Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming. Paul Hawken. Viking.

Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming Book Cover Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming
Paul Hawken
May 10, 2007

The dawn of the twenty-first century has witnessed two remarkable developments in our history: the appearance of systemic problems that are genuinely global in scope, and the growth of a worldwide movement that is determined to heal the wounds of the earth with the force of passion, dedication, and collective intelligence and wisdom. Across the planet groups ranging from ad hoc neighborhood associations to well-funded international organizations are confronting issues like the destruction of the environment, the abuses of free-market fundamentalism, social justice, and the loss of indigenous cultures. They share no orthodoxy or unifying ideology; they follow no single charismatic leader; they remain simple enough to coalesce easily into larger networks to achieve their goals. While they are mostly unrecognized by politicians and the media, they are bringing about what may one day be judged the single most profound transformation of human society.

Blessed Unrest is the story of what is going right in this world, an account of how people use imagination, conviction, and resilience to perform daily miracles of redefining our relationship to the environment and to one another. Paul Hawkin, author of the Classic the Ecology of Commerce, draws upon his use of leadership in this movement of movements to chart and illuminate its intellectual origins, its diversity, its goals, and its extraordinary vitality. From students in Australia to farmers in France, from shoemakers to zoologists to poets, the participants in this great enterprise (which now numbers well over one million organizations) are united by a conviction that the world must be reconstituted to ensure its – and our own – survival. Blessed Unrest also features a taxonomic guide to the full breadth of project areas that are being pursued by the environmental and social justice movements – an invaluable resource and inspiration.

Paul Hawken’s books have achieved the status of classics for the visionary prescriptions for sustainability, ways of living that honor the earth and its inhabitants. In Blessed Unrest that vision finds its most optimistic fulfillment. The means that the members of the great movement we are now witnessing have invented to make that possible constitute not only the record of a great moral enterprise, but the richest legacy we can leave for the future.

Paul Hawken is an environmentalist, entrepreneur, journalist, and bestselling author of six previous books. He is the architect and leading proponent of reform with respect to ecological practices. He currently operates a nonprofit organization and lives on Cascade Creek in in California. Visit and