The Human Venture Library

The Human Venture community is dedicated to the ongoing identification and collection of resources that point to the leading edge of human and social development. The resources cover various fields of endeavour, times in history, authors and pioneer leaders.

Book Reviews


What makes these book significant? Why would they be worth reading? We’ve put together reviews of some of the books we have been paying attention to lately and why you might want them on your reading list. See all of our book reviews here.

Book Lists


These book lists, from the Human Venture Institute library, are a small representation of the breadth and depth of cultural resources that the Human Venture community is drawing on. The book lists are meant to support a self-guided exploration into Human Learning Ecology. This path is available to anyone, as long as you are willing to search through history and current events. Through thoughtful, caring and determined discipline one can discover patterns of progress and resistance in human and social development.

For more information on Human Learning Ecology or the Human Venture Framework, please Contact Us or visit our Programs.

Recommended Reading/Viewing:

  1. “A Short History of Progress” by Ronald Wright; Anansi Press, Toronto, 2004 [paperback edition], 2006 [hardcover, illustrated edition]
  2. “Surviving Progress” a film by Mathieu Roy & Harold Crooks; 2011

Further Exploration:

  1. “The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View From the Future” by Naomi Oreskes & Erik Conway; Columbia University Press, 2014
  2. “Ten Billion” by Stephen Emmott; Penguin, 2013
  3. “Progress or Collapse: The Crisis of Market Greed” by Roberto De Vogli; Routledge, 2013
  4. “The Five Stages of Collapse: Survivors’ Toolkit” by Dimitry Orlov; New Society Publishers, 2013
  5. “The Long Descent: A User’s Guide to the End of the Industrial Age” by John Michael Greer; New Society Publishers, 2008
  6. “Collapse, How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed” by Jared Diamond; Viking Press, 2005 [also available as an audio book.]
  7. “Dark Age Ahead” by Jane Jacobs; Vintage Canada Edition, 2005
  8. “Guns, Germs & Steel: The fates of Human Societies” by Jared Diamond; W.W. Norton & Company, 1999 [Available as an audio book and as a 3 hour National Geographic documentary on DVD]
  9. “Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Example and American Prospects” by Dmitry Orlov; New Society Publishers, 2008
  10. “The Collapse of Complex Societies” by Jospeh Tainter; Cambridge University Press, 1990

Reflection Questions:

  1. What is progress?
  2. How do we / can we know?
  3. How can we be mistaken?
  4. Why do societies / civilizations fail?
  5. What developments are needed to reduce the risk of catastrophic failure of our own civilization?
  6. Why is it important to be seeking answers to Gauguin’s questions? [Short History of Progress – Chapter 1]
  7. How can we do that?
  8. What does all this have to do with leadership?
  9. What does all this have to do with your own life journey?