The 365 Ways Blog

Michael Norton is author of "365 Ways to Change the World", which provides an issue for each day of the year, interesting facts, inspiring case studies of people doing things to address the issue and ideas for action. Originally published in the UK, versions with local content have been published in Australia, Canada, India, South Africa and the USA. To find out more visit our website:

24 October 2007

Four books to inspire you

The Everyday Activist
Everything You Need to Know to Get Off Your Backside and Make a Difference
By Michael Norton

Published by Boxtree, October 2007; £9.99

There is huge debate about whose responsibility it is to change the world. From politicians and celebrity to ordinary people like us, everyone is being held to account for their personal impact on our planet. The Everyday Activist offers the solution. It provides practical and easy-to-follow advice backed up by over 40 inspirational stories of people who have gone out and done something.

The book suggests six steps:
1. Understand that YOU can change the world
2. Become an Everyday Activist; do lots of little things in your life, in your community, at work.
3. Decide what's the problem – what is the issue that really concerns you?
4. Come up with a solution.
5. Take action – by yourself and with your friends.
6. World domination – your ideas start to spread around the country and through the world.

There is a 60 page action guide on getting organised, getting noticed and getting the money you need to succeed.

This inspirational book is a must-have guide for anyone who wants to go out and make a difference. Michael Norton is author of "365 Ways to Change the World"

How to save the world in your spare time
by Elizabeth May
published by Key Porter Books, Can$21.95:

Most how to books are a little bit too theoretical, they state the obvious and make it seem all to easy, and a lot of them are boring to read. Now here is a book written from personal experience drawing out the lessons for becoming a successful campaigner.

The author of “How to save the world in your spare time” has been in the thick of things from early childhood, when her parents formed the Connecticut Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy. Her mother was an active and passionate citizen-activist, and this led to her becoming a co-signatory with 17 others (all of whom were Nobel Laureates) to an international lawsuit against the governments of the USA, UK and Soviet Union.

Elizabeth’s career as an activist also got off to an explosive start. Aged 23 on her first live TV appearance, she read out a letter sent in by a whistleblower that completely contradicted everything a Swedish paper company was saying about the need to spray pesticides. Elizabeth is now Executive Director of the Sierra Club of Canada.

Her book is full of sound advice as well as fascinating case examples of determined people winning out, often against seemingly impossible odds.

These are the ten lessons that Elizabeth learned at her mother’s knee:
1. My grandmother always said, “Thought without constructive action is demoralising”.
2. You can accomplish anything you want so long as you don’t care who gets the credit.
3. There is no one so famous of important that you cannot pick up the phone and talk to them. Even famous people need baths.
4. Media coverage is fickle.
5. Sometimes governments lie.
6. No one is powerless without their own permission.
7. Be polite.
8. Thank people for helping.
9. Changing the world is only a matter of time… if you have enough people on your side. Getting them on your side is what takes time.
10. My mommy changed the world. So can I.

The Big Earth Book
by James Bruges
Alastair Sawday Publishing, £25
This book explores environmental, social and economic ideas that can make life better for everyone on the planet. A follow up from The Little Earth Book b y the same author and publisher.

The More You Give, The More You Get
by Mike Dickson
from the author
A guide to philanthropy and some interesting philanthropists.