Michael Norton

Michael Norton

Society | Environment

Michael Norton is a social entrepreneur who creates projects that provide innovative approaches to solving problems in society and the world. His smallest project – developing a self-help group for homeless people – was founded with a £2,000 innovation grant from Crisis in 1995. This started with a Wednesday afternoon club for homeless people to work together on projects that were important to them. This led to the creation of Groundswell, a national federation of homeless self-help groups. His largest project was the creation of UnLtd, the UK foundation for social entrepreneurs, which was set up with a £100 million legacy fund from the UK lottery, which makes awards to individuals with ideas. He has created street children’s banks and village libraries in Asia, helped develop an international network of crisis helplines for children in need, developed projects which promote financial literacy for young people, mental wellbeing of adolescents, collecting and cooking surplus food, environmental awareness and action, community engagement and philanthropy for young people and much more.

Michael is a professor at the China Global Philanthropy Institute in Shenzhen, winner of the 2014 UK Charity Award for lifetime achievement and was awarded an OBE in 1998 for services to the voluntary sector. His books include 365 Ways to Change the World, offering small ideas every day to encourage people to address many of the world’s big issues, The Everyday Activist, Click2Change and now Fixing the Planet.

Fixing the Planet: An Overview for Optimists and Activists

Fixing the Planet: An Overview for Optimists and Activists

‘We are standing on the edge of an industrial revolution so great in all aspects; in energy, in transport, in food and farming and within society itself, that one hundred years from now they will describe this moment as a liberation … This book is a powerful introduction to the way things were and the way things can be. Keep it by your bed.’

Tim Smit, founder of The Eden Project

‘This book gives you all the information anyone could want about the state of the world and how to save it. Michael Norton’s gripping read, filled with a wealth of facts, will arm you in any discussion, teenagers and adult alike who want to make the case for rescuing the planet. This will give you hope for what can still be done, if we all act now.’

Polly Toynbee, Guardian

‘A fantastic panorama of how to right the wrongs of the world, packed full of examples of everyday people taking action and making change every day. If you ever doubted you could make a difference – read this and you’ll know you can!’

Dawn Austwick, former CEO, National Lottery Community Fund


‘Humankind’s body politic is being ravaged by an advanced form of necrotising fasciitis called “profit maximising neoliberalism”. But the antibodies we need to see off this wasting disease are getting stronger by the day – as Fixing the Planet so eloquently makes clear.’

Jonathon Porritt, co-founder Forum for the Future


‘A wonderfully accessible encyclopaedia of facts, examples and inspirations that can serve as an antidote to the fatalism that is perhaps our biggest risk today.’

Geoff Mulgan, Professor of Collective Intelligence, Public Policy and Social Innovation, University College London


‘This is BRILLIANT!’

Sharla-Jaye Duncan, founder The Intrapreneurs Club