Volans’ Book Club

Coming together to imagine (and take action for) the future.



Welcome to the exploding universe of books focused on creating positive exponential shifts (Green Swans).

Each month, we invite a brilliant person, at the forefront of some aspect of systems thinking, to discuss their thoughts and writing in an interactive book club. Facilitated by our CEO, Louise Kjellerup Roper, the book club is an opportunity for members to question the author, connect with likeminded people and explore how we might address some of todays most wicked problems.

The Book Club is open to anyone interested in driving a better future and we particularly encourage you to join if you are already working in business and finance, or planning to do so.

Sign up to receive invitations to all future Book Clubs meetings.

Be curious, be kind. Give credit where credit is due.

Watch our new Book Club trailer to see some of the fantastic authors we have meet so far.

You can also revisit all our club conversations here.



Upcoming Events 


Coming soon…

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Past Book Clubs    

In conversation with John Elkington

Our inaugural book club – April 2020

Louise Kjellerup Roper conversed with John Elkington, Volan’s Founder and Chief Pollinator, about John’s passion for the sustainability industry and his inspirations for writing Green Swans.

Tune in to the recording to hear about activist mindsets, positive exponential change, outlooks for ​​businesses, organisations and individuals stepping up in a turbulent and COVID catalysing year. 


'Putting Power in the Hands of Ordinary People' with Jo Maugham

June 2023

This month we welcomed Jolyon Maugham KC, founder of the Good Law Project to Volans’ Book Club.

The session covered a lot of ground – from Jo’s personal experience of going from ‘outsider’ to ‘insider’ to how the UK legal system really works and what the Good Law Project is doing to give agency to communities who have typically been neglected and marginalised by the institutions of political and legal power.

You can now click here to watch the replay and dive deeper into this eye-opening conversation.

'Building a Better Britain' with John O'Brien

May 2023

For our first ever book-less book club we welcomed John O’Brien, founder of Anthropy UK.

The conversation meandered from skills needed to lead in the future, across the role of the monarchy, how to end generational unemployment and build an inclusive society as well as the role of purposeful business – all illuminated by great anecdotes.

Watch the replay here.

#futuregen by Jane Davidson

March 2023

Jane Davidson’s book tells the story about how she made her mark in history by proposing the first piece of legislation to place regenerative and sustainable practice at the heart of the government.

Watch the replay here to hear discussion about how to create safe, viable and well-connected communities, why nature needs to be a bigger part of school curriculums and how we can transform our existing skills into the skills we will need for the future.

Leading by Nature by Giles Hutchins

November 2022

Deemed the handbook for regenerative leadership, Giles Hutchins’ newest book addresses the important shift in leadership we must adopt in order to sustain our efforts of creating more sustainable and ethical businesses.

A masterful guide to the power of regenerative leadership” – John Elkington

Regeneration by Paul Hawken

October 2022

Paul’s book proposes an extensive menu of actions that collectively can reverse the overheating and degradation of our planet.

Watch the replay to hear discussion about these solutions to come away with a clear, practical sense of what can be done to save our planet in ‘one generation’.

Grow the Pie by Alex Edmans

September 2022

Grow the Pie by Alex Edmans offers a road map, supported by high-quality evidence and real-life examples, to help industry leaders put their purpose into practice.

Check out Richard Roberts provocative Medium article ‘What comes after Spreadsheet Capitalism?’ that ties perfectly with the thoughts and questions discussed in the book club.

Watch the replay

Thriving with Wayne Visser

June 2022

‘All organisms, including humans live and breathe and continue to exist because they regenerate’. With this central theme in mind, Thriving, by Wayne Visser seeks to make systems thinking more tangible than ever through what is described as, “a roadmap for nothing less than the reinvention of the world”.

Watch the replay.

In conversation with Katie Patrick


May 2022

Ranked by Forbes as a ‘Top 5 Books for Social Change Entrepreneurs’, How to Save the World by Katie Patrick provides a 10-step framework of exercise, tutorials and case studies all designed to help us change the world.

Watch the replay.


In conversation with Mary Ann Sieghart

March 2022

For Women’s History Month we welcomed Mary Ann Sieghart. Mary Ann’s work provides a staggering perspective on the unseen bias at work in our everyday lives, featuring a wealth of data, precision and insight, including interviews with pioneering women such as Mary Beard and Bernadine Evaristo.

