you can find the resources to get you started, and the inspiration to make your Earth Day resolutions bigger, better, and greener." —NewsWatch, NationalGeographic.com
Worldchanging: A User's Guide for the 21st Century
Worldchanging is poised to be the Whole Earth Catalog for this millennium. Written by leading new thinkers who believe that the means for building a better future lie all around us, Worldchanging is packed with the information, resources, reviews, and ideas that give readers the tools they need to make a difference. Brought together by Alex Steffen, co-founder of the popular and award-winning web site Worldchanging.com, this team of top-notch writers includes Cameron Sinclair, founder of Architecture for Humanity, Geekcorps founder Ethan Zuckerman, sustainable food expert Anna Lappe, and many others. Renowned designer Stefan Sagmeister brings his extraordinary talents to Worldchanging, resulting in a book that will challenge readers to personally redefine the conversation about the future.
Each chapter offers readers new answers to key questions, such as: Why does buying locally produced food make sense? What steps can I take to influence my workplace toward sustainability? How do I volunteer, advocate, and give more effectively? From eco-building to responsible shopping, political action to humanitarian relief, Worldchanging puts the power to solve problems into the reader's hands.