Secondsguru’s Readers’ Corner is a regular feature where eco warriors from Singapore share with us a book on sustainability that made an impact on them. This reading list of eco themed books is recommended for all those who want to make a difference to the world we live in – reading is a journey, rich in experience and learning, without actually having to leave a room. (Ideal at this point of time?!)
This month, we caught up with Laura Francois – a social impact strategist, designer and storyteller. She combines her expertise in development, design and altruism to enable others to think about the impact their choices have and how they can maximise sustainability. Some of the projects she has worked on and is still associated with are – the art based impact project Clothing The Loop (as Co-Founder), and the global non-profit movement Fashion Revolution (as Country Coordinator for Singapore & Malaysia for several years). Laura is also the co-founder of an impact design studio ANEWKIND.
Laura’s eco book recommendation is The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben. The author opens up the magical world of trees and forests for the reader, explaining how they live in families not very different from humans. He also highlights the lesser known communication abilities among trees and points out that ‘a happy forest is a healthy forest’- something that is beneficial for the planet as well as for those who live on it.
In Conversation With Laura Francois:
SG | Tell us a bit about yourself and your work.
LF | I’m a Canadian social impact strategist based in Singapore. I’ve been working around the region for the past 5 years supporting and designing environmental and social impact projects. My mission is to reshape the way we think about large systemic challenges through design thinking and the creative arts. My aim is to empower startups, nonprofits and governments to maximise sustainability and use creativity in business as a force for good.
SG | Can you recommend a book – fiction or nonfiction – which centres around our planet or our environment – that you love, or are inspired by?
LF | The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries From a Secret World by Peter Wohlleben
SG | Your version of what the back cover should read to convince everyone to pick it up right away!
LF | You will never see a tree the same way again. Trees are brilliant beings, and they sense and feel so much more than we give them credit for. We are constantly in a dynamic relationship with a tree somewhere. Every time you breathe, there is a tree you should be thankful for!
SG | Do share one or few lines from the book that strike a chord with you.
LF | “But isn’t that how evolution works? you ask. The survival of the fittest? Trees would just shake their heads—or rather their crowns. Their well-being depends on their community, and when the supposedly feeble trees disappear, the others lose as well.”
SG | If you were the author of this book, is there anything that you would have done differently?
LF | The only thing I would have done differently would be to add images of the beautiful trees! (An updated illustrated version of the book is now available here)
SG| If you could change the title of the book, it would be called ___________________
LF | ‘Lessons from the Forest’
Related Articles: Other Book Recommendations by Eco Warriors