Books and Reports

Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh

ancientfuturesHelena Norberg-Hodge was among first westerners to visit Ladakh when it was opened to “development” in 1975, and one of very few outsiders to master the Ladakhi language. This book provides not only a richly intimate look at Ladakh’s traditional culture, but also an unflinching description of the psychological, social, and environmental costs of modernisation. Profound insights into what the modern world can learn from traditional cultures make Ancient Futures an inspiration for all who seek a better world. Together with a film of the same title, Ancient Futures has been translated into almost 40 languages.

“An entrancing book…. Everyone who cares about the future of this planet should read it.” - The Guardian

“A book that must be heeded.” - The Nation

“Some books provide insights into our problems; others offer guidelines for a different future. Ancient Futures does both, brilliantly. A true classic.” - Bill McKibben

“A sensitive, thought-provoking account.” - New York Review of Books

“This passionate book is a gift to us all . . . an experience-based manifesto for change.” - Alice Waters

Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh

Rider Books (UK), revised 2000; paperback, b&w photos

£11.99 Order this book

Ancient Futures: Lessons from Ladakh for a Globalizing World

Sierra Club Books (US), revised 2009, including new Afterword; paperback, b&w photos (Note: this book is not available in the UK)

US$16.95 Order this book

Bringing the Food Economy Home: Local Alternatives to Global Agribusiness

bfehThe costs of the global food system are enormous and growing larger every day. Based on industrial monocultures and long-distance transport and trade, it is erasing the rich diversity of food systems worldwide. This book illustrates the bleak realities of ‘global food’ and outlines how we can shift direction – towards local food systems that meet real human and ecological needs.

“Want to know what’s wrong with globalisation? Read this book. Want to know what to do about it? Read this book.” - David Suzuki

By Helena Norberg-Hodge, Todd Merrified and Steven Gorelick.

Zed Books (UK) and Kumarian Press (US), 2002; 150 pages, paperback, b&w photos, index.

US$18.00 Order this book

Ripe for Change: Rethinking California's Food Economy

ripeforchangeThis ISEC report details the global economic underpinnings of California’s deteriorating food system. Through this big picture analysis, it unifies the various local food movements in California and points the way toward systemic localization.

By Katy Mamen, Steven Gorelick, Helena Norberg-Hodge, and Diana Deumling ISEC, 2004; 130 pages paperbound report, b&w illustrations.

US$12. Order a hard copy of this report or download a free pdf

Ripe for Change: Summary Report

11 page booklet.

US$2.00 Order a hard copy of this report or download a free pdf

From the Ground Up: Rethinking Industrial Agriculture

groundupAn analysis of the roots of the environmental, social and economic crises facing modern industrial agriculture, and a review of more sustainable options.

By Helena Norberg-Hodge, Peter Goering and John Page.

ISEC & Zed Books, 2000; 120 pages, paperback.

US$13.00 Order this book

Shifting Direction: From Global Dependence to Local Interdependence

shiftingThis report summarizes the many negative impacts of globalisation, followed by a detailed listing of concrete steps—in both personal and political domains—that can be taken to shift towards the local.

By Helena Norberg-Hodge

ISEC. 2000; 16 pages, paperbound.

US$5.00 Order this book

Small is Beautiful, Big is Subsidised

smallisThis report shows how taxpayers' money is used to promote business on an ever larger-scale. Using many examples and statistics, it reveals how the global economy and its huge transnational corporations are being heavily subsidised at the expense of small, local producers.

By Steven Gorelick, with a foreword by Helena Norberg-Hodge.

ISEC, 1998; 56 pages, paperbound, b&w illustrations.

US$6.00 Order a copy of this report

The Future of Progress: Reflections on Environment and Development

progressA collection of essays challenging the Western notions of progress that dominate the current debate on environment and development. Contributors include Edward Goldsmith, Vandana Shiva, Sigmund Kvaloy, Martin Khor, Nicholas Hildyard, Gary Snyder and Helena Norberg-Hodge.

Edited by ISEC

Green Books, revised edition 1995; 254 pages, paperback.

US$14.50 Order this book

A Journey to New York

newyorkISEC's "counter-development" comic book for use in the South, which sets out to balance the overly glamorous image of modern urban life. Through creative use of story and illustrations, it helps to support more rural, community-based ways of living and to restore respect for non-Western cultures around the world.

By ISEC, 1994;

32 pages, full colour.

US$5.00 Order this comic book



Wisdom for a Livable Planet

wisdomthumbnailISEC Director Helena Norberg-Hodge is one of eight thinkers and activists whose lives and work are examined in this inspiring volume. Among the other visionaries profiled are David Orr, Wes Jackson, Dave Foreman, and Herman Daly.

By Carl N. McDaniel

"A kind of primer for twenty-first century citizenship, and well worth the reading." - Bill McKibben

Trinity University Press, San Antonio, 2005;

277 pages, paperbound, index.


Out of stock - check back soon!

Short Circuit: Strengthening Local Economies for Security in an Unstable World

circuitIn the context of an increasingly unstable global economy, Short Circuit provides a much-needed study into how communities can build an independent local economy. It details the financial structures necessary for self-reliance, and describes the techniques already in use in pioneering communities across the industrialised world.

By Richard Douthwaite, with a foreword by Ed Mayo and Helena Norberg- Hodge.

Green Books, 1996; 386 pages, paperback.

Currently out of print. Full text and further information is available from Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability (Feasta).