Books

Dr Wayne Visser is the author of 27 books, including non-fiction works like The World Guide to Sustainable EnterpriseSustainable FrontiersCSR 2.0 and The Age of Responsibility and poetry collections like Life in TransitSeize the Day and I Am An African. See a full list with descriptions and links to buy below.

Non-Fiction

The Little Book of Quotations on Sustainable Business

This unique collection of 100 quotations on sustainable business by Dr Wayne Visser is designed to challenge and question, as much as to inspire and inform. The quotes – taken from the extensive writings of Dr Visser – range from the role of business in tackling our global sustainability challenges to why our efforts on sustainability have so far failed to make a meaningful difference. The key message is that, for sustainability to be achieved, we need to change the way we perceive business: its purpose, its methods and its impacts. Buy the paper book.

The Little Book of Quotations on Social Responsibility

This unique collection of 100 quotations on social responsibility by Dr Wayne Visser is designed to challenge and question, as much as to inspire and inform. The quotes – taken from the extensive writings of Dr Visser – range from the role of business in society and companies’ accountability to stakeholders, to the importance of social justice and the need for transformative – rather than defensive, charitable, promotional or strategic – CSR. The key message is that, for business to survive and thrive in an age of responsibility, it must embrace an ambitious social purpose. Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

The World Guide to Sustainable Enterprise: Volume 1 (Africa & Middle East)

The World Guide to Sustainable Enterprise is the first comprehensive global compendium that clearly describes the national approaches to sustainable enterprise. Volume 1 covers 28 countries and two sub-regional profiles (Middle East & North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa). Through a systematic review of each country, this quick-to-access reference guide showcases the similarities and differences in each region. Every country profile includes key information about the relevant history, country-specific issues, trends, research, and the leading organizations operating in the field as well as best-practice case studies.  Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

The World Guide to Sustainable Enterprise: Volume 2 (Asia Pacific)

The World Guide to Sustainable Enterprise is the first comprehensive global compendium that clearly describes the national approaches to sustainable enterprise. Volume 2 covers 22 countries and two sub-regional profiles (Central, East & South Asia and South-East Asia & Oceania). Through a systematic review of each country, this quick-to-access reference guide showcases the similarities and differences in each region. Every country profile includes key information about the relevant history, country-specific issues, trends, research, and the leading organizations operating in the field as well as best-practice case studies.  Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

The World Guide to Sustainable Enterprise: Volume 3 (Europe)

The World Guide to Sustainable Enterprise is the first comprehensive global compendium that clearly describes the national approaches to sustainable enterprise. Volume 3 covers 33 countries and two sub-regional profiles (Eastern & Southern Europe and Northern & Western Europe). Through a systematic review of each country, this quick-to-access reference guide showcases the similarities and differences in each region. Every country profile includes key information about the relevant history, country-specific issues, trends, research, and the leading organizations operating in the field as well as best-practice case studies.  Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

The World Guide to Sustainable Enterprise: Volume 4 (Americas)

The World Guide to Sustainable Enterprise is the first comprehensive global compendium that clearly describes the national approaches to sustainable enterprise. Volume 4 covers 19 countries and two sub-regional profiles (Northern & Central America and South America). Through a systematic review of each country, this quick-to-access reference guide showcases the similarities and differences in each region. Every country profile includes key information about the relevant history, country-specific issues, trends, research, and the leading organizations operating in the field as well as best-practice case studies.  Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

Sustainable Frontiers: Unlocking Change through Business, Leadership and Innovation

Sustainable Frontiers throws down the gauntlet to business to step up and be the catalyst for a sustainable future. It presents eight keys to unlocking transformational change – through leadership, enterprise, innovation, transparency, engagement, responsibility, integration and future-fitness. Far from being another tame review of corporate social responsibility and sustainable business initiatives, the book dispels the myths of sustainability and challenges us to let go of old systems that are failing to deliver economic, social and environmental transformation. Buy the book / Buy the e-book.

