Optimism demands action. Optimism is an active choice. Optimism is not naïve and it is not impossible.
Many people perceive this to be a moment of despair. Global warming has reached terrifying heights of severity, human expansion has caused the extinction of countless species and neoliberalism has led to a destructive divide in wealth and a polarization of mainstream politics. But, there are constructive ways to meet these challenges, and there are plenty of reasons for optimism.
Lily Cole has met with some of the millions of people around the world who are working on solutions to our biggest challenges and are committed to creating a more sustainable and peaceful future for humanity. Exploring issues from fast fashion to fast food and renewable energy to gender equality, and embracing debate, Who Cares Wins features interviews with diverse voices from entrepreneurs Stella McCartney and Elon Musk, to activists Extinction Rebellion co-founder Dr Gail Bradbrook and Farhana Yamin, to offer a beacon of possibility in challenging times.
Who Cares Wins is a rousing call to action that will leave you feeling hopeful that we can make a difference. We are the ancestors of our future: a generation that will either be celebrated for its activism or blamed for its apathy. It is for us to choose optimism, to make changes and to create the future we want.
Lily Cole is an environmental activist, model, actress and filmmaker. She holds an MA in history of art from the University of Cambridge, was an affiliate at The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters by the University of Glasgow, for her contribution to humanitarian and environmental causes through social businesses. Lily has spoken at Davos, Google's Zeitgeist conference and Wired. She regularly writes for media including the Guardian, Huffington Post, Vogue and Financial Times. Lily has directed multiple short documentaries. Lily was the Brontë Parsonage Museum's creative partner for 2018, for whom she made her first fiction film.
"Too bad we can't clear up the environment as fast as Lily Cole can. She explains why we're in this mess and what we can do about it brilliantly"
– Ruby Wax, author of How to Be Human
"A welcome and thorough overview of some of the many aspects of the crisis humanity is now facing alongside the visionary possibilities for change at our fingertips. If we don't act it isn't for lack of good ideas [...]"
– Dr Gail Bradbrook, co-founder of Extinction Rebellion
"Lily's commitment to a better future for fashion is legendary, and her first-hand experience of an exploitative and unethical industry have made her involvement both more poignant and pertinent. How wonderful to absorb her thoughts and knowledge on everything else, from food to fuels, politics and biodynamic farming. This book is a great insight into her mind, and into our world"
– Orsola de Castro, Creative Director of Fashion Revolution
""Who cares wins" should be the mantra of every citizen around the world – every revolution has been made by people who cared. The sustainability or ethical movement is about "caring" – for the planet and for the people, and Lily is a shining example of a person who always deeply cares and whose mind never rests until there is a solution. There are people who have visions, and people who act on them. Lily does both and this book is a true testament to that."
– Livia Firth, Creative Director of Eco Age
"Lily Cole, through her personal experience, interviews with fascinating people and a critical insight to our planet's problems helps us understand the power of the individual and makes us fall in love with nature again. No more the relentless, morbid doom-mongering, Lily gives us so many reasons to be optimistic, and shows that we can all make a difference and together we can save our beautiful Earth"
– Professor Mark Maslin, Professor of Earth System Science at UCL and author of The Human Planet
"Who Cares Wins is a literary submarine which allows you to descend into the deep depths of environmentalism to show you the truth with refreshing clarity and honesty. A deeply personal and yet universal call-to-action on one of the most profound subjects of our time"
– Bella Lack, environmental campaigner
"Who Cares Wins is a journey into the anthropology of radical optimism. Lily Cole delicately unpicks the silver linings from some of the many dark clouds that loom over us and weaves them into an irresistible vision of our future"
– James Suzman, anthropologist and author of Affluence Without Abundance: The Disappearing World of the Bushman
"A great read, fundamentally important subjects elegantly explored through a personal perspective. I relished the optimism!"
– Steve Trent, founder of the Environmental Justice Foundation
"Lily Cole's Who Cares Wins is a rollercoaster of a ride where, thanks to her excellent piloting, we get to see a varied landscape of ideas and schools of thought on how to tackle the climate and ecological crisis, each with their insights but also their limits. Thankfully, this isn't another prescriptive "how to save the planet" book by doing your bit. Rather, it is an open and honest invitation by a curious mind for us all to build bridges. Cole rightly concludes so much more can happen if we explore our predicament and collectively allow ourselves to imagine a better future"
– Farhana Yamin, Founder, Track 0 & Rebel For Life
"Who Cares Wins is full of generosity from the author and a call to its readers that more can be possible if we imagine it and care about who wins in every choice we make"
– Chelsea Clinton, author and advocate
"It's a positive, useful book – how to make choices. We need to get governments on board. I wish Lily was world controller"
– Vivienne Westwood, fashion designer and founder of Vivienne Westwood Ltd.
"Lily's book is not only extraordinarily timely, it's inspiring, erudite, thought-provoking, spirited and perfectly balanced. Lily is a great thinker – and, better still, an exceptional doer"
– Mark Boyle, author of The Way Home and The Moneyless Man
"This is a book for the moment, to inspire us to create a better Society after the pandemic. We must not return to the old normal. The optimism that Lily Cole articulates so well requires us to insist on a revival of the Future"
– Guy Standing, author of Basic Income and Battling Eight Giants
"Who Cares Wins is a compelling reminder that the future is in our hands. Lily's book is a much-needed ray of light during a dark and unsettling time – a radical vision for a better future, infused with optimism at every turn. It's a rousing call to action but it's up to us to dare to care, will you?"
– John Sauven, Executive Director of Greenpeace UK
"Who Cares Wins aims to shed light on a broad range of issues such as sustainability, technology and gender equality. Bringing together extensive research and interviews"
"In this book [Cole] combines self-reflection [...] with expert insight"
"Part manifesto, part personal dispatch from the frontline of environmental and social activism it's an impressively wide ranging audit on the planet most pressing challenges – most notably the threat of climate change that also offers an inventory of potential solutions"
– Waitrose Weekend