The Pivot: Addressing Global Problems Through Local Action (Hardcover)
When the world reemerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems likely that it will have transformed irrevocably. Can societies already reeling from climate change, income inequality, and structural racism change for the better? Does the shock of the pandemic offer an opportunity to pivot to a more sustainable way of life? Early in the crisis, a global volunteer collaboration called Pivot Projects was formed to rethink how the world works. Some members are experts in the sciences and the humanities; others are environmental activists or regular people who see themselves as world citizens. In The Pivot, the journalist Steve Hamm--who embedded in the enterprise from the start--explores their efforts and shows how their approach provides a model for achieving systemic change. Chronicling the group's progress along an uncharted path, he shows how people with a variety of skills and personalities collaborate to get things done. Through their work, Hamm examines some of today's most important technologies and concepts, such as systems thinking and modeling, complexity theory, artificial intelligence, and new thinking about resilience. The book features vivid, informal profiles of a number of the group's members and brings to life the excitement and energy of dynamic, smart people trying to change the world. Part journal of a plague year and part call to action, The Pivot tells the remarkable story of a collaborative experiment seeking to make the world more sustainable and resilient.
Steve Hamm is an author, journalist, and filmmaker. He has worked for a number of newspapers and magazines, including BusinessWeek and the San Jose Mercury News, and has made documentary films about immigration, policing, and opioids. He is coauthor of Smart Machines: IBM's Watson and the Era of Cognitive Computing (Columbia, 2013) and Rise of the Data Cloud (2020), among other books.