This is Tomorrow: Artists for a Sustainable Future

“The universe is made of stories, not atoms” (Muriel Rukeyser). We believe the future needs to be re-imagined. This Is Tomorrow depicts the responsible challenges of the 21st century through the words and artworks of a broad spectrum of artists (including graphic artists, filmmakers, singers, dancers and sculptors) from around the world. With art, we can articulate a positive narrative for change. Re-imagining the future one story and one artist at a time. Buy the e-book.

The CSR International Research Compendium: Volume 1 (Governance)

In this Compendium, CSR International has compiled summaries of the best research on corporate sustainability, social responsibility and business ethics since 2009. Volume 1 on Governance profiles over 450 research publications between 2009 and 2014 – including practitioner reports, market surveys and academic papers – from over 300 authors and more 250 organisations. Specifically, it contains research abstracts on the following governance-related topic areas: accountability, transparency, ethical behaviour, responsible investment, stakeholder interests, and fair operating practices. Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

The CSR International Research Compendium: Volume 2 (Environment)

In this Compendium, CSR International has compiled summaries of the best research on corporate sustainability, social responsibility and business ethics since 2009. Volume 2 on Environment profiles over 500 research publications between 2009 and 2014 – including practitioner reports, market surveys and academic papers – from over 80 authors and more 400 organisations. Specifically, it contains research abstracts on the following environment-related topic areas: sustainable development and the green economy, sustainability practices, sustainable resource use, prevention of pollution, climate change, protection of the environment and biodiversity, and sectoral approaches. Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

The CSR International Research Compendium: Volume 3 (Society)

In this Compendium, CSR International has compiled summaries of the best research on corporate sustainability, social responsibility and business ethics since 2009. Volume 3 on Society profiles over 400 research publications between 2009 and 2014 – including practitioner reports, market surveys and academic papers – from over 180 authors and more 280 organisations. Specifically, it contains research abstracts on the following society-related topic areas: human rights, labour practices, consumer-oriented CSR communication, consumer social and environmental responsibility, and community involvement and contribution community development. Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

Disrupting the Future: Great Ideas for Creating a Much Better World

In 2052: A Global Forecast for the Next 40 Years ,Jorgen Randers draws on his own experience in the sustainability area, global forecasting tools, and the predictions – included in the book as ‘Glimpses’ – of more than thirty thought leaders to guide us through the future he feels is most likely to emerge towards the middle of the century. At a meeting of 25 of the ‘Glimpse’ authors in Cambridge in October 2013, each participant was invited to present a ‘great idea’ (or thought, or development or fact) that they believed could improve on world developments over the next forty years. This book is the result of this process and is a remarkable collection of ideas and proposals by a diverse set of thought-leaders, each of which has responded in their own creative way to Jorgen Randers’ concluding challenge in 2052: ‘Please help me make my forecast wrong. Together we could create a much better world.’ Buy the book / Buy the e-book.

CSR 2.0: Transforming Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility

The book examines the evolution and current state of corporate social responsibility (CSR), using a five-stage maturity model: defensive, charitable, promotional, strategic (all CSR 1.0) and transformative CSR (CSR 2.0). Reasons are given why CSR 1.0 approaches have failed to have any significant impact on the most serious global social, environmental and ethical challenges. The emergent CSR 2.0 is explored in detail by elaborating on five principles underlying the new approach, including: creativity, scalability, responsiveness, glocality and circularity. A four-part DNA Model is also introduced, covering value creation, good governance, societal contribution and ecological integrity, which provides the basis for defining and measuring CSR 2.0. Finally, a 70-question CSR 2.0 self-assessment diagnostic tool developed by the author is presented, with sample data to show how the tool can be used for future research and practitioner application. Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

The Quest for Sustainable Business: An Epic Journey in Search of Corporate Responsibility

