Some Christmas books on Sustainable Development

Books for Christmas

This year I had the pleasure of finishing and publishing the new book Tomorrow's People and New Technology with two wonderful coauthors   Carolina Duque Chopitea and Ranger Ruffins.

The book is a great read for friends or family who wonder what you do on sustainable development and how it impacts on their lives. We look at home life, travel, entertainment, work, education, health, social life and also how it might be different in other parts of the world. The book is placed in 2030 when the Sustainable Development Goals should have been delivered and each chapter mentioned the relevant SDG when first introduced. 

To support the book launch we did a set of podcasts on each of the chapters which can be listened to at Sustainable Society Cafe 

 ConnectAID did the launch of the SDG Book Launch "Tomorrow's People and New Technology" with Felix Dodds and Carolina Duque

A recent interview on my views on the outcome from the Glasgow Climate Summit and a discussion on the book Tomorrow's People and New Technology A review of the book can be found here.

"I simply love Tomorrow's People and New Technology. Teasingly playful, inquisitive rather than just another turgid tome trying to be politically correct and accurate with each forecast, the authors' bandwidth is wonderfully broad, the insights incisive, and the writing welcoming. This book is a speculative triumph. It invites us into an imaginative world of endless fascination and ingenuity, at once allying suspicions that the future belongs only to the smart machines we have created and are in the process of letting loose."

Richard David Hames, Executive Director, Centre for the Future

Governance for Sustainable Development Volume 5: Implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Governance Challenges

The second book I did was earlier in the year his is the fifth book that the Friends of Governance for Sustainable Development has produced to share widely the papers that were presented at the workshops for member States to discuss. The Group recognizes that there is an inextricable link between good governance and sustainable development and that, as the 2030 Agenda is implemented, governance challenges will need discussion and action at all levels and by all institutions.In 2020, the Group of Friends convened UN officials, experts, and representatives from government at four participatory workshops on relevant governance issues. The workshops were organized in partnership with UN-DESA Office of Intergovernmental Support and Coordination for Sustainable Development focusing on advancing the 2030 Agenda into the HLPF’s Second Cycle, and lessons learnt from the first cycle.

The Group of Friends in 2021 will continue to be a place for discussions of the institutional architecture for the 2030 Agenda’s implementation, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Paris Climate Agreement and their follow-up and review. We expect the present publication to be a useful input for the ongoing discussions about the institutional architecture for the 2030 Agenda. T

he first workshop looked at Implementing the 2016 QCPR resolution and this agenda has already captured the imagination of this generation. 

The second workshop looked at the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on global governance and issues of transparency, responsiveness and accountability. With the upcoming High Level Political Forum, how could the pandemic be reflected in Voluntary National Reports? The third workshop looked at the imperative of combating corruption, illicit financial flows and recovering and returning stolen assets as a means for financing for development in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The final one looked at climate change and governance preparing for the now 2021 Glasgow UNFCCC COP.

We know that sustainable development will only become a reality if we have the enabling environment for it to happen. Good governance will be pivotal for implementing, reviewing and improving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We hope that this publication contributes to addressing the challenges we will be facing over the coming years to 2030.

Negotiating the Sustainable Development Goals

by Felix Dodds, Ambassador David Donoghue, Jimena Leiva Roesch


f you haven't yet read a book on how the SDGs were negotiated this is a must.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a universal set of seventeen goals and 169 targets, with accompanying indicators, which were agreed by UN member states to frame their policy agendas for the fifteen-year period from 2015 to 2030. Written by three authors who have been engaged in the development of the SDGs from the beginning, this book offers an insider view of the process and a unique entry into what will be seen as one of the most significant negotiations and global policy agendas of the twenty-first century. 

The book reviews how the SDGs were developed, what happened in key meetings and how this transformational agenda, which took more than three years to negotiate, came together in September 2015. It dissects and analyzes the meetings, organizations and individuals that played key roles in their development. It provides fascinating insights into the subtleties and challenges of high-level negotiation processes of governments and stakeholders, and into how the SDGs were debated, formulated and agreed. It is essential reading for all interested in the UN, sustainable development and the future of the planet and humankind.

"Learning from the process that engaged so many stakeholders at national and international level is important for future multilateral negotiations. This contribution from three actors intimately involved in the process offers rare insights into a long, challenging and ultimately fruitful process. I hope many readers will enjoy the insights presented in this book and be inspired to realise that the impossible is possible through compromise, partnership and leadership."

