The Necessary Revolution
Working Together to Create a Sustainable World
Publication Date: April 6, 2010
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Imagine a world in which the excess energy from one business would be used to heat another. Where buildings need less and less energy around the world, and where “regenerative” commercial buildings – ones that create more energy than they use – are being designed. A world in which environmentally sound products and processes would be more cost-effective than wasteful ones. A world in which corporations such as Costco, Nike, BP, and countless others are forming partnerships with environmental and social justice organizations to ensure better stewardship of the earth and better livelihoods in the developing world. Now, stop imagining – that world is already emerging.
A revolution is underway in today’s organizations. As Peter Senge and his co-authors reveal in The Necessary Revolution, companies around the world are boldly leading the change from dead-end “business as usual” tactics to transformative strategies that are essential for creating a flourishing, sustainable world. There is a long way to go, but the era of denial has ended. Today’s most innovative leaders are recognizing that for the sake of our companies and our world, we must implement revolutionary—not just incremental—changes in the way we live and work.
Brimming with inspiring stories from individuals and organizations tackling social and environmental problems around the globe, THE NECESSARY REVOLUTION reveals how ordinary people at every level are transforming their businesses and communities. By working collaboratively across boundaries, they are exploring and putting into place unprecedented solutions that move beyond just being “less bad” to creating pathways that will enable us to flourish in an increasingly interdependent world. Among the stories in these pages are the evolution of Sweden’s “Green Zone,” Alcoa’s water use reduction goals, GE’s ecoimagination initiative, and Seventh Generation’s decision to shift some of their advertising to youth-led social change programs.
At its heart, THE NECESSARY REVOLUTION contains a wealth of strategies that individuals and organizations can use — specific tools and ways of thinking — to help us build the confidence and competence to respond effectively to the greatest challenge of our time. It is an essential guidebook for all of us who recognize the need to act and work together—now—to create a sustainable world, both for ourselves and for the generations to follow.
Peter Senge was named as one of the 24 people who had “the greatest influence on business strategy over the last 100 years” by the Journal of Business Strategy
PETER SENGE, senior lecturer at MIT and the founding chair of the Society for Organizational Learning (SoL), is the author or co-author of several bestselling books, including The Fifth Discipline, Schools That Learn, and Presence. BRYAN SMITH, coauthor with Senge of The Dance of Change and two other Fifth Discipline fieldbooks, is a member of the faculty at York University’s Sustainable Enterprise Academy, and president of Broad Reach Innovations, Inc. NINA KRUSCHWITZ, manager of the Fifth Discipline Fieldbook Project, is the editor of Reflections: The SoL Journal on Knowledge, Learning, and Change. JOE LAUR and SARA SCHLEY co-founded the SoL Sustainability Consortium in 1998; Joe is vice president of content for Greenopolis.com, and Sara is a mentor for the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.
Acclaim for The Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge, Honored As One of The Five Greatest Business Books of All Time by The Financial Times
“A management classic.” –Boston Globe
“One of the seminal management books of the past seventy-five years.”—Harvard Business Review