In 2010, Dr Wayne Visser set off on a 20-country “quest” to talk to entrepreneurs, business leaders and innovators and learn about how companies in all parts of the world can and are helping to tackle the world’s most pressing social and environmental problems. The result is this treasure trove of a book, full of stories, ideas, extracts from more than 100 interviews, best practices and tools for making sustainable business work in a myriad of different contexts, cultures and settings. Besides sharing insights from his 2010 “CSR Quest World Tour”, the author captures his professional experiences and the evolution of sustainable business over the past 20 years. Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

Corporate Sustainability & Responsibility:  An Introductory Text on CSR Theory & Practice – Past, Present & Future

Here is a comprehensive textbook that introduces students and practitioners to corporate sustainability & responsibility (CSR) theory and practice, looking at the past, present and future. The text includes 25 case studies and over 60 sets of discussion questions (nearly 200 questions), which allow teachers, students and practitioners to reflect on the presented content and to discuss, debate and dig deeper into the issues. The text itself is written in a highly readable style, without sacrificing academic rigour (there are over 200 references cited). The result is an inexpensive, accessible and searchable introduction to a management discipline that has become critical to the future of business, written by one of the world’s leading authorities on the subject. Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

The Age of Responsibility: CSR 2.0 and the New DNA of Business

Traditional corporate social responsibility (CSR) approaches have failed, leaving business stuck in the Ages of Greed, Philanthropy, Marketing and Management. Using Web 2.0 as a metaphor, Visser shows how business needs to radically transform if we are to ever reach a true Age of Responsibility. The required systemic approach is dubbed CSR 2.0 and characterised by five key principles: creativity, scalability, responsiveness, glocality and circularity. Citing more than 300 cases to illustrate ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’, the book describes how the new DNA of business is fast being decoded in the areas of value creation, good governance, societal contribution and environmental integrity. Having set out a compelling vision of the future, Visser describes how to get there by exploring change at the societal, organisational and individual level. Read the paper book / Read the e-book.

The World Guide to CSR: A Country by Country Analysis of Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility

This is the first book to provide comparable national profiles that describe the evolution and practice of Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility (CSR) for 58 countries and 5 global regions. Each regional and national profile includes key information about the relevant CSR history, country-specific issues, trends, research and leading organisations. The purpose of the book is to give CSR and sustainability professionals a quick reference guide to CSR in different regional and national contexts. The book is an edited volume, with expert contributors from around the world. Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

The Top 50 Sustainability Books

This unique title draws together some of the best thinking to date on the pressing social and environmental challenges we face as a society. These are the Top 50 Sustainability Books as voted for by the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership’s alumni network of over 3,000 senior leaders from around the world. In addition to profiles of all 50 titles, many of the authors share their most recent reflections on the state of the world and the ongoing attempts by business, government and civil society to create a more sustainable future. Many of these authors have become household names in the environmental, social and economic justice movements, while others are relatively undiscovered gems, whose work should be much more widely known. Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

Landmarks for Sustainability: Events and Initiatives that Changed Our World

Landmarks for Sustainability is a high-impact, quick-reference guide to many of the most critical events and initiatives that have shaped our world, and the sustainable development agenda, over the past 20 years and more. By shining a spotlight on these landmark events and initiatives, the book draws into sharp relief the most significant social and environmental challenges of our time – from climate change and the state of the planet to poverty and corruption. Equally importantly, however, more than half of the book is dedicated to constructive global responses, such as the boom in clean technology, the role of the World Economic and World Social Forums, and the growth of ISO 14001 and SA8000 standards. Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

Making A Difference: Purpose-Inspired Leadership for Corporate Sustainability & Responsibility

