Influential Resources

Sharing the Learning

In an era of information overload, it is hard to keep track of everything we read and watch that makes a mark on us. Here, we share videos, links, news and academic articles that have influenced and inspired us. The list is in no way exhaustive. The aim is to keep growing it.


Kate Raworth: Empowering Doughnut Economy

Kate Raworth is an inspirational woman. Her work is not only revolutionary in the way we see economic theory but she also uses a lot of creativity to communicate what could otherwise be a dull topic.

I simply love her work. Raworth was the one who coined the Doughnut Economy metaphor, to describe an economy that respects the principles of sustainable development and planetary boundaries.

Can we live “within the doughnut”?

To know more, visit her website which is also a repository of information on the Doughnut Economy.

Living within the planetary boundaries and the social doughnut framework: Safe and just operating spaces for regional socio-ecological systems

Humanity faces a major global challenge in achieving wellbeing for all, while simultaneously ensuring that the biophysical processes and ecosystem services that underpin wellbeing are exploited within scientifically informed boundaries of sustainability.

This paper proposes a framework for defining the safe and just operating space for humanity that integrates social wellbeing into the original planetary boundaries concept (Rockström et al., 2009a,b) for application at regional scales.

It argues that such a framework can:

  1. Increase the policy impact of the boundaries concept as most governance takes place at the regional rather than planetary scale;
  2. Contribute to the understanding and dissemination of complexity thinking throughout governance and policy-making;
  3. Act as a powerful metaphor and communication tool for regional equity and sustainability.

Complexity and Unknown: Powers of Ten

At extremes, there is only emptiness. We don’t know much about what goes on deep inside of us, and neither do we know much of what goes on out there in the universe(s).

Whenever I need to bring relativeness to my attention, I remember this amazing video.

It helps me to appreciate how we and the world and the universe we live in are complex and how little we know about them.


Near-death experiences can and often do change us. In this documentary, Hollywood film director Tom Shadyac (Ace Ventura) tells how his cycle accident led him to stop everything. He decided to use his skills to produce a film that investigates two difficult questions:

  • What’s wrong with our world?
  • What can we do about it?

The documentary I Am is an amazing account of thought leaders and scientists around the world. Shadyac embraces brilliantly the scientific experiments that demonstrate we are connected by our magnetic field. Despite different backgrounds, all interviewees agreed about our interconnectedness and the power it brings.

Whenever I have doubts about the future of humanity, I remind myself of the magnetic field experiment and hope our species has the power to stop destroying Earth, and eventually make it a better planet to live in, all together.

We need an Education Revolution: a glimpse of future leaders

A revolution in our education system is necessary. Shocking to see the profile of the next generation of leaders from Harvard.

They are anxious (41% have at some point sought mental health support) and unstable financially (60% of the new graduates still expect to be depending on money from their parents).

Most terrifying, they are unable to “agree to disagree respectfully”: over 60% of students had “at some point chosen not to express an opinion in an academic setting out of fear it would offend others”.

This echoes what we have experienced teaching graduates and post-graduate students recently. And we need to do more to help these young adults to be more prepared to deal with our complex, imperfect and real world. Click on the image to read the full article.

Lord of the Flies

I came across this classic of English Literature when studying English as a foreign language in Brazil. This cover, designed by Pentagram, Faber and Faber paperback (1991), was the one I had in my hands, at 17 years old. At the time, I did not make much of the book. Although the key question posed by the story continued to torment me over the years.

Are humans intrinsically good or bad?

With the current state of the world, I decided to read it again this year. Now as an adult, I could fully read between the lines. No wonder it was selected as one of the 100 best novels by The Guardian. It is without a doubt a must-read!

Sustainability Leaders: Celebrating 20 Years of Leadership

For the past 20 years, GlobeScan has been conducting annual surveys, tracking expert opinions on sustainable development. In their 2017 report, they analyse the viewpoints of over 1,000 sustainability experts to answer a number of pressing questions, including:
  • Which companies and NGOs do experts believe are leading the sustainability agenda?
  • What key factors set them apart?
  • Which characteristics will define leading organisations a decade from now?
The question that I like most and the one I always use in my classes about sustainable development and leadership is the one on page 15:
What specific companies do you think are leaders in integrating sustainability into their business strategy? Please enter a maximum of 3 companies.
What I like about this question is that is it a very open question, and you can see the differences when you track answers over the years. Really interesting stuff. Access their website to read the full report.

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