Here is a section from the audiobook of 'From What Is to What If' which tells the story of the 'Tooting Twirl' and of the art of asking good 'What If' questions.
The night before ‘Pop Up Tomorrow’ felt a bit like being a parent on the night before Christmas. A group of us were gathered at Lucy Neal’s (one of the facilitators) house, doing final preparations. We were sticking labels onto blackboards, tearing up rags and finalising plans. Like Yuletide parents, we were tired, ready for bed, but excited about the thrill and the joy our actions tonight were going to create the following day. We raised a glass to Pop Up Tomorrow, and to everything that was going to happen.
“What I like about this book is the balance between an unflinchingly real exploration of the world we live in, Rob’s willingness to share what keeps him awake at night, and the referenced research of both the problems and the solutions. Rob is also a born storyteller and he takes us on a rich journey to wonderful projects, people and places the world over where imagination thrives. He has always had the capacity to be an inspirational and innovative advocate for change as evidenced by his work for the Transition Movement. Here we experience a maturity of vision and an intellectual vigour that grounds the ideas presented, making them utterly possible”.
Tonight, Friday October 25th, at 7pm at St John’s Church in Bridgetown, Totnes, I will be launching my new book ‘From What Is to What If’. All are welcome and the event is free. There will be books and limited edition bookmarks and badges. Come join us!
The audiobook of ‘From What Is to What If’ is now available from most platforms where you get such things from, and will soon be available from them all. Creating it involved me sitting in a recording studio near Totnes for 2 days, and I have heard good things from the people who are already listening to it, including one person who told me she was listening to it in her car on the way to work. Here is a taster. If you’re an audiobook person, I hope you love it.
On Sunday 20th October, at Battersea Arts Centre, following an incredible day of ‘Pop Up Tomorrow’, I launched ‘From What Is to What If’. Here is the audio of the evening, which also features appearances by improv expert Jeremy Finch and Ruth Sapsed of Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination. I hope it gives you an inspiring taste of the evening.
I was interviewed recently for the long-running Radio Ecoshock radio show/podcast and its host Alex Smith. You can hear the whole show, and Alex’s reflections on it here. I was relieved that he picked up on the “A ‘Silent Spring’ for the imagination” aspect of the book, rather than in the recent Guardian piece that just mostly saw it as a collection of inspiring stories (which it is as well). It was a refreshing and, at times, challenging discussion, and I hope you enjoy it.
It was a quote by my late friend and mentor David Fleming that tipped me over into thinking that writing a book about imagination was something I needed to do. In ‘Lean Logic’, he wrote “if the mature market economy is to have a sequel … it will be the work, substantially, of imagination”. There was something about that sentence that got under my skin.
The first review of ‘From What Is to What If’ is in! It is from Jeremy Williams over at The Earthbound Report’ [original here]. The book goes on sale on October 17th, and many thanks to Jeremy for his review.
Here is a date for your diary. On Sunday October 20th, Transition Network, together with Chelsea Green Publishing, will be hosting an event at Battersea Arts Centre in two parts. We will invite you to step into an imagined future to collectively vision, playfully build and then physically inhabit a 3D vision of a Zero Carbon 2030. It’s an event that will stay with you for a long time.
One of the very best books I read while researching ‘From What Is to What If’ was ‘Free to Learn’ by Peter Gray. Peter is an evolutionary psychologist who taught for 30 years at Boston College as a Professor. He is now retired from teaching but still does research on children’s learning and children’s development. […]