In the face of unprecedented global challenges like poverty and climate change, can individuals make a difference? This scholarly book reveals what motivates people to devote their time and energies to addressing social, environmental and ethical issues. Based on in-depth academic research among corporate sustainability and responsibility (CSR) professionals, it shows the pivotal role of values, inspiration, expertise, empowerment, strategic thinking and social contribution among “purpose-inspired leaders”. Using extensive illustrative quotations, different types of CSR change agents are identified, including experts, facilitators, catalysts and activists. The implications for business of better understanding these CSR leaders is explored, as well as the opportunities for future academic research. The book concludes with a call to personal action by making a positive difference and leaving a meaningful legacy. Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

The A to Z of Corporate Social Responsibility: A Complete Reference Guide to Concepts, Codes and Organisations

CSR has now moved beyond the stage of specialist or niche subject to become an integral part of global business and society. This timely encyclopaedia is destined to become the definitive guide to CSR, sustainability, business ethics and the organisations and standards in the field. This book is the culmination of over a hundred of the world’s leading thinkers, opinion formers, academic and business people providing an easy-to-use guide to CSR. This paperback edition includes all the latest developments in CSR as well as incorporating new sections on boardroom pay, the sub-prime market and the financial crisis. Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

Corporate Citizenship in Africa: Lessons from the Past, Paths to the Future

Corporate citizenship is enmeshed in the debate about Africa’s future. Africa is the continent where the social needs are greatest and where the benefits of globalisation have been least felt. What makes corporate citizenship in Africa not only fascinating, but also of critical importance, is that the continent embodies many of the most vexing dilemmas that business faces in attempts to be responsible, ethical and sustainable. This unique collection for the first time brings together in one publication the critical debates, perspectives, experiences and success stories in the emerging field of corporate citizenship in Africa. This publication marks a change in the tide – a groundswell towards a more vigorous debate and robust research agenda on corporate citizenship in Africa. Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

Business Frontiers: Social Responsibility, Sustainable Development and Economic Justice

Business operates at the frontiers of society – seeking out new territories to explore and exploit, imagining fresh new ways to meet age old needs, innovating the artefacts that become the legacy of civilisations, reinventing the rituals which shape acceptable social behaviour, and changing the way we spend our precious time. But what happens when the landscape itself changes? As the world globalises, power is shifting – from the plush boardrooms to dusty streets, from the financial market casino to the internet connected community, from the annual general meetings to the mass activist campaigns, from the office towers of the North to the crowded pavements of the South. Business faces its greatest challenge yet. Confronted with the triple imperatives of social responsibility, environmental sustainability and economic justice, business will need to adapt or die. Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

South Africa: Reasons to Believe

This book challenges those who are choosing attitudes that knock South Africa down rather than build it up. It is intended to encourage the rising tide of South Africans who have a positive approach and a belief in the country’s future. The book gathers together a wealth of facts, figures and real-life stories in a style that’s easily readable. Together they form a set of compelling reasons to believe in South Africa, its people and its future and rekindle the fire of optimism that many people felt after the nation’s political miracle in 1994. Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

Beyond Reasonable Greed: Why Sustainable Business is a Much Better Idea

In an analysis of the principles driving modern business, this book demonstrates that the predatory behaviour of the lion is symbolic of the way most companies are run today. But the world cannot go on like this. They argue strongly for an alternative and more positive vision involving sustainable business in both a social and an environmental sense. In order to achieve this, companies will need to change – as they call it ‘shape-shift’ – from the tooth-and-claw logic of lions to the more caring, holistic philosophy of the elephant. The conclusion of the book is that multilevel shapeshifting is required for sustainability. Apart from corporate transformation, it is up to governments on the one hand and each and every one of us as individuals on the other to adopt the persona of an elephant in order to pass on a worthwhile heritage to our children. Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

Poetry

Life in Transit: Favourite Travel & Tribute Poems

This creative collection, now in its 2nd edition, brings together travel and tribute poems by Wayne Visser. The anthology pays tribute to the likes of Nelson Mandela, Maya Angelou, Barack Obama, Antoni Gaudí & Leonardo da Vinci, and reflects on travels ranging from China and South Africa to Ecuador and Russia. Life is lived in the in-between / In transit / Between coming and going / Between staying and moving on / Between here and there / And what we call home / What we call settled or contented / Is merely a resting place / A station for refuelling / A nexus for reconnecting / A junction for changing direction. Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

