Two must-reads for the start of the year

Progress Namibia - Two must-reads for the start of the year
13 January 2020

I am very excited to share with you in this Weekly the recent launch of two books by colleagues of mine.

The first book is by Desta Mebratu and Mark Swilling and various chapter authors, and forms part of a contribution to the work of the Wellbeing Economy Africa Research Action Network, and is entitled "Transformational Infrastructure: for Development of a Wellbeing Economy in Africa". I am particularly excited about this as Desta and I have had conversations around the content of the book, and it is a great blueprint for those of us working in development (and economic transformation) across Africa. The book speaks about the kind of infrastructure most African countries will need to meet the Sustainable Development Goals; infrastructure being a key factor that determines how resource and energy flow and transform through socio-economic systems. We can either champion new development or pursue the kind of infrastructure projects that will lock us into unsustainable models for decades (and perhaps centuries) to come. Chapters include transformative leapfrogging to a wellbeing economy in Africa (Chapter 1), ecological infrastructure as a basis for the African wellbeing economy (Chapter 2), sustainable energy systems (Chapter 3), inclusive and sustainable industrial development for Africa (Chapter 4), sustainable urban development in Africa (Chapter 5), life-cycle management for sustainable infrastructure planning and development in Africa (Chapter 6), distributed renewable economy for Africa (Chapter 7), inclusive governance for sustainable development in Africa (Chapter 8), and indicators on transformational infrastructure for a wellbeing economy (Chapter 9). Those of you in public, educational institutions (including development NGOs) can access a free copy by filling in this order form. Others can buy the book by visiting

The second book is by another colleague of mine, Sander van der Leeuw, entitled "Social Sustainability, Past and Future: Undoing Unintended Consequences for the Earth's Survival". This book has been a labour of love and a product of his entire life's work in sustainability and social systems around the world. It is a masterful integration of many different strands of thought that greatly expands the analysis around our current predicament, both thematically and temporally. It will give you many "aha" moments, but I am warning you - it is a big read (463 pages of text and several thousands of years of history)! The book is freely available as an e-book, and can be accessed here.