How can we create a restorative economy?  That’s the question I ask in my book, No Straight Lines. The restorative economy aims to waste nothing. It will blend new technologies with ancient knowledge of what makes humanity thrive. I’m a designer. For me, helping create a restorative economy is probably the best design challenge going. Journey with me to find out what next looks like. Don’t worry everything’s going to be amazing.


The book has been designed, and produced to be both participatory; a read/write experience where you can comment on and discuss the work with a community. Or, if you wish, a deeper individual learning journey. You can read NSL for free online (just pay online by sending out a tweet about it). Use the video links to find out more about how it works:


Straight line thinking ends here: excerpts from videos, talks and slideshares

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What readers and thinkers are already saying...

‘Alan Moore is a visionary, someone who takes concepts from many sources and finds the previously hidden relationship between them. He has a firm grasp of the changes which are reshaping our world, always pointing towards a more participatory, cooperative, reciprocal model of what our society might look like’.

– Henry Jenkins, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. De Florz Chair of the Comparative Media Studies Program MIT, Provost Professor of Communication, Journalism, and Cinematic Arts, USC Annenberg School for Communication

‘In the moments between watching and re-watching the Olympic Opening Ceremony in the past 48 hours, I’ve been reading No Straight Lines: Making Sense of Our Non-Linear World by Alan Moore. Alan presents the current array of economic and social problems as a kind of design challenge, where what is being redesigned is the organisation of society as a whole. Insanely ambitious, but I rather like that. In sum: “Imagine the impossible, then create it.” Our hero Danny Boyle would agree.

Diane Coyle, OBE; Vice Chairman BBC Trust; Economist; author of The Economics of Enough: How to Run the Economy as If the Future Matters, The Soulful Science.

‘No straight lines offers a path out of a traditional frame of linear thinking and problem solving that leads to dead ends and into an intuitive, nuanced way of approaching what was unsolvable that values complexity that is invigorating and valuable’.

Kevin Jones, Co-founder & Convener, Social Capital Markets

‘No Straight Lines is a passionate and intelligent book that explores the insanity of humankinds desire to organise itself along engineered technical, mechanistic lines when we are part of the natural world which is fluid, adaptive and asymmetrical. You find no straight lines in nature. Anyone who is interested in the future, interested in how our aspirations to work in a way that satisfies our creative intent and frankly, anyone who has an interest in the true nature of happiness – should read this important book. You don’t have to agree with everything Alan Moore says, because that is the point – the essence of success lies in adapting what you need to what you do. This is a great achievement and I commend this book to you’.

– Tim Smit, founder of The Eden Project Cornwall

‘Anyone worried about where business is going in today’s chaotic world – and everyone concerned with where it should be going – must read No Straight Lines. Alan Moore has captured what is happening, but more importantly provides prescriptions for what individuals, companies, and society should do about it to create a better world’.

– B Joseph Pine II, Co-author, The Experience Economy and Infinite Possibility

I went into reading No Straight Lines (NSL) with a sense that I would come away mildly disrupted in terms of my thinking and activity. In terms of context, I’ve been pursuing a life that doesn’t really have a pre-sent destination, while hearing more often than not that I need to take the detour that looks like the familiar from those who are on their “straighter and safer” paths. What I found as I read NSL is that if you aren’t willing to find not just your unique voice (you > world) but also your unique steps (you + world), that you will continue in the straight thinking and activities which don’t push life forward, but slow down the intertia that should be progress.

– Amazon reviewer

No straight lines is the new logic as Alan described in this inspiring plea for a more human centric and above all more participatory society. The book reads like a roadmovie from the rise of the assembly line mentality to the fall of the Berlin wall and now the growing emancipation of people throughout our world via information-technologies. As a true designer Alan carefully articulates the changes in our society and page by page distills a new form to understand our world, no straight lines. It’s not just a subculture of some hackers, in fact it is not even about technology, moreover this meta-trend is about true social innovation. NSL will enable open-government, open-data, perhaps even opening up your own DNA. But where does that leave the concept of a company or industry? Be prepared to experience the unexpected since this book will create a virus of the mind. The shocking answer is that there is no quick fix, not even a solution to be engineered. This is a world of no straight line thinking, embracing complexity is the answer. How? That itself needs to be explored in a participatory fashion in the search for more social entrepreneurship or maybe distributed or creative leadership. Whatever that might mean is yet to be discovered. Alan clearly has a mission and I would happily choose him as a guide, off the beaten track and through these uncharted territories. ‘

– Arjan Postma, research director – FreedomLab future studies

’If you were born in the last millenium, I have news for you: innovation doesn’t happen the same way anymore. Alan is a charismatic visionary who studies the disruptive trends in the world of innovation and makes them very tangible to his audience. His book No Straight Lines is a great guide in how this works in real life’.

– Bernard Slede, Managing Director, HP Startup Ecosystem Programs

‘Alan truly is a visionary in understanding the knowledge economy and has a talent for explaining how we got to where we are today, the disruptions organisations are facing and how they need to evolve and adapt to have a chance to succeed in the future. If companies such as Nokia followed Alan’s insights and concepts 5 years ago they would have different outcomes. I recommend corporate leaders to interpret how No Straight Lines applies to their organisation and take action’.

– Tony Kypreos, Co-Founder & Mentor at Springboard, advisory board European Leaders

‘The first strength of No Straight Lines is Alan’s call for humanity and a participatory society by making sense of why *we* feel so jaded, disconnected and marginalized by the prevalent take-no-prisoners hyper-capitalism and super-consumerism. Secondly, the call for craftsmanship makes you realize that one of the emerging skillsets is not general or corporate management but self-management and making things. The Internet provides the platform for anyone to express themselves, their ideas and their art – directly or indirectly. Thirdly, the call for a new language that better describes the emerging world is vital, where language determines thought and thought determines language. But the real takeaway is the big, big picture set in the context of real history, connected with hundreds and thousands of years of evolution and thought process. I now understand that it has taken 5+ years to get to the point of a manuscript’.

– Per J. Håkansson – Entrepreneur

Twitter comments from the No Straight Lines keynote at sxsw 2010
‘One of my overall favorite sessions at SXSW #nostraightlines’.
‘Great big thinking. A perfect ending to #sxsw #nostraightlines’.
‘Hearing about #nostraightlines I am wishing I was at SXSWi for the first time’.
‘fantastic talk #nostraightlines #sxsw’.
‘RT @saraschneider: I played the #sxswi lottery this am and won, with #nostraightlines’.