Icarus: Favourite Love Poems

This creative collection, now in its 2nd edition, brings together love poems by Wayne Visser. The anthology traces love’s agony (“Broken Dreams”) and ecstasy (“Galaxies Cart-Wheeling”), from first blush (“Almost Strangers”) to full bloom (“Say ‘I Do!'”), as we fly to love. You’ve given me the gift of golden wings / The endless sphere of blue imaginings / The chance to rise above the silver clouds / The will to cast off untold ghostly shrouds / Don’t fly too high / Don’t rise too fast / Don’t tease the sky / Don’t taunt the past / You’ve given me the hope of warmer days / The blessed kiss of the sun’s fiery rays. Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

African Dream: Inspiring Words & Images from the Luminous Continent

This beautiful book of African inspiration combines the poetic words of renowned South African author Wayne Visser and the images of exhibited British photographer Bob Webzell in a celebration of the people, landscapes and wildlife of the luminous continent. This collection includes the well-known poem, “I Am An African”, along with other favourites: “African Dream”, “Prayer for Africa”, and “I Know a Place in Africa”. Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

String, Donuts, Bubbles and Me: Favourite Philosophical Poems

This creative collection, now in its 3rd edition, brings together philosophical poems by Wayne Visser. In this anthology, he muses on subjects ranging from space, angels and destiny to time, science and meaning in life. According to scientists / The world’s made of string / That buzzes and fuzzes / Or some such strange thing / It’s also a donut / That curls round a hole / With middles and riddles / Just like a fish bowl / And there’s no mistaking / It’s more than 3-D / With twenty or plenty / Dimensions unseen / Still others insist / It’s really a bubble / That’s popping and bopping / Through the lenses of Hubble. Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

Seize the Day: Favourite Inspirational Poems

This creative collection, now in its 3rd edition, brings together favourite inspirational poems by Wayne Visser. The anthology takes us on a journey through the peaks and troughs of life, celebrating the indomitable human spirit.. It includes many old favourites like “Poets Must Be” and “Chasing the Blue”, as well as brand new poems like “The Writer” and “Making Ripples”. Sages through the ages wisely say: / Carpe Diem – seize the dawning day / Oh, would that I could assuage that thirst / But the day conspires to seize me first! / With the hurry and scurry / Of home’s frantic flurry / And the hustle and bustle / Of work’s tangled tussle. Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

Wishing Leaves: Favourite Nature Poems

This creative collection, now in its 3rd edition, brings together nature poems by Wayne Visser, celebrating the diversity, beauty and ever-changing moods of our planet. The anthology includes many old favourites like “I Think I Was a Tree Once” and “A Bug’s Life”, as well as brand new poems like “Monet’s Dream” and “The Environmentalist”. Then as we turned our faces to the moon / Our hands entwined, our hearts in sync, in tune / We felt the fingers of the silken breeze / And made our wishes on the falling leaves / A gust of wind set off a whispered sigh / Among the trees that leaned against the sky.  Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

I Am An African: Favourite Africa Poems

This creative collection, now in its 5th edition, brings together Africa poems by Wayne Visser, including the ever popular “I Am An African”, as well as old favourites like “Women of Africa”, “I Know A Place in Africa”, “Prayer for Africa” and “African Dream”. The anthology celebrates the luminous continent and its rainbow people. The updated 5th Edition includes new poems like “Africa Untamed” and “Land of the Sun”. I am an African / Not because I was born there / But because my heart beats with Africa’s / I am an African / Not because my skin is black / But because my mind is engaged by Africa / I am an African / Not because I live on its soil / But because my soul is at home in Africa. Buy the paper book / Buy the e-book.

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