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...

‘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.

‘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

‘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

No straight lines is an 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. 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

‘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’.