Volans’ Green Swans Book Club

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

Introduction

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 – and our CEO, Louise Kjellerup Roper, facilitates an interactive Book Club session with plenty of questions from members.

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 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

Wayne Visser

29th June, 5:00pm – 6:30pm 

An innovation agenda for tackling our biggest global societal challenges,  Thriving by Wayne Visser will be our book of the month in June. Reminding us of the necessity of change, Wayne hopes to inspire readers to welcome change and focus attention towards breakthrough solutions.

Register here

 

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

 

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. 

 

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.

Register here

 

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.