Pella Thiel

I (Mattias Olsson) am hereby passing the baton to Pella Thiel, spokesperson for Omställningsnätverket (the Swedish Transition Network) and End Ecocide – which is an organisation lobbying for nature’s legal rights.

Why she inspires me

Transition (into a simpler, less wasteful & more community based lifestyle) isn’t mainstream. Not yet. It seems stuck in some alternative backwater furrow that more often than not gets ”hippie tagged” by mainstream media. Pella Thiel became my hero when she was on the evening news in Sweden, in some funky debate with some funky ”realist” about Permaculture, Downscaling and Localization. The whole thing was set up for failure (from a Transition point of view) with the moderator serving up questions that oozed with ”well, well, you poor little hippies”. But Pella didn’t accept the role she was cast into. She stood tall and answered the questions with such grace, patience and sharpness that she soon had everybody in that studio onboard the Transition Train. And the next day the facebook group for the Swedish Transition Network gained 15 000 members.

See Pella Thiel’s recommendations below.


A book

Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. In the beginning of the 2000’s, I found myself deep in the rainforest – the Yasuni National Park in Ecuador – together with entomologist (biologist specializing in insects) Terry Erwin. I had known about Terry for 10 years, he was one of the people who made the term ”biodiversity” known. He had set out to find how many species there are in this world (insects are a good starting point for this as probably more than half of all species are insects). I could hardly believe it that I had the opportunity to hang out with Terry, helping hom do his thing. We were both worried about the systematic extinction of species, and I asked Terry if he could recommend a book. Yes, he said, read Ishmael! So I did. With a gorilla as a teacher, this book digs into the deep roots of our broken civilization. It is a compelling, deeply disturbing story which was very important for me in understanding how things have gone wrong. It left me open to ideas on what to change and how.

A film

The Yes men Fix the World. A film about two people who are totally outrageous in how they poke into the most destructive companies of the industrial growth society. By playing the game of chemical companies, oil industry and weapon industry, they expose the doings and values of these companies in a hilarious way. To me it showed what two people can do, if they really want to. The movie was sued by United States Chamber of Commerce.

A podcast

A new and ancient story by Charles Eisenstein. A podd in which philosopher Charles Eisenstein interviews people he finds interesting. Makes room for deep conversations about our predicament and alternative ways of seeing things.

Passing the baton

I will soon pass the baton to someone I find inspiring, so that we may hear his or her recommendations for a book, a film and a pod.

Warm greetings from Pella Thiel.


Previous recommendations

This is the beginning of this inspiration archive. I will give three recommendations – for a book, a film and a pod – that have inspired me in the direction of ecological balance and human sanity. I will then pass the invitation on to a person who I see as a rolemodel in these matters, who will give his/her recommendations. She or he will then pass it on to someone else and so forth. It’s an experiment, and I’ve no idea where it’ll go. But I’m really excited to find out.

Recommendations from: Mattias Olsson of Campfire Stories.


A Book

This book turned everything inside out for me. It put words on a feeling I’d carried since childhood, that all is not well in the world. It resonated so deeply with me it literally took my breath away. After reading it I moved to the countryside, started growing my own food and quit my job to start Campfire Stories.

A Film

This is a fairytale (documentary) of the old sort, set in the new world. Rob Greenfield has his bamboo bike stolen. It’s one of about 100 possesions he has to his name, and it’s carried him across the USA several times, and is of great value to him. His question is: “How can I turn this miserable situation into something positive?”. Come along for this journey. The ending had me in tears.

A Pod

This podcast is an incredible archive of interviews with people of all walks of life who are making this world a better place in very different ways. Always interesting, heartbreaking and uplifting – often all three at once. Ayana Young is relentless, kind and sharp in her mission to bring change-making interviews to the listeners.

Passing the baton

I’ve passed the baton to Pella Thiel. See her recommendations at the top of the page.

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