Top 11 Sunday reads

My blogging has been a little slack lately – but with a renewed focus, I’m hoping to get going again. I thought I’d kick it off with  an updated list of some of the stuff that has inspired me over the last few weeks. It might be of interest to anyone while enjoying a weekend cuppa.

1. A link to the UK Insights team and their thinking on sustainable development.

2. The Fearless Cottage blog is an “informal clubhouse” for inspired and fresh thinkers. Led by Alex Bogusky (co-founder of Common), you can catch up on how the latest generation of concerned citizens are helping drive a new era in sustainability.

3. The Guardian Sustainability blog is always a great resource

4. Great list of top 10 links on green behaviour change initiatives

5. The Natural Change Project is a fascinating report documenting the efforts by the 2011 WWF team (Scotland) to cultivate new leaders in sustainability. Nicely presented as well.

6. This article from Wired talks about how we’re inherently social animals. The influence of others change how we tell stories about the past.

7. Via the International Journal of Advertising, this is a wonderful article by Faris Yakob outlining some great books for anyone interested in marketing, communications and a deeper understanding of human behaviour.

8. The British Psychological Society’s report on the psychological impacts of childhood obesity

9. Check out The Guardian’s new and very clever Twitter-based search assistant – @GuardianTagBot. As they say “It’s rather like playing fetch with our articles, videos, galleries and audio.” I’ve tried it – works quite nicely.

10. I wrote about Chipotle’s wonderful work on an earlier post. Here’s a follow up – again, wonderful storytelling. It’s great to see a brand with a clear purpose. You can find more at


11. And finally…A wonderful video on Beauty – part of The Feynman Series.


A life lost…and found

If you haven’t already checked out this beautiful piece of work by Johnny Kelly for Chipotle,  it’s well worth a look. It really is storytelling at its best – with a powerful combination of music, imagery and message. While much of its power comes from the Willie Nelson cover of Coldplay’s “The Scientist”, it is the animated story itself that is so effecting. Focusing on the evils of factory farming, and the beauty of sustainable living, it goes deeper than a message focused on animal cruelty. Instead, it goes to the soul of what modern life can cost us in terms of true happiness and genuine inner peace. In just over 2 minutes, we see the cost of our choices, but then see the rewards of choosing a different path. While this story paints a bleak picture at the outset, it completes the story by demonstrating that its never to late to change. It shows us an alternative future, with a simple path to get there. By  supporting Chipotle – a brand that cares about the sames things that we do – we’ll feel just a little bit better inside.

To me, it provides a great reminder of what matters when trying to drive behaviour change within our communities, whether focused on big issues like the environment, health or safety. We should always think about how to shrink the change by remembering that a positive message will always trump a negative one. While messaging focused on fear is easy, they rarely drive long-term action. We need to seek out ways to make alternative options more attractive and easier for people to choose.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the making of this video, you can see more behind the scenes footage and images here