Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Social Movement in History is Restoring Grace, Justice, and Beauty to the World, by Paul Hawken. (2007, Penguin Books).
This inspiring book presents a rich story of what can be considered to be the largest social movement in human history. Hawken describes how over a million organizations around the world are generating a bottom-up global humanitarian movement. The organizations described in this book are dispersed and independent, yet collectively they make up something much larger and much more powerful than we can imagine. Hawken asks whether it is possible for myriad organizations to work together to challenge deeper systemic issues, and concludes that yes, it can be done, for the power lies in connectivity. With examples that span the globe, the book draws attention to the enormous potential that is at work through “smallness, grace and locality”, showing us that environmental and social justice issues are, indeed, one and the same. This book makes it clear that climate change will never be successfully addressed as a “climate problem” alone, regardless of international treaties, national regulations, or local actions. It is a social issue that is being addressed continuously through countless acts of collaboration and cooperation that are challenging outdated systems and structures. The book confirms that transformation in the political sphere is already taking place.
“Just as complex organisms are built of cooperating communities of cells, the movement to address environmental and social issues has been built up of small, cooperating groups of people.” (Hawken 2007, p. 175)