If you're looking for help in designing for sustainability--designing an economy, a society or a planet, check out this book from Worldchanging.com. At 600 pages, it is full of innovation and pragmatic solutions.
Yes, it leans left and it appears to downplay the role of markets as a possible solution (something that is working in Europe and the US). And I don't think it helps to have the first sentence to the intro on business be "Business doesn't have to be destructive." Nobody driving a SUV has to be destructive. Nice rich liberal folks building 10--50,000 square foot MacMansions in Aspen, Sante Fe or Montana don't have to be destructive. OK.
Here's just a bit of overview from the books site:
"The Worldchanging book contains over 600 pages, divided into 7 sections which include a vast range of topics.
green design, biomimicry, sustainable food, clothing, trade and technology
green building and landscaping, clean energy, water, disaster relief and humanitarian design
smart growth, sustainable communities, transportation, greening infrastructure, product-service systems, leapfrogging and megacity challenges
education, women's rights, public health, holistic approaches to community development, South-South science, social entrepreneurship and micro-lending, and philanthropy
socially responsible investment, worldchanging start-ups, ecological economics, corporate social responsibility and green business
networked politics, new media, transparency, human rights, non-violent revolution and peacemaking
big picture -- everything from placing oneself in a bioregion to climate foresight to environmental history to green space exploration "
The book was celebrated by a party at the NYC headquarters of TED and here are a couple of comments off the TED blog on it:
"Worldchanging is sometimes a bit visionary, but it's not naive. They have a sane optimism about the future that carries through the book, which covers topics as diverse - yet interconnected - as biomimicry, clean energy, water, disaster relief, green design and architecture, transportation, megacities challenges, education, public health, South-South science, social entrepreneurship, microfinance, start-ups, ecological economics, networked politics, transparency, citizen media, climate foresight, etc. It's a fabulous compendium of ideas."
Sounds great to me. And if you haven't read the Stern Report out of the UK, check it out. It goes into the economics of climate change--and the costs.