John-Paul Flintoff

What is How To change the world

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 have all the answers, but I do have a lot of the questions.

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


It doesn't have to be the whole world. Just change your world

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…

Continue reading


Extract from Chapter 1

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…

Continue reading


“Acquire a habit of fearlessness”


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…

Continue reading


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…

Continue reading

How to Change The World

Rodin's thinker reading How To Change The World


Como Cambiar el Mundo


Si tuvieras la oportunidad, cambiaras el mundo? Claro que si. Hay muchas cosas que harias ahora mismo si tuvieras una varita magica, porque, al fin y al cabo, el mundo necesita mejorar desesperadament…

Continue reading


How to change the world, in Greek


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…

Continue reading


De wereld veranderen: hoe doe je dat


Now available in Iran


Wie man die Welt veraendert

Wenn Sie die Möglichkeit hätten, würden Sie dann die Welt verändern? Natürlich würden Sie das! Es gibt viele Dinge, die Sie sofort ändern würden, wenn Sie einen Zauberstab in die Hand gedrück…

Continue reading


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…

Continue reading

How to Change the World : Reviews

How to Change the World

What people say

“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