John-Paul Flintoff

How to Change the World : Reviews

How to Change the World

Buy a copy here

“Flintoff hews to the fine line between starry-eyed idealism and pragmatic, here’s-the-five-steps-to-take detailing. His chapter on identifying values is especially thoughtful” – Kirkus Review

“Absolutely fantastic” – Camila Batmanghelidjh of Kids Company

“Flintoff is a master at turning your smallness into something giant and the world’s enormity into Lego blocks… This changing the world stuff can feel awfully fluffy, but Flintoff, perhaps more than anyone else out there, brings it down to earth” – Cameron Conaway, The Good Men Project

“I don’t know how he managed to avoid the usual cliches. Well worth a read” – Rachel Botsman, author of What’s Mine Is Yours

“A little book of wisdom… Flintoff does a wonderful job explaining that no idea is too small, and if you can make an impact on your peers or a small community, it can expand beyond anything you imagined. Get to work!” – Jasmine Henderson, The Culture LP

“Packed with ways to transform stagnation into inspiration. What are you waiting for?” – Dayton Daily News

“A potential mini-epihany on almost every page” – Zoe Edwards

“With a title like How to Change the World, you could be forgiven for rolling your eyes. Roll not… Short, wise and inspiring, frequently humorous, and full of encouragement” – Jeremy Williams

“Like any meaningful book on how to make change happen, it has one foot in [Flintoff’s] own experience. That gives it a richness, a humour, and a depth that I really valued” – Rob Hopkins, Transition Culture

“Excellent, impressively concise… Recommend to all frustrated, dormant, and emerging movers and shakers” – Fi Cunningham, Southbank Centre

“I loved this book. It’s incredibly inspiring and very readable. I particularly liked the message that you can make a real difference just by tiny everyday actions” – Amazon reviewer Country Girl

“Inspiring and uplifting… It’s very easy to convince oneself that we are helpless, but JPF reminds us that this isn’t so” – Amazon reviewer Quakerlizz

“Flintoff shows little patience for the self-serving assumption that fixating on global problems like climate change and poverty is a sign of moral superiority over those who manufacture components or create art” – News Observer

“Great self-help for a jaded campaigner” – James Blair

“Practical and inspiring” – Eleanor Mills

(And from reviews of my previous books)

“Wonderful, amazing, funny and warm! And inspiring!” Tom Hodgkinson, author of How To Be Free

“I love the book. It’s a really thoughtful read and [Flintoff] turns a lovely phrase” – Anne Caborn, Make It And Mend It

“I really enjoyed it” – AJ Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically

“This is one hell of a book and I did not want to put it down” – Michael Smith, Green Review

“People are changing the world by small actions, but Flintoff finds that that’s the only way to make effective change” – Dan Thompson,

“Very honest and human and moving” – Nick Rosen, author of Off-Grid

“Don’t expect to finish it in a hurry – your head will be filling up with Things You Can Do, and you’ll be jumping up to get on with them” – Emma Cooper, Eco Crafts

How to Change The World

Photo: Simon C Roberts

Shortlisted for The Transmission Prize 2013

The self-help book has become a bit of a joke. But for 2,000 years and more it stood at the pinnacle of literary achievement. Now The School of Life has launched a series of guides for everyday living, written by (they say) some of the leading minds in the field.

A young reader with How To Change The World My own contribution, How To Change The World, will help to identify what is most important to you (not me!), and ways to overcome the obstacles that might hold you back.

I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I have got a lot of the questions. (Extremely useful to me as a coach.) My previous book, Sew Your Own, was an account of my own efforts to make a difference.

I’ve also met many people who have done much more than I ever will, including political theorists, guerrilla gardeners, businessmen, philosophers, artists, card-carrying campaigners, voting reformers and philanthropists.

How To Change The World is available on audio. Click here to try the free sample.


First foreign-language edition is here

Como Cambiar el Mundo

Hurrah hurrah! The first foreign-language edition of How To Change The World has arrived, translated by Gemma Fernandez Parera.

I am delighted to see Como Cambiar el Mundo, and strongly recommend it f…

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The "great man" theory of history, versus Tolstoy

Tolstoy as a young man in military uniform How can I, one individual in a world of billions, hope to change anything?

There are many reasons why this kind of defeatist question comes so easily to us. They include the way we have been brought…

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The School of Life - Live!

John-Paul Flintoff on How To Change The World at TSOLlive

What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

That is one of the questions I ask in my new book, How To Change The World, and to judge by the feedback I’ve had already, it seems to really get people…

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If you say you want to "change the world"...

Kofi Annan talking to Chris Martin at Live Aid

People might think you are a bit odd. A bit messianic. Who do you think you are, they might ask – Gandhi? Chris Martin (the Coldplay singer, pictured here with the then-UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan…

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Map your support network

Map your support network

Chris Johnstone, in his work with addicts and alcoholics, encourages them to draw maps of their support network.

We might all usefully do the same. To begin, write your name in the middle of a piece of…

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No good being a campaigner if you're not a good neighbour

John-Paul Flintoff buried in vegetables

Photo copyright: Pal Hansen

I was mad keen for everybody in Britain to start growing food, as I had done (I still do). But how to start that? Not, I suspected, by delivering hectoring speeches.

And then…

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Restorative Justice saved my life

That day, I was wandering around a square in north London full of smart houses, says Peter Woolf. After going all the way round, I picked one at random.

Walking casually up to the black door, I pushed…

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To plug or not to plug

BBC Radio 4 Saturday Live with Angela Hartnett, Richard Coles and Sian Williams

When you write a book, you want people to read it. Obviously. Not necessarily buy it – they could also borrow it at a library – but after you’ve gone to the trouble of writing something, you want peop…

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Can "bad kids" turn good?

Not long ago, three teenagers boarded the No. 12 bus in south London: Cleo, Mandy, and Mandy’s brother Brian. At the top of her voice, Cleo said: “I’m going to mess someone up on this bus.” And the th…

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Incredible journey

Like Thelma and Louise, but with two blokes, no guns, more interviews – and no fossil fuels.

I made this trailer a few years ago, to get TV companies interested in backing a trip from John O’Groats to…

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Rodin's thinker reading How To Change The World

Which book to read first?

How To Change The World is just one of six books being published at the same time by the School of Life and Macmillan.

What order are you reading them?

I very much hope you will read mine – but no less sincerely do I hope you’ll try…

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How to change the world, in America

I’m so pleased, and excited, to have my book published in the US because it contains so much material about north Americans who have done remarkable, world-changing things, including (but not only): G…

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