Watch the replay

In conversation with Rebecca Willis

February 2022

Louise Kjellerup Roper is joined by Rebecca Willis to explore why climate is such a challenge for political systems even when solutions exist and argues that more democracy, not less, is needed to tackle the climate crisis.

Watch the replay

In conversation with Andrew Winston & Paul Polman

January 2022

Green business expert Andrew Winston and former Unilever CEO, Paul Polman joined us to discuss their contention that, (shockingly), companies are better positioned to thrive when solving the world’s problems rather than creating them.

Watch the replay

In conversation with Azeem Azhar

November 2021

Azeem Azhar joined us to discuss his book Exponential. Technology, he argues, is developing at an increasing, exponential rate. But human society – from our businesses to our political institutions – can only ever adapt at a slower, incremental pace. The result is an ‘exponential gap’, between the power of new technology and our ability to keep up. Exponential shows how this exponential gap can explain our society’s most pressing problems.

In conversation with Jamie Arbib

October 2021

Jamie Arbib joined us to discuss his book Rethinking Humanity. Calling on those who run a company, city,  or a nation state, to understand the simple patterns that drive complexity, disruption, and change in human history.

Watch the replay.

In conversation with Tim Jackson

September 2021

Tim Jackson, author of Post Growth: Life After Capitalism, joined Louise Kjellerup Roper to discuss his book which is described as a manifesto for system change and an invitation to rekindle a deeper conversation about the nature of human condition.

Watch the replay described by a club member as a “Phenomenal discussion. Such rich food for thought. Really superb.”

In conversation with Mariana Mazzucato

July 2021

Mariana Mazzucato, author of Mission Economy: A Moonshot Guide to Capitalism, joined us at the Green Swans Book Club to discuss the importance of  recovering a sense of public purpose, highlighting the central questions for humanity to help solve the questions that matter the most.

Watch the replay to hear the revolutionary ideas solving massive challenges facing the world.

In conversation with Bill Sharpe

June 2021

Incredible author Bill Sharpe joined us to explore the simple and intuitive framework in his latest book, The Three Horizons: Pattering of Hope. 

He shares the idea that organisation’s need a way of thinking about the unknown, uncertain visions for the future.

Watch the replay here and gather insights about the tools that resolve this.


In conversation with James Thornton and Martin Goodman

May 2021

James Thornton and Martin Goodman, authors of ClientEarth, joined us for a truly inspirational book club on how the law can be effectively used for systems change.

Watch the replay to learn how they think strategically about which areas to pursue, how they stay grounded, what the Chinese government had to say about their work and what is next for legal activism.

In conversation with Dr. Margaret Heffernan

March 2021

Louise spoke to Dr. Margaret Heffernan about her book Uncharted: How to Map the Future Together which explores the people and organisations who aren’t daunted by uncertainty.

They discussed why we can’t predict the future, the need for imagination in board rooms, thinking for ourselves and the need for people of a certain age to retire and give young people room to flourish.

See the replay here.

In conversation with Jonathon Porritt

July 2020

For any conservation [on climate change] to be authentic we have to start with the truth.”

Jonathon Porritt joined Louise to discuss his new book Hope in Hell: A Decade to Confront the Climate Emergency. We talked about using alternative mediums to engage with tech savvy and environmentally conscious Gen Zs, building back the incredible climate momentum we saw in 2019 in a post-COVID time and his thoughts on being a little more civilly disobedient. 

Listen to the full session below.

In conversation with Rebecca Henderson

October 2020

Louise and Rebecca Henderson sat down together to talk about Rebecca’s new highly anticipated book Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire. The conversation flowed between reimagining leadership and how to stay connected to nature during complex times and even to Rebecca’s thoughts on rewiring capital markets and wealth taxation and of course, starfish throwing. 

Listen to the full session here.

In conversation with Roman Krznaric

November 2020

Roman joined Louise to tell us about his new book The Good Ancestor: How to Think Long Term in a Short-Term World. Tune in to hear Roman’s thoughts on 
Yoshi-engumi – the Japanese act of adopting an heir, Cathedral Thinking, and how we train our marshmallow (short-term) brains into long-term acorns. 

 Watch the session here.