– from the foreword by Mary Robinson, President of the Mary Robinson Foundation: Climate Justice, Former President of Ireland (1990–1997) and Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997–2002)

Books for the kids

Rock Happy by Chris Spence 

For teenager Alex Franklin, life seems pretty good. Rehearsals for the school's best band contest are going well, the new technology he gets to use in 2050s America is stellar, and his amazing neighbor Abby might--just might--want to date him.

And that's when everything starts to go wrong. Why does he start seeing terrifying things no one else can? What's going on with Abby and his friends' sudden personality changes? And who is the mysterious old man at the center of it all?  

This sci-fi young adult thriller weaves together dystopian elements and high-school drama in a gripping tale.

A fun book to buy for a young audience.

Available from online retailers like Amazon, Barnes and Noble

Santa’s Green Christmas: Father Christmas Battles Climate Change (comic)

A comic book from Comics Uniting Nations and founding partner UNICEF takes the action to the North Pole, and brings the message home to kids A new hero emerged today to help lead the global battle against the potentially catastrophic climate menace. Actually, a rather old hero. 

Santa Claus – also known as Father Christmas, Père Noël and St. Nicholas – released a deeply personal  account of his struggle to recognize, understand and take action against the impacts of rising temperatures and extreme weather events that are threatening the very foundations of his fabled workshop and village.

The comic, titled Santa's Green Christmas - Father Christmas Battles Climate Change, the newest release from Comics Uniting Nations, reveals how Mr. Claus first became aware of shifting temperatures when Dancer, the lead member of his reindeer team, nearly crashed through the previously solid Arctic ice-cap during a practice landing. 

“Fortunately, she was soon on the mend,” Mr. Claus recounts. “But the whole thin-ice issue really caught my attention.” 

Santa checks research from the world's most eminent scientists - and consults with neighboring terns, wrens and polar bears to confirm the gravity of the phenomenon. 

“It seems to me we have been dashing to disaster,” Mr. Claus concludes. But he also finds reason to hope, noting that by leveraging clean energy sources and working together on the root causes of climate change, we can halt its destructive path. 

The comic is freely available to the public in web and print versions. English is currently available, and 

French and Spanish will be released before Christmas. To read or download, visit: 

Schools, churches, NGOs and businesses are invited to print and utilize the comic as a teaching tool, or to distribute as a holiday gift to students, members, employees or customers. The text is written to appeal to range of age and education levels. 

Santa's Green Christmas - Father Christmas battles Climate Change is a publication of Comics Uniting Nations: a partnership between UNICEF, The World’s Largest Lesson, PCI Media Impact and Reading With Pictures. The partnership is releasing a series of comic books with the ultimate mission to publicize and popularize the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Santa's Green Christmas was idea of Felix Dodds, a UN consultant and co-author or editor of a dozen texts on sustainable development policy, and Michael Strauss, an international political  and media advisor and the director of Earth Media.  Strauss considers Santa the ideal spokesperson for confronting climate change.

“Santa Claus may be the ultimate benevolent father figure in Western cultures – or grandfather figure. He warmly encourages and rewards good behavior, and gently but firmly admonishes the bad. And with a herd of high-flying reindeer and a home in the Arctic north, he's about as grounded in nature and close to the front lines of climate impacts as anyone.”

Dodds noted that he himself has had a long, productive relationship with Mr. Claus. 

“I first met Father Christmas at the age of three in a clothing store in the UK in Derby, and I became Chair of Father Christmas Youth. I then organized a stakeholder consultation around gift-giving practices in my freshman year at the University of Surrey. I now hope to have Santa lead a workshop on water, food and energy.”

An accomplished graphics team was led by artist and colorist John Charles, a UK-based graphic designer, comic and text book artist who has produced covers and penciling for Marvel UK, Antarctic Press, BBC Books, and New World Frontiers. Lettering is by Ian Sharman, an artist, writer and editor whose credits include Spider-Man, Iron Man, the X-Men, and Doctor Who graphic novels. He is editor in chief of Markosia, and runs Orang Utan Comics, a comic book collective. Inks are by Lee Townsend, an artist and animator who has worked on Spider-Man, Avengers, X-Men, Iron Man and the Hulk, for Marvel, Disney, DreamWorks, and most recently the Cartoon Network


Popular posts from this blog

Key Sustainability Dates for 2024

Alexander Juras is Stakeholder Forum’s New Chairperson

Possible Candidates for the next Secretary General - Amina Mohammed - Part 1