I don’t actually have 500 ways to change the world but it is the title of a book I recently completed today. It has been published by Harper Collins in conjunction with the Global Ideas Bank. The Global Ideas Bank is a project of the Nicholas Albery Foundation based in the U.K. The website itself has existed since 1995 and is the best place to visit if you are an idea guy/girl like I am, and would like to examine some of the creative ideas of other people.
You can order the book from Amazon.com in the U.S however they are out of stock as of today but you can easily get it second hand for as low as $2.71. The European cover is slightly different to the American cover however most of the people that read this blog are from the States therefore I will post the American cover:
The book contains 500 ways to change the world separated into categories ranging from relationships to the international and developing world for a total of 18 chapters. I would be remiss to mention that there is also a chapter devoted to political ideas that could change the world which I will discuss a little later in this review. The 500 ideas fit in 400 pages for a book that is fairly small but is quite heavy for its size, not something I would recommend you to carry if you are traveling anywhere.
It took me 40 days to finish the book; not because it is comprehensive, but some ideas are quite philosophical nature and require some thinking to really appreciate the writers concept. I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys immersing themselves in the possibilities that society holds for the future. My favorite idea was written by Michael Laub entitled: “post proposed bills for public perusal”
Prospective (or existing) laws, constitutions, bills of rights, and charters should be publicly posted for discussion. The general public could then list the reasons for believing they are good or not so good in columns provided alongside the documents. These reasons could then be reviewed to gauge whether the public thinks such measures are valid, feasible, and worth introducing, and what percentage of the respondents support their implementation. This concept could provide a simple, cost-effective exercise for all political parties to conduct research, and for all the public to communicate their views and wishes outside of the traditional political system.
This is my favorite idea because I beIieve that there is a certain disconnect between politicans, the bills they pass and the public. You can easily access the various bills, resolutions and measures via the Thomas website but the required information is often not easily accessed. I would like summarized versions of bills to be posted in major newspapers if not websites that recieve significant traffic so that more people can be engaged in matters that matter to them. I would give this book a rating of 7 out of 10 for being an overall good read but not everyone’s cup of tea.