Bloggers: Have you joined a virtuous circle yet?

Suzanne Fisher's picture
Insight by 
Suzanne Fisher
07 December 2011

“It is a call for a fundamental reorientation of how societies work and govern themselves.” That’s what one blogger Jeff Kelly Lowenstein has said about IIED’s new book Virtuous Circles: Values, systems and sustainability by Andy Jones, Michel Pimbert and Janice Jiggins. Launched two weeks ago, we asked you to tell us what you thought. Thanks to those of you who have blogged already – and if you haven’t, it’s not too late. 

The book explains that the current “staggeringly inefficient” food system is based on the assumption that the earth has a limitless supply of energy and materials and that the environment can somehow absorb the pollution, carbon dioxide emissions and solid waste created by it. The 150 separate processes across several continents required to produce ketchup is a case in point. 

The book urges the adoption of circular systems that mimic a more natural cycle resulting in very little waste.

So, what did you think?

Jeff Kelly Lowenstein says the book is “not simply a prescription for behavioural change... Rather it is a call for a fundamental reorientation of how societies work and govern themselves. The authors call for a shift from the current top-down, elitist system in which a few people make decisions for the many to a more inclusive and participatory form of decision making for issues large and small.”

But Adam Concar from Forster feels it has a weak spot: “.. while it deals well with external landscape changes that would be needed to create this kind of sea change in society it doesn’t address the challenge of how you communicate this to consumers and encourage them to change the way they shop for and consume food.”


It’s not too late to blog. Email me with a link to your blog.

We will profile the best posts on our IIED blog, citing your name and linking to your blog and will promote them on our twitter channel: @IIED.

See the attached PDF which has book illustrations that you are welcome to use in your blogs, but please be sure to credit the authors.

Or leave a comment on this blog. And don’t forget to join in on the discussion on twitter by using hashtag #vcircles. Thanks!