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Extreme close-up of cover of State of the World 2010, made up of 2.4 million pieces of plastic

State of the World 2010: Transforming Cultures: From Consumerism to Sustainability, published in 16 languages by Worldwatch Institute, asks a question central to the future of our species and to the health of the Earth: How do we make it as natural to live sustainably as living as a consumer feels today?

The consumer cultural paradigm has spread around the globe and encourages people to define their happiness and success through how much they consume. But on a finite planet, this system is maladaptive and threatens to cause significant disruptions to the planet and subsequently to human societies.

State of the World 2010 includes 26 articles from 60 eminent researchers and experts on consumerism, sustainability and cultural change and provides essential facts and case studies on how we can make the needed shift from consumerism to sustainability.

You can download all the articles of the report below. There are also many additional essays on this transformation on the Transforming Cultures blog. Additional resources, such as powerpoint slides, and a reading guide are available here, and videos are available here. For foreign editions, visit here. For the Youth Edition, visit here. For members of the media go here for a press kit.

Table of Contents of State of the World 2010

Click here for the full PDF of State of the World 2010 or click on the chapter titles below to download that specific article.

Click here to access the State of the World 2010 Discussion Guide

Cover Image by Chris Jordan



Muhammad Yunus, Founder, Grameen Bank, and 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate


Christopher Flavin, President, Worldwatch Institute

State of the World: A Year in Review

Lisa Mastny with Valentina Agostinelli


Erik Assadourian


Engaging Religions to Shape Worldviews

Gary Gardner

Ritual and Taboo as Ecological Guardians

Gary Gardner

Environmentally Sustainable Childbearing

Robert Engelman

Elders: A Cultural Resource for Promoting Sustainable Development

Judi Aubel

From Agriculture to Permaculture

Albert Bates and Toby Hemenway


Early Childhood Education to Transform Cultures for Sustainability

Ingrid Pramling Samuelsson and Yoshie Kaga

Commercialism in Children’s Lives

Susan Linn

Rethinking School Food: The Power of the Public Plate

Kevin Morgan and Roberta Sonnino

What Is Higher Education for Now?

David W. Orr


Adapting Institutions for Life in a Full World

Robert Costanza, Joshua Farley, and Ida Kubiszewski

Sustainable Work Schedules for All

Juliet Schor

Changing Business Cultures from Within

Ray Anderson, Mona Amodeo, and Jim Hartzfeld

Social Entrepreneurs: Innovating Toward Sustainability

Johanna Mair and Kate Ganly

Relocalizing Business

Michael H. Shuman


Editing Out Unsustainable Behavior

Michael Maniates

Broadening the Understanding of Security

Michael Renner

Building the Cities of the Future

Peter Newman

Reinventing Health Care: From Panacea to Hygeia

Walter Bortz

Earth Jurisprudence: From Colonization to Participation

Cormac Cullinan


From Selling Soap to Selling Sustainability: Social Marketing

Jonah Sachs and Susan Finkelpearl

Media Literacy, Citizenship, and Sustainability

Robin Andersen and Pamela Miller

Music: Using Education and Entertainment to Motivate Change

Amy Han


Reducing Work Time as a Path to Sustainability

John de Graaf

Inspiring People to See That Less Is More

Cecile Andrews and Wanda Urbanska

Ecovillages and the Transformation of Values

Jonathan Dawson




1. Do High Consumption Levels Improve Human Well-being? by Erik Assadourian

2. The Essential Role of Cultural Pioneers, by Erik Assadourian

3. A Global Ecological Ethic, by Patrick Curry

4. Deepening Perceptions of Time, by Alexander Rose

5. Dietary Norms That Heal People and the Planet, by Erik Assadourian and Eddie Kasner

6. Sustainability and the Human-Nature Relationship, by Almut Beringer

7. Toy Libraries, by Lucie Ozanne and Julie Ozanne

8. Transformation of the California Academy of Sciences, by Gregory C. Farrington

9. Unresolved Questions in Environmental Education, by David C. Orr

10. Maximizing the Value of Professional Schools, by Erik Assadourian

11. A New Focus for Scientists: How Cultures Change, by Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich

12. The Folly of Infinite Growth on a Finite Planet, by Øystein Dahle

13. Upgrading the Corporate Charter, by Kevin Green and Erik Assadourian

14. Cradle to Cradle: Adapting Production to Nature’s Model,

by William McDonough and Michael Braungart

15. A Carbon Index for the Financial Market, by Eduardo Athayde

16. The U.N. Marrakech Process on Sustainable Consumption and Production,

by Stefanie Bowles

17. Making Social Welfare Programs Sustainable, by Kevin Green and Erik Assadourian

18. Principles of Earth Jurisprudence, by Cormac Cullinan

19. The Evolving Role of Environmental Journalism in India, by Raj Chengappa

20. Lights, Camera, Ecological Consciousness, by Yann Arthus-Bertrand

21. Art for Earth’s Sake, by Satish Kumar

22. Growing a Degrowth Movement, by Serge Latouche

23. The Slow Food Movement, by Helene Gallis