The World We Made: Dangling the Carrot of Future Sustainable Planet


Image credit:

Image credit:

The world in 2050, if Sir Jonathon Porritt could have it his way would be genuinely sustainable instead of in a state of decaying beyond repair. Porritt offered an optimistic view of the future that is prosperous, exciting and healthy. It will be a world where 90% if our energy comes from renewable sources and 30% of our electricity from solar power. (Gone are the idea of fueling the world with biofuel and nuclear will be almost out of the picture, what is truly renewable as energy source, Porritt pointed out is algae). It will also be a world in which nanotechnology, 3D printing and biomimicry have transformed manufacturing.  It will be a world in which standard IT devices are computing at the same rate as human brain and everyone loves their robots. It will also be a world in which personal genomics allow everyone to manage their own health, live longer and healthier and die when they want to. (In England, people will need to live longer to receive the royal telegraph from King William as they need to reach the age of 110 instead of the current  100 years requirement). In 2050, however we will still live in a world where there are still rich and poor, but rich are poorer and happier, and the poor are richer in so many ways.

Porritt presented his ideas through the story of a history teacher named Alex McKay who is about to move schools. As a parting gifts, Alex writes an account of how the world has changed since Alex became a teacher in the early 2020’s. Through Alex’s account, Porritt told his readers the possible ways to not destroying our planet and the way we can bring it back from the brink of destruction to the way he envisioned it in 2050.

Sir Jonathon Porritt with his new book (image credit::Swire Pacific)

Sir Jonathon Porritt with his new book (image credit:Swire Pacific)

In this book, Porritt’s description of sustainable world is not based on wishful thinking or a mere utopian dream. He based his ideas on extensive factual research. He is in touch with many cutting edge research institutes and revolutionary scientists around the world. For example,  addressing the topic of food in the future Porritt assured we can still eat our beloved meat albeit a slightly different ones that come from a lab instead of bloody slaughter house. Already we have witnessed how scientists have managed to produce a cultured meat through tissue-engineering process recently so Porritt’s optimism about ‘still-meaty’ future is not so far fledged after all.

Porritt has been a renowned figure in the world of sustainable development for the last 40 years. He was a former Director of Friends of the Earth. Porritt was also best known for his advocacy work for the Prince of Wales’s Business & Sustainability Programme and was Chair of the UK Sustainable Development Commission. He is the founder director of Forum for the Future which recently branched out to Singapore.

Phaidon made a curious choice as the publisher of this book. Known as one of the world’s leading fine art publishers, the company deals with books that boast beautiful images. Such choice, in fact was a conscious strategy by Porritt who wanted his readers to be able to see the world in the future as he imagined it. The images made the book more engaging and inspiring in contrast with the usually dull sustainability-themed books with geeky graphs to accompany grimed prediction of our planet future.

Finally with this book, Porritt is trying to get people to think positively about sustainability. By dangling a more exciting picture of our planet in the future, Porritt is encouraging the people of today to play the cards right through technology breakthrough and revolutionized lifestyle

The World We Made was launched in Singapore 26 September 2013 as a part of Sir Jonathon Porritt’s worldwide book promotion tour. The launched was organised by Swire Pacific Offshore and sponsored by Swire Pacific.

Launch event hosted by Swire Pacific. (image credit:Swire Pacific)

Launch event hosted by Swire Pacific. (image credit:Swire Pacific)

The book is available in Kinokuniya Bookshop , Ngee Ann City Singapore. Price S$ 59.49

About the author

Devisanthi Tunas is the co-founder of, an online platform which promotes sustainability awareness and green building solutions in tropical context. She is a Singapore based architect.