Theory and Thinking

Believing Cassandra: An Optimist Looks at a Pessimist World

Written by the architect of the Sustainability Compass tool, this book delves into the nature of the planetary emergency and suggests some of the innovative solutions and thinking tools society needs to adopt to solve it. AtKisson has heaps of other very readable books around the topic of sustainability and systems thinking: ‘Parachuting Cats into Borneo’, ‘Sustainability is for Everyone’, and ‘The Sustainability Transformation’ are all well worth a read!

Author: Alan AtKisson

Earth in Mind: On Education, Environment, and the Human Prospect

Another classic, with a particular focus on education and its role in sustainability. Written in 1994, it is still as relevant today as it was 25 years ago. 

Author: David W. Orr

Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update

Author: Dennis Meadows, Jorgen Randers, Donella Meadows

Thinking in Systems

An absolute classic! A follow up to Meadow’s earlier groundbreaking book, ‘Limits to Growth’, Thinking in Systems is a beautifully written overview of systems thinking and why it is so essential when considering sustainability.

Author: Donella Meadows

When a Butterfly Sneezes

This fantastic little book takes you through some key take-aways if you would like to get your students thinking systemically. With a brief overview of systems thinking followed by the use of stories to demonstrate different archetypes and with practical ideas to try out in the classroom, this is a book not to be missed!

Author: Linda Booth Sweeney

The Systems Thinking Playbook

A compendium of games and exercises that allow students (K-12) and adults alike to explore systems thinking in an experiential way.

Author: Linda Booth Sweeney

Books for Students

Lord of the Flies

An example. Using the Sustainability Compass tool to analyse a text students gain a deeper understanding of the setting, plot and motivations of the characters in a novel.

Author: William Golding

The Mousehole Cat

Another example. Using the Sustainability Compass primary school students are able to analyse the story in a picture book on a deeper level.

Author: Antonia Barber

How We Make Stuff

A fantastic children’s book based on the circular economy. There are other books in the series by the same author which focus on natural cycles too, such as ‘How the World Works.’

Author: Christiane Dorion