- IMD Business School
News Stories · Sustainability

New book ‘Where the Wild Things Were’ sparks intergenerational dialogue on biodiversity loss

Do we really want the acceleration of the extinction of all wild creatures to be our legacy to future generations?
September 2019

That’s the question at the heart of a creative new book by IMD faculty member Susan Goldsworthy.

Informed by her work with senior executives who are being influenced by their children and grandchildren on the urgency of the planetary challenges we face, Goldsworthy has released an illustrated story book to generate dialogue and inspire action.

Devised as a bedtime story of a grandmother telling her granddaughter about an alphabet of animals she played with when she was young, ‘Where the Wild Things Were’ aims to entertain and educate, as well as motivate all generations to act together before it’s too late.

The book is co-authored and illustrated by artist Sydney Goldsworthy, Susan’s daughter, and is for adults as well as children.

“At IMD, we challenge what is and inspire what could be to develop leaders who transform organizations and contribute to society. Leaders are in positions of power and privilege. And leaders are people and parents, too. Biodiversity is essential to maintaining the interdependent ecosystem that keeps this planet healthy. We are facing an unprecedented crisis in terms of biodiversity loss and therefore, we have a collective responsibility to protect as many species as we still can. If we take a conscious choice to act, and act quickly, we can have hope that we can make a positive difference to life in this magical, more-than-human world,” said Goldsworthy.

Following publications such as WWF’s Living Planet Report, which states that in the last 50 years, there has been an overall decline of 60% in population sizes of vertebrate species, we now know the devastating impact our actions are having on wildlife – only 4% of mammals on earth are now wild.

“We can no longer say we aren’t aware. So the question we must ask ourselves is ‘What did we do once we knew?’” says the co-author.

A former Olympic finalist, European & Commonwealth medalist, life-long vegan and award-winning writer, Susan Goldsworthy is passionate about working with others to turn knowledge into behavior. Affiliate Professor of Leadership & Organizational Change at IMD Business School, she is co-author of the award-winning books Care to Dare and Choosing Change, associate director of the IMD senior leadership program, CLEAR and codirector of Skolkovo Business School & IMD leadership program, LIFT.

Sydney Goldsworthy runs GoldsWoof where she creates various stylistic, colorful and abstract portraits and animations.

Find out more about the ‘Where the Wild Things Were’